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An act of compassion could lead to the offense of luring

Posted by Craig Penrod | Mar 06, 2014 | 0 Comments

A semi-viral video available via YouTube shows a young boy at a bus stop in freezing cold weather in Oslo, Norway. The way people reacted can serve as a valuable lesson for residents of the state of Arizona, where a criminal offense known as luring a minor can become a reality.

The video depicts the boy shivering and in obvious physical distress. At first, his condition is noted by strangers. After a while, questions from strangers lead to an explanation that the young male is on a school field trip and had his coat stolen as he awaited the arrival of his teacher. Some strangers offer scarfs and gloves and eventually he is offered a coat in order to regain some warmth.

Would residents of the state of Arizona act in a similar fashion? Should they act in a similar fashion? Interesting questions. In Tempe, Phoenix or other communities in Maricopa County, it is important that you consult Arizona lawyers experienced in criminal defense, as well as driving under the influence (DUI) and related offenses like those associated with the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod, P.C.

Under Arizona Revised Statutes 13-3554, the act of luring a minor for sexual exploitation is defined as a person who lures a minor for sexual exploitation by offering or soliciting sexual conduct with another person who is a minor. The law also states that it is not a defense that the other person is not a minor. Luring a minor for sexual exploitation in the state of Arizona is a class 3 felony and if the minor is under 15 years of age the crime is punishable by a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole after serving 35 years in the department of corrections.

If a life sentence is not imposed, the person shall be sentenced to a minimum term of imprisonment of 13 years, a presumptive term of 20 years and a maximum term of 27 years. Sentences may be enhanced if the person has previously been convicted of felony charges.

Also under Arizona law, a person commits aggravated luring a minor for sexual exploitation if the person uses an electronic communication device to transmit at least one visual depiction of material that is harmful to minors for the purpose of initiating or engaging in sexual conduct with the minor. The offer or solicitation may be an integrated part of the transmission of the visual depiction. Sentencing under the statute may be enhanced due to aggravating circumstances that are demonstrated by the evidence presented to the court.

The idea of helping a young person in distress such as the one depicted in the video mentioned above is understandable. But, the reality is that every year, Arizona residents are arrested and accused of luring when they were doing nothing more than stopping to offer help. ­In the state of Arizona, the best course of action is to call 9-1-1. Otherwise, there is a significant risk of misinterpreting your behavior with an arrest on the charge of luring likely to follow. A conviction could mean registration as a sex offender.

The attorneys at Fagan, Fagan & Davis have defended countless clients against DUI charges throughout the Chicago area courts, including those located in Cook County, DuPage County and Lake County. The attorneys at Fagan, Fagan & Davis understand which defense strategies are the most effective in court and how to challenge evidence gathered by law enforcement and offered by the prosecution. Contact us now for a free consultation.

About the Author

Craig Penrod

Craig W. Penrod was born and raised in Arizona and has practiced criminal defense for over 30 years. Mr. Penrod is a member of the State Bar of Arizona, Maricopa County Bar Association, State of Nevada Bar Association, American Bar Association, American Trial Lawyers Association, Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, Nevada Trial Lawyers Association, Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

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