Illinois Strengthens Child Luring Law

Governor Pat Quinn recently signed into law a bill that strengthens Illinois’ child luring law. The passage of the bill was advocated by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, and was overwhelmingly passed by the General Assembly.

Luring children 16 years of age or younger is a crime in Illinois. The crime of luring involves intentionally soliciting, enticing or tempting a child into a motor vehicle, building or dwelling, for an unlawful purpose – such as sexual purposes – without the express consent of the child’s parent.

The new law was enacted partially in response to an investigation that found that many of those convicted of luring a child were left on the streets, rather than being imprisoned or having to register as sex offenders. As some believe luring is a precursor to more serious crimes, the intent of the law is to allow law enforcement to monitor those who have been convicted of luring more closely.

Changes Under the New Law

Under previous Illinois law, a suspect must be convicted twice on a charge of luring children before the state requires the person to register as a sex offender. Currently, a person who is convicted of luring a child faces a felony charge, which carries a term of imprisonment up to three years and fines up to $25,000 for each offense.

In addition to the penalties under the old law, the new law adds the possibility of having to register as a sex offender. The new law requires all first-time offenders to undergo a sex offender evaluation as part of sentencing. In addition, if a person accused of luring has been previously convicted of a sex offense (in Illinois or elsewhere), the penalties are more severe – up to 14 years imprisonment plus fines of $25,000 per offense.

With the possibility of required registration as a sex offender, and the significant loss of freedom and social stigma that entails, it is more important than ever to seek the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you have been accused of luring a child, contact an attorney who can protect your rights and assist you in putting together an effective defense based on your individual circumstances.

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