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Posted on December 4, 2013 by Law Office of Brett A Podolsky
Section 25.04 of the Texas Penal Code makes it illegal for any adult to “persuade or otherwise entice a child to accompany the adult with the intent to interfere with the parent or guardian’s lawful custody of the child.” Enticement can be done with the intent to have the child engage in prostitution, production of pornography, or any other illegal sexual conduct with a child. It could also be done for other than sexual reasons, but is still a crime nonetheless.
Child enticement can happen in person or by electronic means. When performed via the Internet, it also becomes a crime to distribute sexually explicit material to the child, make arrangements to meet in person, or make sexually suggestive remarks. Asking a child to meet is a crime, even if such meeting never actually takes place.
Punishments Depend on the Circumstances
Charges for enticing a child can be a Class B misdemeanor, second-degree felony or third-degree felony, depending on the circumstances. They tend to be more severe whenever they involve engaging the child in sexual performances or causing the child to participate in sexual behavior of any kind. The criminal fines and other punishment for child enticement can include:
- Jail time ranging from 180 days to 20 years
- Fine of up to $10,000
- Mandatory sex offender counseling and registration
Sifting through the Evidence
Charges of enticing a child are often brought after a lengthy investigation. They can include seizing personal electronics items such as cell phones and computers in order to perform a forensic analysis on them. The law requires prosecutors to turn over any evidence to a defendant when bringing charges on any criminal matter. In situations such as these, analyzing the evidence could be somewhat difficult for those who have little knowledge of computer forensics. For this reason, those who are accused of this crime should not try to represent themselves, but instead seek advice from an attorney with experience in this area.
Child enticement charges are very serious and can be very stressful. If you are in this situation and are looking for legal counsel, then call Brett A. Podolsky for legal consultation at 713.227.0087.