FIRST OFFENDER? DEFEND LURING CHARGES IN GUELPH. 1-866-DEFENCE.
The offence of child luring is one of the most serious offences an individual can be charged with in Canada. Sexual offences against children are among the most aggressively prosecuted by Crown’s across the country. Being charged with a criminal offence, particularly a sexual offence involving a child, can be a particularly disconcerting experience. This is especially true for those who have never been charged with a criminal offence before. Donich Law has experience defending individuals from all backgrounds charged with luring and other sexual offences including child pornography offences and sexual interference.
Law enforcement officials devote significant resources to investigating and arresting suspected child predators. They utilize undercover police officers, computer experts and forensic software to gather evidence against accused individuals. This evidence can be particularly difficult to defend. Donich Law has experience utilizing computer experts and forensic software of our own to conduct secondary analysis of the evidence collected by the Crown. By doing so, we have been able to regularly obtain favourable results for our clients.
At Donich Law, we have experience defending complex child luring cases including those alleged to have participated in complex trafficking schemes. In 2017 the Firm represented individuals charged in connection with Project Raphael, a law enforcement sting aimed at arresting those involved in the trafficking of children.
In addition to defending those involved in complex schemes, Donich Law also has experience defending regular citizens charged as first-time offenders, or otherwise law-abiding citizens who have made poor decisions. In 2016, the Firm defended a TTC driver charged with nine counts of child luring. In that case, the accused was alleged to have communicated with several different complainants online, for the purpose of facilitating the commission of an enumerated sexual offence. After some negotiations with the Crown the Firm was able to have all nine charges against the accused withdrawn.
If you have been charged with child luring in Guelph, Donich Law can assist you in navigating the Court process. We have experience defending a wide variety of luring charges and can assist you in developing the best defence for your set of allegations.
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What is Luring?
Child luring is outlined in section 172.1 Criminal Code. It states that an individual commits the offence when they use an electronic or telecommunication device to communicate with a person under the age of eighteen for the purpose of facilitating the commission of an enumerated sexual offence. The enumerated sexual offences include;
- Householder permitting sexual activity
- Sexual exploitation
- Parent or guardian procuring sexual activity
- Procuring prostitution (prostitution related offences)
- Prostitution of a person under eighteen years
- Making, accessing, distributing or possessing child pornography
- Aggravated offence in relation to living on the avails of prostitution of a person under the age of eighteen years
- Living on the avails of the prostitution of a person under the age of eighteen years
Additionally, adult individuals are prohibited from using telecommunications devices to communicate with anyone under the age of sixteen years for the purposes of facilitating the commission of an enumerated sexual offence. The enumerated sexual offences include:
- Indecent exposure
- Sexual interference
- Sexual assault
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Invitation to sexual touching
- Sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party, or causing bodily harm
- Abduction of a person under the age of sixteen
Finally, adult individuals are prohibited from using telecommunication devices to communicate with anyone under the age of fourteen for the purpose of facilitating the commission of an enumerated sexual offence. The enumerated sexual offence includes;
- Abduction of a person under fourteen
The definition of the offence provided by the Code indicates that if an accused person genuinely believed the person they were talking to was under the age of eighteen, even if the person was not really under the age of eighteen, the accused is still guilty. Many offenders are charged with luring after engaging in conversations with an undercover police officer online. The accused may have believed they were communicating with a minor when in reality they were communicating with an adult officer. In these scenarios, as long as the accused believed they were speaking with a minor they are guilty of the offence. Additionally, it is not relevant whether the accused actually met with the minor. As long as the accused communicated with the minor for the purposes of facilitating an offence, they are guilty of the offence.
What is the Punishment for Luring in Guelph?
Child luring is among the most serious offences an individual can be charged with in Canada. Across the country, sexual offences involving children are investigated and prosecuted aggressively. Law enforcement officials often utilize computer experts and sophisticated forensic software to track suspected child predators online. This evidence can be difficult to defend in many cases. Additionally, Crowns are often reluctant to negotiate with defendants for favourable plea deals and regularly advocate for custodial sentences for those who are convicted.
Luring is a hybrid offence. This permits the Crown to elect to proceed either summarily or by indictment based on the nature and severity of the allegations against the accused. In more serious cases the Crown will proceed by indictment and in less serious cases, summarily. Where the Crown proceeds by indictment the accused will face a maximum of fourteen years in prison. If the Crown proceeds summarily the accused will face a maximum of two years less a day in prison and/or up to a $5,000 fine.
As a result of the very serious criminal sanctions that are regularly imposed on those who have been convicted of luring, it is important to have experienced legal counsel on your side. Donich Law can ensure your rights are protected throughout the Court process and can assist you in obtaining the best outcome for your set of circumstances.
What are the Best Defences to Luring in Guelph?
The best defence to any luring charge will depend largely on the allegations being made against the accused and the evidence in the possession of the Crown. The best way to defend any criminal allegation is to attack and discredit the evidence in the possession of the Crown. With the increased use of technology and the sophisticated investigative methods utilized by law enforcement in collecting evidence of internet luring, it can be difficult to discredit evidence in many cases. Where it has been proven that the accused did in fact commit the offence, it may be possible in some cases to argue entrapment.
Law enforcement officials are guilty of entrapment when they present an accused with the opportunity to commit a criminal offence without having reasonable suspicion that the accused was already engaged in criminal activity of that sort. For example, if a law enforcement officer presented an accused with the opportunity to lure a minor online without already having reason to believe the accused was luring other children online, they have committed entrapment. This defence can only be used in a narrow set of circumstances.
Is Luring a Sexual Offence?
Yes. Child luring is considered a sexual offence. As outlined in section 490.011(1)(a) of the Criminal Code, those who are convicted of certain designated sexual offences will be required to register under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA) on a mandatory basis. An example of some designated sexual offences include; incest, child pornography, sexual exploitation, luring, exposure, invitation to sexual touching, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party, or causing bodily harm, removal of a child from Canada and trafficking – person under 18 years.
Additionally, those who are convicted of other enumerated sexual offences may be required to register as a sex offender upon conviction in some circumstances. Some of these offences include; voyeurism, murder, manslaughter, trespass at night, indecent act, kidnapping, abduction of a person under age of sixteen, abduction of a person under age of fourteen, material benefit – trafficking, and criminal harassment. Those convicted of any of these offences may be issued a SOIRA order by the Court. Upon sentencing, the Crown may make submissions to the Court arguing that the offender should be issued a SOIRA order. If the Court agrees, they will issue the order and the offender will be required to register as a sex offender.
What is Luring?
An individual has committed the offence of luring when they use a telecommunication device to communicate with a person under the age of eighteen for the purposes of facilitating the commission of an enumerated sexual offence.
What if I Did Not Meet the Child in Person?
It is generally not relevant that an accused never actually met with the minor in person. If an accused made arrangements to meet with a minor for the purposes of facilitating the commission of a sexual offence, they are guilty of luring.
What are Common Bail Conditions for Those Charged with Luring?
Those who are granted bail after being charged with luring will often be placed on strict conditions. In the vast majority of cases the offender will be required to have a surety ensure they comply with the conditions of their release. Common bail conditions for those charged with luring include; not having any contact with the complainant, staying away from any location where children are known to frequent and not being in the presence of those under the age of eighteen.
Will I be Required to Register as a Sex Offender if I’m Convicted of Luring?
Yes. Luring is a designated sexual offence as outlined in section 490.011(1)(a) of the Criminal Code. Those who are convicted of luring will be required to register as a sex offender on a mandatory basis.
Will my Charges be Made Public?
In Canada, the majority of criminal proceedings are open to the public. Additionally, once an individual is convicted of an offence, the conviction becomes part of the public record. Any member of the public is permitted to observe court proceedings and access conviction records.
What are the Maximum Penalties for Luring?
Child luring is a hybrid offence. This allows the assigned Crown to elect to proceed summarily or by indictment. If the Crown proceeds summarily the accused will face a maximum of two years less a day in prison, and/or a $5,000 fine if convicted. If the Crown proceeds by indictment, the accused will face a maximum of fourteen years in prison.
What if I was Actually Talking to an Adult Undercover Officer?
If an accused was communicating with an adult undercover officer but genuinely believed they were communicated with a minor, they are guilty of luring. It is not relevant that the accused was communicating with an officer as long as they believed they were communicating with a minor.