You generally commit the crime of luring if you lure a minor away from the public with an intent harm the person’s health or safety. Luring is a serious felony under Washington law and a conviction can lead to years in state prison. Please contact a skilled criminal defense attorney now if you or a loved one is facing a luring charge.
What is the Crime of Luring in Washington?
RCW 9A.40.090 is the Washington statute that defines the crime of luring. You commit this offense if you:
- Lure or attempt to lure a child (or a person with a developmental disability) away from the public eye or into a vehicle, and
- Do so with the intent to harm that person’s health, safety, or welfare, or with the intent to facilitate a crime.
A prosecutor also has to prove that you:
- were a stranger to the child or developmentally disabled person, and
- did not have the consent of that person’s parent or guardian to act as you did.
For purposes of this statute, a “minor” is a person under the age of sixteen.
Note that luring is technically not considered a “sex crime.” However, it is often charged after a person targets a minor with the intent to have sexual contact with that person. The charge is common in internet sex crime cases.
What are the Penalties?
Luring is a class C felony. The crime is punishable by:
- Custody in state prison for up to five years, and/or
- A maximum fine of $10,000.
Can a Defendant Raise a Legal Defense?
Yes. People charged with this crime can challenge it with a legal defense. A common defense is for an accused to show that the “victim” in the case was not a minor or a person with a developmental disability. A defendant can also assert that he/she was acting with the consent of the minor’s parent or guardian.
Note, too, that you can always try to defend against a charge by showing that the police violated your constitutional rights in some way. For example, maybe the authorities:
- Arrested you without probable cause, or
- Coerced a confession.
Either of these would result in a judge reducing or dismissing your luring charge.
Contact Black & Askerov for Help
While a defendant can raise a legal defense to challenge a luring charge, it will take a skilled criminal defense attorney to raise the best defense. The experienced criminal lawyers at Black & Askerov have over 30 years of combined experience defending clients on criminal charges involving minors. Our Seattle criminal defense lawyers have the skill and commitment that makes all the difference in these cases. Our attorneys will fight tooth and nail for you at every step of your case. Contact us now to get the legal help you deserve!