FIRST OFFENDER? DEFEND LURING CHARGES IN KITCHENER. 1-866-DEFENCE
Child luring is among the more serious offences Canadian’s can be charged with. Being charged with a criminal offence, especially as a first-time offender, can be a confusing and upsetting experience. Donich Law has experience defending individuals charged with luring and other sexual offences involving children and regularly obtain favourable results for our clients. Serious criminal sanctions apply to those who are convicted, and social stigmatization can occur even where the allegations are never proven. As a result, it is important to have experienced legal counsel on your side. We will advocate for your rights to ensure you receive the best possible outcome for your case.
As is the case with all sexual offences involving children, Crown’s are often reluctant to make favourable deals with accused’s in exchange for a guilty plea. Further, Crown’s regularly advocate for custodial sentences for those who are convicted.
Considerable resources are devoted to investigating suspected child lurers, including the use of undercover police officers and computer experts. The evidence produced by such investigations can be difficult to defend in many cases. Donich Law defends persons charged with sexual offences involving children including luring, child pornography offences and sexual interference, and regularly receives positive outcomes for our clients.
Donich Law has experience defending individuals alleged to be involved in complex internet child luring schemes. In 2017, the Firm defended a number of individuals charged with child luring and other sexual offences involving children in connection with Project Raphael. Project Raphael was a sophisticated law enforcement string aimed at arresting and charging those participating in the human trafficking of children.
In addition to complex cases, Donich Law also has experience defending regular, otherwise law-abiding citizens who have made bad decisions, or those who have been wrongfully accused. In 2016, the Firm represented a TTC driver charged with nine counts of child luring after allegedly arranging to meet several underage individuals online. After some negotiations, the Firm was able to secure the withdrawal of all nine charges.
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Frequently Asked Questions
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Elements of a Crime
What is Luring?
The offence of child luring is contained in section 172.1 of the Criminal Code. It states that an individual has committed the offence of luring when they communicate with a person under the age of eighteen, or whom the accused believes to be under the age of eighteen, for the purposes of facilitating the commission of an enumerated sexual offence. The enumerated sexual offences relating to this section include;
- Sexual exploitation
- Householder permitting sexual activity
- Procuring prostitution (prostitution related offences)
- Parent or guardian procuring sexual activity
- Prostitution of a person under eighteen years
- Making, accessing, distributing or possessing child pornography
- Living on the avails of the prostitution of a person under the age of eighteen years
- Aggravated offence in relation to living on the avails of prostitution of a person under the age of eighteen years
In addition, adult persons are prohibited from using electronic devices or telecommunication devices to communicate with persons under the age of sixteen, or whom the accused believes is under the age of sixteen, for the purposes of facilitating the commission of an enumerated sexual offence. The enumerated sexual offences relating to this section include:
- Sexual Assault
- Sexual interference
- Indecent exposure
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Invitation to sexual touching
- Abduction of a person under the age of sixteen
- Sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party, or causing bodily harm
Further, adult persons are prohibited from using an electronic or telecommunication device to communicate with a person under the age of fourteen for the purpose of committing an enumerated sexual offence. The enumerated sexual offence related to this section includes:
- Abduction of a person under fourteen
Based on the definition provided by the Code, an individual will be guilty of luring even where they are communicating with an adult posing as a minor, if the accused believed they were speaking to a minor. It is not uncommon for individuals to be charged with luring after communicating with an adult undercover police officer online, believing they are speaking to a child. Law enforcement use this tactic often to catch suspected online predators. While in some cases this tactic may be considered entrapment, in the majority of cases it is legal. To gain a conviction, the Crown will be required to present evidence to the Court suggesting that the accused honestly believed they were speaking to a minor. If the Crown presents such evidence and the accused has no evidence to refute it, they will be convicted of the offence.
Donich Law has experience defending those charged with luring after communicating with an undercover officer online. We have utilized computer experts to analyse the computer hard drives of our clients to gather evidence to bolster their defence.
How to Beat a Luring Charge in Kitchener?
The best defence to any luring charge will depend largely on the allegations being made and the evidence in the possession of the Crown. In the majority of cases involving internet luring, the police will have records of the conversations between the accused and the complainant or undercover officer. These chat logs will almost always be introduced into evidence by the Crown. Such evidence can be very difficult to refute.
One of the most commonly used defences in luring cases is the defence of entrapment. Entrapment occurs when a police officer presents an accused with an opportunity to commit a crime without reasonable suspicion that the accused was already engaged in criminal activity of that sort. For example, if an undercover police officer messaged an accused at random, posing as a minor and offering to engage in sexual activity, with no reasonable suspicion that the accused is already engaging in luring, law enforcement is guilty of entrapment. However, this defence can be difficult to advance successfully in luring cases as law enforcement are often careful not to engage in this type of behaviour.
What are the Maximum Penalties for those Convicted of Luring in Kitchener?
Luring is considered a serious sexual offence in Canada. All sexual offences involving children in Canada are prosecuted aggressively. Convictions for such offences are often accompanied by periods of incarceration. In many cases, Crowns are reluctant or unwilling to negotiate with defendants for more favourable sentences. As a result, it is important to hire experienced legal counsel to advocate for your rights and ensure you receive the lowest sentence appropriate based on the particular allegations.
As outlined in the Criminal Code, luring is a hybrid offence. This allows the assigned Crown to make an election, which will influence the case’s path through the criminal justice system and will affect the maximum penalties that may be imposed on the accused if they are convicted. Where serious allegations have been put forth, the Crown will generally proceed by indictment, leading to enhanced penalties for those convicted. Where more minor allegations are being made, the Crown will likely proceed summarily which will result in less significant penalties upon conviction.
In cases where the Crown elects to proceed by indictment, an individual accused of luring will face a maximum of fourteen years in prison should they be convicted. If, however, the Crown elects to proceed summarily, the accused will face a maximum of two years less a day in prison, up to a $5,000 fine or both.
Due to the serious criminal sanctions that may result from a luring conviction, it is important to have experienced legal counsel on your side. Donich Law can advocate for your rights and ensure you receive the lowest sentence appropriate based on the allegations being made.
Will I be a Registered Sex Offender if I am Convicted of Luring?
Yes. Section 490.011(1)(a) of the Criminal Code states that if an individual is convicted of a designated sexual offence, they will be required to register as a sex offender, under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act, on a mandatory basis. The designated sexual offences outlined in the Code include; sexual exploitation, incest, child pornography, luring a child, exposure, invitation to sexual touching, aggravated sexual assault, trafficking – person under 18 years, removal of a child from Canada and sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm.
When an accused is convicted of a designated sexual offence, they will be issued a mandatory SOIRA order by the Court. A SOIRA order is an order issued by the Court requiring the offender to register as a sex offender. A SOIRA order will remain in place for ten years, twenty-five years or life.
What is Child Luring?
An individual is guilty of luring when they use a telecommunication device to communicate with an individual under the age of eighteen for the purpose of facilitating the commission of an enumerated sexual offence.
What if I Never Intended to meet with the Minor
Generally, an individual will not be prosecuted for luring if they have not taken affirmative steps to arrange to meet a minor for the purpose of facilitating the commission of an enumerated sexual offence. As a result, it is generally difficult to argue that the accused had no real intention of meeting the minor.
Will I go to Jail for Child Luring?
In many cases, yes. Child luring is a very serious offence and those who are convicted face serious penalties. Depending on whether the Crown elects to proceed summarily or by indictment, the maximum penalties for luring range from two years less a day in prison to fourteen years in prison.
Can I use Entrapment as a Defence for Luring?
The defence of entrapment can only be used to defend a luring charge in a narrow set of circumstances. The defence of entrapment can be used in scenarios where an officer presented the accused with an opportunity to commit a crime, without having a reasonable suspicion that the accused had already been engaging in criminal activity of that sort.
What is the Minimum Sentence for Child Luring?
In the past, the Criminal Code contained mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of luring. However, in 2017 the Supreme Court ruled that the mandatory minimum sentence provisions of the Code were unconstitutional and struck them down. As a result, there are no longer mandatory minimum sentences for luring.
What is a SOIRA Order?
In Canada, offenders who are convicted of designated sexual offences are required to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act on a mandatory basis. Those convicted of other offences may also have to register if the Court deems it necessary. Upon sentencing such an offender, the Court will issue a SOIRA order which requires the offender to register as a sex offender under the Act.
Will I be Able to See my Kids?
Those charged with luring will almost always be placed on bail conditions prohibiting them from spending time in the presence of individuals under the age of eighteen. In some cases, this can include even the accused’s own children. It may be possible to have such bail conditions varied to allow an accused to access their children. This, however, will only be permitted if the Court does not feel the accused poses a risk to their children.