If you have been accused of luring a child or an adult in New Jersey, you may be facing serious criminal charges that could result in prison time, fines, and registration as a sex offender. Luring is a type of internet sex crime that involves enticing someone to meet you for an illegal purpose, such as kidnapping, sexual assault, or robbery. Luring can be done through various means, such as emails, phone calls, text messages, or social media messages. Please continue reading and reach out to a dedicated New Jersey sex crimes attorney from The Law Office of Boyd & Squitieri to learn more about what luring charges are in New Jersey, the potential penalties they may entail, and how our legal team can help fight for your future. Here are some of the questions you may have:
What is Luring in New Jersey?
Luring is defined by N.J.S.A. 2C:13-6 as attempting to entice or coax someone into your car, a structure like a home or other building, or a secluded location for the purpose of committing a criminal offense with or against that person. Luring can also be charged for convincing someone to meet you at a certain location rather than enticing them to come with you to that location.
Luring is complete when the attempt is made. It does not matter if the person being lured does not go with you or meet you, or if you do not actually commit any crime with or against them. The mere act of trying to lure someone is enough to be charged.
Luring requires criminal intent. You must have intended to commit a crime with or against the person being lured. If you had no criminal intentions, your case likely won’t meet the standard of a luring conviction.
What are the Penalties for Luring in New Jersey?
Luring a child is covered under N.J.S.A. 2C:13-6 and may be charged as a second-degree crime. A child is defined as anyone under the age of 18. A second-degree crime may be punished by 5 to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Additionally, luring a child carries a mandatory minimum sentence of one-third to one-half of the sentence or three years, whichever is greater, before any possibility of parole.
Luring an adult is covered under N.J.S.A. 2C:13-17 and may be charged as a third-degree crime. A third-degree crime may be punished by at least 3 years but no more than 5 in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
Furthermore, luring may also result in registration as a sex offender under Megan’s Law if the underlying crime was a sexual offense. This means that you will have to provide your personal information to law enforcement and notify them of any changes in your address, employment, or education. You will also have your information posted on the internet for public access. Registration as a sex offender can have severe consequences for your reputation, privacy, and opportunities.
What are the Best Defenses Against These Charges?
If you have been charged with luring in New Jersey, you need an aggressive and skilled New Jersey sex crimes lawyer to fight for your future. There are several possible defenses that your lawyer can use to challenge the prosecution’s case against you. Some of the common defenses against luring charges are as follows:
- Lack of criminal intent: As mentioned earlier, luring requires that you intended to commit a crime with or against the person being lured. If you can show that you had no such intent, you may be able to get your charges dismissed or reduced.
- Mistake of fact: If you can prove that you did not know or reasonably believe that the person being lured was under 18 years old (in case of luring a child) or that they were unaware of your criminal purpose (in case of luring an adult), you may have a valid defense. For example, if you met someone online who claimed to be over 18 and agreed to meet you for a consensual sexual encounter, but turned out to be a minor, you may be able to argue that you made a mistake of fact.
- Insufficient evidence: If the prosecution does not have enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed luring, your lawyer can challenge the credibility and reliability of their witnesses, documents, and other evidence. Your lawyer can also present evidence in your favor, such as alibi witnesses, phone records, or character witnesses.
If you have any further questions, or you are currently facing a luring charge, please don’t hesitate to contact a seasoned New Jersey sex crimes lawyer from the Law Office of Boyd & Squitieri today. We are here to help you, every step of the way.