Luring and/or Enticing Child by Various Means as a Crime of the Second Degree

Luring and/or enticing a child has traditionally been one of the most prosecuted types of computer-related crimes in New Jersey. Luring/enticing a child is considered either a second or third degree offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:13-6 and N.J.S.A. 2C:13-7, respectively. This page discusses the crime of Luring or Enticing a Child as a Second Degree offense, and illustrates the possible penalties, fines and jail time for such an offense.

By definition of the criminal statute under N.J.S.A. 2C:13-6:

“A person commits a crime of the second degree if he attempts, via electronic or any other means, to lure or entice a child or one who he reasonably believes to be a child into a motor vehicle, structure or isolated area, or to meet or appear at any other place, with a purpose to commit a criminal offense with or against the child.”

Luring or enticing a child commonly stems from prohibited sexual conduct between a minor, usually 16 years old or younger, and an adult (see Endangering the Welfare of a Minor), but the act need not be performed in order to be charged under the luring/enticing a child statute. Attempted luring or enticing a child can be charged if it is alleged that the defendant took a substantial step in a course of conduct that would have led to the perpetration of the act had it been completed. This is the quintessential “To Catch a Predator” scenario, and is a common occurrence in sexual predator “sting” operations.

Penalties for Luring, Enticing a Child (Second Degree) Convictions

As a crime of the second degree, a conviction under the  Luring/Enticing a Child statute can mean 5-10 years in State Prison, and up to $150,000 in fines for each count. There is a presumption of incarceration for offenses of the second degree, and diversionary programs such as Pretrial Intervention (“PTI”) may not be available to persons charged under this statute. However, for a first offense, jail is not mandatory.

Enhanced Penalties for Subsequent Luring or Enticing a Child Charges

If convicted a second or subsequent time for the offense of Luring or Enticing a Child, the penalties are enhanced, and sentencing under N.J.S.A. 2C:13-6 involves mandatory imprisonment. Subsection (d) of the Luring and Enticing a Child statute details the enhancement provision for second- and subsequent-offenses:

“A person convicted of a second or subsequent offense under this section shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (2)of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:43-6, the term of imprisonment shall include, unless the person is sentenced pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.2C:43-7, a mandatory minimum term of one-third to one-half of the sentence imposed, or one year, whichever is greater, during which time the defendant shall not be eligible for parole. If the person is sentenced pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-7, the court shall impose a minimum term of one-third to one-half of the sentence imposed, or five years, whichever is greater. The court may not suspend or make any other non-custodial disposition of any person sentenced as a second or subsequent offender pursuant to this section.”

The Luring or Enticing a Child statute also explicitly includes out-of-state convictions under substantially similar laws as a prior offense.

Attorneys for Defense of Luring, Enticing a Child Charges

Nearly every case involving computer “set-ups” and “sting operations” that lead to an arrest for luring or enticing a child have at least some element of entrapment or other defenses to investigate. Every criminal defendant deserves his or her day in court. Contact an experienced team of New Jersey Computer Crime Attorneys at 1 (800) 879-9087 for a free, confidential case evaluation, and find out how we can help you handle you or your loved one’s case.