Child Enticement Defense Lawyer
Criminal Defense Lawyers in Columbus
The State of Ohio’s child enticement law was meant to be a catch-all regulation and was put on the books to prevent child kidnappings for sexual abuse and other wrongdoing. There are some innocent behaviors that technically violate the child enticement laws, however, which is why it’s vital to turn to expert legal protection if a misunderstanding occurs.
At Scott & Nolder Law Firm in Columbus, OH, we specialize in protecting our clients against allegations and charges of criminal wrongdoing, especially of a sexual nature. We’ve seen misunderstandings and everyday situations misconstrued into serious matters involving child enticement, and we know how to protect your interests in this and other similar situations.
What is child enticement?
The legal definition of child enticement, as stated in Chapter 2905.05 of the Ohio Revised Code, is summarized as follows:
It is illegal for an adult who isn’t a child’s parent or legal guardian to lure, force, coerce, or otherwise attempt to convince a child under the age of 14 to enter their vehicle, home, or anywhere else without the following:
- Permission from the child’s parent or guardian
- A role as an emergency responder or employee of certain institutions that include churches, hospitals, and schools
- A reasonable belief that doing so was in the best interests of the child’s health and safety
How do we defend you against a child enticement charge?
The guidelines that warrant the use of child enticement as legal statute are not very clear, which can cause seemingly normal situations to suddenly enter the dubious legal ground. For example, in 2014, a man contested child enticement charges because he offered a neighbor money to carry some boxes into his home. In the eyes of the State of Ohio law, this violates the child enticement statute. The Supreme Court struck down the charges because this clearly wasn’t the intent of the original law.
If you’re charged with a child enticement, a common defense we use is true in many situations: you (the alleged offender) simply didn’t know that what you were doing was illegal, and because of this you shouldn’t be punished for it.
What’s the penalty for a child enticement charge?
State of Ohio law considers a first-time child enticement offense to be a misdemeanor in the first degree. The penalty for this (the most severe misdemeanor charge) is a maximum of 180 days in jail and usually a fine. For repeat offenders, State of Ohio law states that child enticement carries a designation of a fifth-degree felony. While this is considered the most minor felony charge, there is a significant increase in the potential penalties from those of a first-degree misdemeanor. Depending on the discretion of the sentencing judge, a fifth-degree felony conviction may carry more significant prison time and higher fines.
This is consistent with other states that have child enticement laws in their state codes. Child enticement is considered a serious matter and some states use the felony distinction after only a first-offense.
Call Scott & Nolder Law Firm in Columbus, OH, for legal assistance you can rely on.