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What You Should Know About Child Luring in Canada
The stigma associated with criminal allegations involving children is severe and devastating. Being convicted of a criminal offence like child luring can damage your reputation and potentially shatter your life. Do you suspect you are being investigated for child luring? Have you already been charged with such a crime? If so, then you need immediate and experienced legal representation.
At Alberta Legal, our criminal lawyer Calgary can advise you on how a child luring charge can impact your life and help you fight back against such charges. Knowing your legal rights is essential when the authorities suspect you of involvement in a criminal offence. This is particularly true in matters involving child luring. Alberta Legal can help you understand what you are up against and guide you through the legal challenges that lie ahead.
Is Luring a Crime in Canada?
Child luring is a crime in Canada, as established in Canadian criminal code s.172.1, where it is defined as contacting or attempting to contact someone under 18 through the internet with the intent to commit sexual exploitation, incest, child pornography, or sexual assault. There are specific subsets of the law concerning minors under the age of 16 and those under the age of 14.
Child luring allegations are extremely serious. This means Crown prosecutors will prosecute to the fullest extent the law will allow. Child luring violations account for the majority of online sexual offences committed against children in Canada. Statistics from the Canadian Centre for Justice and Community Safety Statistics report 77% of online sexual violations against children are luring child offences.
Canadian media outlets report that law enforcement agencies are doubling their efforts to combat a significant rise in child exploitation crimes, especially those committed through online mediums. Crimes involving luring a child via a computer increased by at least 19% in 2020 over the previous year. Authorities say they intend to crack down on anyone suspected of using the internet to exploit minors.
What Is Considered Child Luring?
Child luring is the criminal use of a computer to entice a known minor for sexual purposes. Under the Canadian child luring law, the term “sexual purposes” covers a range of potential behaviours and situations, including incest, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and child pornography. A person may also face child luring charges if they communicate online with a minor they know or believe to be under 16, when they intend to commit sexual exploitation, abduction, an invitation to sexual touching, or indecent exposure.
Common Examples of Child Luring
The criminal act of child luring can take many forms. The most common examples include:
- Asking a minor to take and send sexual pictures
- Asking a minor to take and send sexual videos
- Sending minors sexually explicit photos or videos and asking for sexual images of them in exchange
- Creating a fake online or social media profile with the intent to communicate with minors
- Arranging to meet a minor in person
These are only a few of the potential scenarios that may put you in the crosshairs of the Crown. Do you have questions about child luring offences? Have you been charged with child luring? Contact us at Alberta Legal as soon as possible. We are here to discuss your situation and take charge in a matter law enforcement considers a grave crime.
Penalties for Child Luring in Canada
As telecommunications technology becomes increasingly ubiquitous among all age groups, the techniques law enforcement use are expanding. Furthermore, their ability to track those attempting to lure children through social media, email, and other electronic platforms are becoming increasingly precise. Funding for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police has recently increased to bolster the agency’s ability to combat online child sex crimes. Canada also works closely with international partners to reduce online child sexual exploitation.
Individuals found guilty of child luring can face stiff criminal penalties. In Canada, child luring is a hybrid offence, meaning the Crown can proceed with its case summarily or by indictment. The circumstances of your unique situation can determine which route the Crown decides to take. Summary conviction offences tend to be less severe crimes and carry a lesser punishment. Indictable offences are crimes considered serious and have more significant penalties.
Penalties for Summary Child Luring:
- Minimum of 90 days incarceration up to two years in jail
Penalties for Indictable Child Luring:
- Minimum one year in jail up to 14 years in jail
However, some provinces, including Alberta, have struck the mandatory minimum sentence down. This does not mean the sentence will automatically be below the mandatory minimum. The Crown must indicate which charge you face. With this information, an experienced criminal defence lawyer can craft a strategic defence plan tailored to the unique circumstances of your situation. To secure a conviction, they must prove that you:
- Deliberately communicated with the other party
- Knew or believed that person was under age 18
- Communicated with that person with the intent of committing one of the specified offences
How an Alberta Criminal Defence Lawyer Can Help
A charge of child luring is a frightening criminal offence to face. Understanding your legal rights is vital to protecting yourself and your future. The Crown, of course, has to prove its case, and you have the right to defend yourself. Thus, your first step is to contact a skilled Alberta criminal defence lawyer. Retaining a lawyer means you have an advocate on your side, someone who can negotiate with Crown counsel ahead of trial, represent you in court, and fight the charges against you.
At Alberta Legal, we limit the number of clients we handle so that we can focus our full attention on each client’s unique situation. Being selective means we can give your case the personalized attention it deserves. Our legal team takes the time to get to know you while investigating the circumstances of the charges against you. Next, we work on crafting a comprehensive defence strategy based on the facts of your case. With our experience in these matters, we can build a strong and strategic defence on your behalf.
We understand the toll a child luring charge can take on your emotional well-being and reputation. We want to offer you the support you need during this challenging time while assertively pursuing the best outcome given the charges against you. When facing criminal charges, you should not feel like a criminal. You are innocent until proven otherwise, and our legal team will always show you the utmost professionalism and courtesy.
Contact an Alberta Child Luring Lawyer Today for Help
Sexual offences against minors can quickly turn into emotionally charged and complicated cases. At Alberta Legal, we understand how to navigate the complex Canadian legal system and put forth a strong case countering the charges against you.
Put us in your corner, and let us fight on your behalf. For help with child luring charges, contact our Alberta office today. Our highly experienced team of criminal defence lawyers is ready to skillfully take on the authorities as we pursue justice in your case.