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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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How to Fight Federal Child Enticement Charges: Legal Strategies

By Spodek Law Group | October 19, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 20, 2023)

Last Updated on: 20th October 2023, 10:11 am


How to Fight Federal Child Enticement Charges: Legal Strategies

Being charged with child enticement is scary. It can lead to serious penalties, including years behind bars and a lifetime as a registered sex offender. But don’t panic – there are ways to fight these allegations. This article will walk you through some key legal strategies to consider if you’re facing federal child enticement charges.

What are Federal Child Enticement Charges?

Child enticement laws make it a crime to persuade, induce, entice or coerce a minor to engage in any illegal sexual activity. This includes attempts and “stings” – you can be charged even if you didn’t actually engage with a real child.

Federal child enticement charges usually fall under 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b). This law says its illegal to use mail, the internet, or interstate/foreign commerce to knowingly persuade, induce, entice, or coerce any person under 18 years of age to engage in prostitution or any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense. Penalties include fines and at least 10 years to life in prison.

Common Defenses Against These Charges

While child enticement cases can be tough to beat, there are some legal defenses that may get your charges reduced or dismissed. Here are some of the most common ones used:

  • You Didn’t Actually Intend to Harm a Child – One defense is that you never meant to go through with meeting or engaging with a real minor. Maybe you were just indulging in fantasy, or got carried away in an adult chatroom. While morally questionable, simply talking about illegal acts isn’t always a crime in itself. Your lawyer may argue you never planned to act on your online communications.
  • Entrapment – This argues that you were unfairly induced or coerced into committing a crime you otherwise wouldn’t have. Common in “sting” operations, an undercover officer may use overly persuasive tactics that go too far. This makes the case against you unjust.
  • Mistaken Age – It’s possible to claim you reasonably believed the minor was older, especially if they lied about their age online. This can help show you didn’t “knowingly” communicate with someone underage.
  • First Amendment – Some argue these charges violate free speech. While not often successful, your lawyer may claim your online speech was simply “fantasy roleplay” protected under the First Amendment.
  • Questioning the Evidence – There may be problems with how evidence against you was obtained. For example, questioning whether police had valid legal authority for searches, wiretaps, or stings. Suppressing flawed evidence can weaken the prosecution’s case.

How Your Lawyer Can Help

Since child enticement charges can permanently destroy your reputation and freedom, skilled legal help is critical. Here are some of the ways a knowledgeable lawyer can defend you:

  • Evaluate any possible defenses – they’ll know which ones could get charges dismissed or reduced in your case.
  • Aggressively question all evidence against you – your lawyer may find ways to get damning evidence thrown out.
  • Negotiate with prosecutors – they may successfully argue for reduced charges or sentencing leniency.
  • Litigate pretrial motions – they can try to get charges dismissed before trial.
  • Present counter evidence – your lawyer may introduce witnesses, alibis, communications, or other proof of your innocence.
  • Cross examine witnesses – they can attempt to undermine witness credibility during trial.
  • Make compelling legal arguments – your lawyer will cite laws and precedents that support your defense.
  • Advocate for you effectively – experienced lawyers understand how to craft arguments to show you in the best light.

Because the law is complex, and the stakes so high, don’t go it alone against federal prosecutors. Hire the best defense lawyer you can.

What to Expect During Your Case

Once charged, here are some of the general phases of these cases:

  1. Arrest and Charges – Police may arrest you after an sting, search, or investigation. Prosecutors will then formally file charges against you.
  2. Hearings and Pretrial Motions – Your lawyer may litigate motions arguing to suppress evidence, dismiss charges, and more. Expect multiple court hearings.
  3. Plea Negotiations – Many cases end in a plea bargain rather than trial. Your lawyer may negotiate reduced charges or sentencing recommendations.
  4. Trial – If no plea is reached, your case will go to trial before a judge and/or jury. Your lawyer will defend you throughout.
  5. Sentencing – If found guilty, the court will impose penalties like prison time, fines, probation, etc. Your lawyer advocates for leniency.
  6. Appeal – You may be able to appeal your conviction or sentence if errors were made in your case. Your lawyer can handle the appeals process.

It’s critical to have skilled counsel for every stage. Don’t go through it alone.

Start Building Your Defense Now

If you’re being investigated or charged federally with child enticement, time is of the essence. Begin consulting with defense lawyers immediately to protect your rights. The sooner you start fighting these life-changing allegations, the better.

With an experienced attorney aggressively defending you, there is hope. Don’t give up yet. Take the first step today.

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