In Pennsylvania, it’s illegal for an adult to lure a child into a vehicle or building without their parent’s or guardian’s consent unless the child needs assistance. Even the accusation that you enticed a child into a car or structure can turn your life upside down. You can face anger and disgust from your spouse, friends, family, and employer. However if you are found guilty, your consequences will also include a lengthy prison sentence.
Penalties For Luring A Child Into A Motor Vehicle Or Structure
Luring a child 13 years of age or older into a motor vehicle or structure is a misdemeanor of the first degree and you can be sent to prison for up to five years. You will also face up to $10,000 in fines. Luring a child under the age of 13 into a motor vehicle or structure is a felony of the second degree which can have penalties of up to 10 years in prison plus a $25,000 fine.
Your Defense for Luring a Child
If you lured or attempted to lure the child for a lawful purpose, your attorney can use this in your defense. However, you cannot claim that you did not know the age of the child or that you reasonably believed the child was 13 years of age or older.
Steps To Take If You Have Been Charged
If you have been charged with luring a child into a motor vehicle or structure, your first step should be to immediately hire a lawyer. Crimes involving children are punished harshly and the sentences you face if convicted are heavy in both fines and prison time.
You may be jailed overnight or for several days before your bond is set. While you are in jail, do not talk about the incidents that occurred with anyone other than your attorney.
Don’t talk to the police or prosecutors unless your attorney is with you.
Do not consider any offers the police or prosecutors may make without talking to your attorney first. Your lawyer will have your best interests in mind and can help you make the decisions that are right for you under your specific circumstances.
Do not have any contact at all with the alleged victim or their family. If you phone or text them or otherwise communicate with them, what you say can be taken out of context and used against you at a trial.
When you meet with your lawyer, tell them everything that happened both before and during your arrest. If the alleged victim’s accusations or their family’s are the only evidence against you, your position is stronger than it would be if there were additional evidence. Your attorney will analyze their claims for contradictions or obvious falsehoods.