Luring of a minor occurs when an adult over 21 makes an attempt to coax, encourage, or lure a minor under 14 from his or her home. Historically, luring of a minor was committed on sleepy neighborhood streets in otherwise picturesque towns. Today, however, the Internet has taken over as the primary medium for individuals to lure minors away from their homes where they are vulnerable to any number of criminal acts such as kidnapping, molestation, or other sex crimes.
Because luring of a minor is an act carried out with the intention of committing sexual acts, it is considered to be a sex crime. Luring a minor can also be considered a computer crime because so much of it occurs on the Internet where traditional laws simply don’t apply.
Law enforcement has scrambled for years to keep up with criminal offenders online; while investigations are conducted and arrests made, the majority of acts go unpunished. Because of this, law enforcement and prosecutors go to great lengths to secure the arrests that have been made. Unfortunately, mistakes have become somewhat common throughout the process. This is a key area where a skilled defense lawyer may be able to expose cracks in the prosecutions’ case.
Police are very aggressive about apprehending potential sex crime offenders, which can lead to violations of a defendant’s constitutional rights. For example, police can pose as a victim and exchange correspondence with someone, making them think they are in communication with a young person. They may even go so far as to post fake pictures and profiles online. Additionally, many false allegations may stem from a young person who may just be playing a prank or has some ax to grind against a particular adult. In the situation of police entrapment, the constitutional rights of the person charged may have been violated, which can be paramount to your defense. We can use our knowledge to determine where police overstepped legal boundaries and violated your constitutional rights, in addition to other elements crucial to your defense.
The penalties for luring of a minor can be quite severe, including prison sentences and hefty fines. Because this crime is often a means to commit another crime, defendants may face several charges. Our criminal defense lawyers of Okabe & Haushalter are strong supporters of the accused in all criminal cases. Our focus is to build the strongest case possible based on the information at hand and by examining the efforts of law enforcement and the prosecution in detail to convict. Our firm does not shy away from any courtroom fight, and we can work hard to ensure that you have the best opportunity for success against your charges.
Contact a San Francisco sex crime defense lawyer if you have been accused of luring of a minor and need to focus on building an aggressive defense.