Phoenix Luring a Minor Charges

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Experienced Attorneys for Luring a Minor Charges in Phoenix

Luring minor charges in Phoenix are serious charges that can inflict serious penalties. Getting charged with luring a minor can change someone’s life forever. They could have to join the sex offender registry and have a conviction on their record, making it difficult to get a job or find housing in the future.

After getting charged with luring a minor in Phoenix, hiring a criminal defense attorney immediately can positively impact the outcome of the case. An attorney can defend their client vigorously and attempt to get the charges dropped or lowered.

What Is Luring a Minor?

A.R.S. 13-3554 defines luring a minor for sexual exploitation as someone who offers or solicits sexual contact with another person knowing that the other person is a minor.

Typically, adults lure minors on the internet through chatrooms or other social media platforms. When they ask the minor to participate in any form of sexual activity, such as sending or receiving explicit photographs or videos, they could get charged with luring a minor.

What Is Aggravated Luring a Minor?

A.R.S. 13-3560 defines aggravated luring a minor for sexual exploitation as someone who:

  • Knowing the character and content of the depiction and communicating electronically to transmit a visual depiction that is harmful to minors with the intent to engage in communications with someone they know or believe they know is a minor
  • By means of communication with a minor, they offer or solicit sexual conduct before, after, or simultaneously as the transmission of the visual depiction

Aggravated luring of a minor is a Class 2 felony and carries heavier punishments than a standard luring of a minor charge.

Penalties for Luring Minors in Phoenix

Anyone charged with luring a minor in Phoenix can face harsh penalties if found guilty of these crimes. The penalties vary based on whether the minor is under the age of 15. Luring a minor is a Class 3 felony. If the minor is under the age of 15, the accused party could face even more significant punishment. 

Penalties for Luring Minors Under 15

If the minor is under the age of 15, the crime of luring them is punishable pursuant to A.R.S. 13-705. This state law considers luring a minor under the age of 15 to be a dangerous crime against children (DCAC). Therefore, if the defendant gets convicted of luring as a DCAC, they could face prison time even if it’s their first offense.

Based on the number of convictions the defendant has, they could face the following penalties for luring a minor under the age of 15:

  • First offense: Minimum prison sentence of five years, a presumptive prison sentence of 10 years, and a maximum prison sentence of 15 years
  • Second or subsequent offense: Minimum prison sentence of eight years with a maximum prison sentence of 22 years

People convicted of a DCAC are not eligible for parole or a shorter sentence. When they receive their sentencing from the judge, they will remain in prison until they have fully served their time.

Because DCACs are some of the most heinous crimes, they carry penalties that a convicted person will likely deal with for the rest of their life. As soon as possible after an arrest, it is beneficial to contact a criminal defense attorney who can begin working on the case immediately.

Penalties for Luring Minors Ages 15-17

Luring minors who are between the ages of 15 and 17 still carries harsh penalties.

State law considers this crime a Class 3 felony with the following penalties, based on the number of offenses:

  • First offense: A prison sentence with a minimum of two years and a maximum of 8.75 years. They could also have to pay up to a $150,000 fine, register as a sex offender, and get up to a lifetime of probation.
  • Second offense: A prison sentence with a minimum of 3.25 years and a maximum of 16.25 years. They could also have to pay up to a $150,000 fine and register as a sex offender.
  • Third offense: A prison sentence with a minimum of 7.5 years and a maximum of 25 years. They could also have to pay up to a $150,000 fine and register as a sex offender.

To avoid these penalties, anyone charged with luring minors between the ages of 15 and 17 should consult a criminal defense attorney right away. An attorney can provide legal guidance to help their client understand the charges and penalties they face.

How Attorneys Defend Clients After Luring a Minor Charges in Phoenix?

An experienced criminal defense attorney can get to work immediately for clients who receive luring a minor charges. Anyone who receives these charges should take them seriously, as they could face harsh consequences. Hiring the right attorney for the case is the first step for the accused party to defend themselves.

Once hired, an attorney can take the following steps to defend a client against luring a minor charges:

  • Participate in police interrogations: When police make an arrest or call a suspect in for questioning, they could ask leading questions to get the accused person to confess. An attorney can advise their client on what questions to answer (or not answer) during these interrogations, so they don’t say something to incriminate themselves. They can also help protect their client’s constitutional rights.
  • Negotiate a plea bargain: The prosecution could offer a plea bargain to avoid a trial. A criminal defense attorney can negotiate with the prosecution to make the plea bargain more desirable. They can also inform their client if taking the plea bargain is a good idea or if they have a strong enough case to go to trial.
  • Build a defensive strategy: An attorney can thoroughly investigate and review evidence to build a strong case indicating their client is not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. With their legal skills and knowledge, an attorney can build a case to help get their client’s charges dismissed or lowered.
  • Represent their client in court: If the case goes to a trial, there are many procedures the defense must follow. A criminal defense attorney can guide clients through these procedures to ensure they take the correct steps. They can also try to present the case in a way that convinces the jury their client is not guilty.

Potential Defenses to Luring a Minor Charges

When someone gets accused of luring a minor, an attorney can develop a defense to help their client avoid a conviction.

Potential defenses could include:

  • The defendant didn’t know they were communicating with a minor. The law states the accused party must believe they are talking to a minor. If the person online is a minor but says they are over 18, the accused did not believe they were luring a minor.
  • The defendant was less than 24 months older than the minor. In some cases, if the defendant is younger than 19 and less than 24 months older than the minor, the defense could argue they did not have a large enough age difference.
  • A witness falsely accused the defendant of luring a minor. Situations like these may occur when someone tries to get vengeance on another. The prosecution could drop the charges if there isn’t sufficient evidence proving they committed the crime.
  • Law enforcement collected evidence through an illegal search and seizure. To search a person’s property or vehicle to collect evidence, law enforcement must have probable cause. If they unlawfully seized items during a search, an attorney could get that evidence thrown out. If it’s the only evidence showing the defendant lured a minor, the case could get dismissed.

By building the strongest possible defense, an attorney can help protect their client from the legal and personal consequences they might face if convicted of luring a minor in Phoenix.

Ramifications of Being Placed on the Sex Offender Registry

Sex offenders must abide by many legal requirements once they join the sex offender registry, greatly impacting both their personal and professional lives. People on the sex offender registry often have difficulty finding housing, jobs, and more.

To avoid these issues, someone accused of luring a minor in Phoenix should avoid a conviction at all costs.

Personal Relationships

Once someone has to join the sex offender registry, it could impact their personal relationships with friends and family significantly. Many people don’t want to associate themselves with sex offenders. If they have young siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews, or other children in their lives, they may lose the opportunity to engage with them regularly.

On top of losing existing relationships, they could also have trouble starting new relationships. For example, when someone finds out they are a sex offender, they might not want to be involved or spend time with them.

Difficulty Finding Housing

Many sex offenders have difficulty finding a place to live if they don’t already own a home. Landlords who run a background check on applicants often deny the application immediately if they see the person is a registered sex offender.

Sex offenders who attempt to own a home could also have trouble acquiring a mortgage. When lenders see a conviction on their record, they could deny the mortgage application outright. They know the person might have trouble gaining or keeping employment opportunities because of their conviction, which could cause them to have trouble repaying the loan.

Sex offenders also have trouble finding housing because they typically cannot live within a certain vicinity of parks or schools, significantly lowering the housing options available to them.

Difficulty Finding Work

Finding a job is another issue that many registered sex offenders deal with. Sex offenders could easily lose their careers, especially if they work with children.

Jobs that require professional licenses that sex offenders could lose include:

  • Social workers
  • Lawyers
  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Teachers
  • Truck drivers

Many of these professional licenses take a person years to acquire. However, one conviction could cause them to lose their professional license immediately.

On top of losing their current job, sex offenders often have trouble finding new employment. Once they see a conviction on a person’s record regarding the sexual exploitation of minors, employers may want to choose another candidate for the job.

The Sex Offender Registry Is Public Information

Anyone who looks on the sex offender registry can find the offender’s name, address, and photograph. They can also see the type of evidence that landed them on the registry. Once someone is on the registry, people who look them up can always find them.

Many people regularly check if they have sex offenders living around them and will get an alert when one moves nearby. Therefore, the sex offender could have trouble building relationships with neighbors or be asked to leave.

State-Sanctioned Sex Crimes Sting Operations

The state’s sex crimes division conducts undercover operations where law enforcement officials pose as minors on the internet. These sting operations target people who attempt to lure minors.

According to state law, the suspect must believe the person they’re communicating with is a minor. Therefore, it is not a defense if the person they talk to is a police officer posing as a minor. The police officer is over 18, but the suspect thought they were under 18. Therefore, they are still breaking the law and cannot use the police officer’s age as a defense.

Even if the suspect doesn’t meet the suspected minor, they could still get luring a minor charges. Any attempt to engage in the sexual exploitation of a child over the internet or in person qualifies.

A Criminal Defense Attorney Can Start on Your Case Immediately

After being charged with luring a minor in Phoenix, hiring immediate legal representation could improve the outcome of your case. A criminal defense attorney can stand by your side through police questioning, interrogations, initial hearings, and other proceedings. An attorney can also explain all your legal options, so you know what to expect throughout your case.

Contact a Phoenix criminal defense attorney now for a free consultation to tell us your story and learn more about your next steps.

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