If you are charged with luring a child into a motor vehicle or structure in Pennsylvania, you face a very serious charge that can result in multiple years in prison and even sex offender registration. Because this offense deals with protecting children, Pennsylvania prosecutors and judges take these offenses very seriously, and it can cause them to be overzealous in prosecuting your case.
To defend your case and protect your constitutional rights, an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney can create a defense uniquely tailored to the facts of your case.
Philadelphia Luring a Child Into a Motor Vehicle or Structure Defense Attorney
With many years of experience working in different roles in the Pennsylvania justice system, Joseph Lento is a uniquely qualified Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney with a comprehensive knowledge of how the criminal justice system works, from start to finish.
If you have been charged with Luring a Child Into a Motor Vehicle or Structure in Philadelphia or the rest of Pennsylvania and need a comprehensive, customized defense, contact the attorneys at Lento Law Firm. Joseph Lento built his practice on the ideals of customer service and justice and he will fight for your rights and freedom. Call (215) 535-5353 today to schedule your free consultation and discover what Joseph Lento can do to clear your name.
Luring a Child Into a Motor Vehicle or Structure in Pennsylvania
The offense of Luring a Child Into a Motor Vehicle or Structure is defined by 18 PA. CONS. STAT § 2910. The law states that "unless the circumstances reasonably indicate that the child is in need of assistance, a person who lures or attempts to lure a child into a motor vehicle or structure without the consent, express or implied, of the child's parent or guardian commits an offense."
While there are certain defenses to this type of charge that fall under the "child in need of assistance" category, attempting to lure a child can result in extremely harsh penalties, including felony charges in some cases.
There are certain important definitions that you should understand relating to this charge. These include:
- "Motor vehicle" is every self-propelled device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn on a public highway. This includes, but is not limited to: cars, trucks, motorcycles, SUV's, vans, and more.
- A "structure" is defined as:
- a house,
- an apartment building,
- a shop,
- a barn,
- a building,
- a vessel,
- a railroad car,
- a cargo container,
- a house car,
- a trailer,
- a trailer coach,
- a camper,
- a mine,
- a floating home, or
- other enclosed structure capable of holding a child that is not open to the general public
- A "child" is any person under the age of 18.
What "Luring" Means
To understand this offense, it is important to understand how PA law interprets the definition of "luring" a child. Luring is not simply offering a child a ride home, it typically involves some other form of incitement or inducement to encourage the child to enter the motor vehicle or structure.
Instead, an enticement could include many different things, such as:
- offering candy or ice cream to get a child in the car
- offering a child the chance to play a video game in the house
- offering to take a child to a fun place (such as the zoo or a playground)
An inducement means more of a threat or command, including:
- telling a child to get in the car to avoid violence
- lying to a child that a friend or family member is hurt to get the child in the car
Penalties for Luring a Child Into a Motor Vehicle or Structure in Pennsylvania
If a person is convicted of luring a child into a motor vehicle or structure he or she is guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor. The maximum penalties for a first-degree misdemeanor include:
- up to 5 years in prison
- up to $10,000 in fines
- registration as a sex offender for 15 years
If the person is convicted of luring a child into a motor vehicle or structure and that child is 13 years old or younger, the offense is now a second-degree felony. The maximum penalties now include:
- up to 10 years in prison
- up to $25,000 in fines
- registration as a sex offender for up to 15 years
If you are convicted of a felony, you are also likely to lose certain civil rights, such as the right to vote, the right to serve on a jury, and the right to own and carry a firearm. With these penalties, you cannot afford to take this charge against you lightly.
A successful legal defense could result in a reduction to lesser charges, or even a dismissal of the charges against you in some cases.
How to Defend Your Case
With the help of an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyer, you can present a legal defense that is uniquely formulated to the facts of your specific case. Some defenses that can be raised include, but are not limited to:
- The "luring" was for a lawful purpose (such as to protect a child's health or safety)
- File a suppression motion for evidence that was unconstitutionally collected.
- Circumstances were present that indicated the child was in need of assistance
- You did not "lure" a child into a motor vehicle or structure
These are but a few of the defenses that can be raised in your criminal case. Depending on the specific facts of your situation, many more options may be present to help create a legal defense.
Consult a Pennsylvania Luring a Child Into a Motor Vehicle or Structure Attorney
If you or someone you care about faces a charge of luring a child into a motor vehicle or structure in Pennsylvania, an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney can fight for your rights. Joseph D. Lento has the years of experience necessary to protect your rights.
Call (888) 535-3686 or contact us online today to schedule a consultation of your case.