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Solicitation for prostitution is asking someone to engage in sex for money. Prostitution involves sexual intercourse or sexual services in exchange for money or something of value. Under criminal law, it is a crime to request or solicit another person to engage in prostitution. Sex crimes also make it illegal to engage in prostitution, recruit for prostitution, or help arrange prostitution.
Prostitution is illegal in every state, except for certain parts of Nevada. Criminal solicitation laws make it a crime to even ask for engaging in sex for money, even if the request is turned down. Many people who are arrested for solicitation of prostitution stings are caught in undercover sting operations by police.
Undercover officers may pose as a sex worker and walk the street in a known area for solicitation. The undercover officer may wait for a potential customer and take them back to a hotel, where police officers are waiting. After the suspect makes a request for sexual contact in exchange for compensation, the police will make the arrest.
Law enforcement tactics increasingly operate police stings online. Law enforcement agencies may post ads on websites advertising sexual conduct for money. After setting up a meeting, the police may use the suspect’s online activity as evidence in a solicitation criminal case.
Sex crimes are laws that criminalize illegal sexual conduct. Sex crimes include rape, child molestation, child pornography, indecent exposure, and prostitution. Many sex crimes involve sexual activity through force, coercion, or involving someone who is too young to consent. However, prostitution is a sex crime even if it involves consenting adults.
Sex workers often consider prostitution and solicitation to be a victimless crime. Prostitution can be an agreement between consenting who knowingly and voluntarily agree to money for sexual acts.
Solicitation of an adult is generally a misdemeanor offense. The criminal penalties for misdemeanor solicitation will generally result in less than a year of jail time, fines, community service, and probation. Solicitation in a vehicle could result in impounding the defendant’s vehicle or a license suspension.
Solicitation of a minor is a more serious offense. If an adult requests sex for money from a minor under the age of consent, it may be a felony. Solicitation of a minor could also include responding to an online ad where a minor is available to have sex in exchange for compensation. Solicitation of a minor may result in felony criminal charges and criminal sex-offender registration.
In most cases, solicitation is not a registerable offense. However, solicitation of a minor may be a felony sex crime and can require the defendant to register as a sex offender. A registered sex offender may appear on state websites that allow the public to search for sex offenders in their area, including the offender’s name and address.
There are several legal defenses to a solicitation charge. In many cases, the prosecutor has very little evidence of a crime and is relying on the public shame of a trial to get the defendant to plead guilty. Before pleading guilty to a sex crime, talk to a criminal defense attorney for legal advice.
Entrapment is a common defense strategy defendants consider after an arrest. An undercover police officer asking the alleged client if they want to have sex for money is generally not enough for entrapment. Entrapment requires the defendant to show that the law enforcement officer engaged in conduct that would cause a normally law-abiding person to engage in a crime.
A conviction for solicitation can lead to jail time, fines, and a permanent criminal record. If you want to avoid a criminal conviction, a criminal defense lawyer can review your case and help build a strong legal defense. A criminal lawyer may also be able to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecutor to get probation instead of county jail or have the charges for solicitation reduced.
Specialized legal help is available for most legal issues. Each case is unique; seeking legal help is a smart first step toward understanding your legal situation and seeking the best path toward resolution for your case. An experienced lawyer understands the local laws surrounding your case and what your best legal options might be. More importantly, there are certain situations and circumstances – such as being charged with a crime – where you should always seek experienced legal help.
In general, how much an attorney costs will often depend on these four factors: billing method and pricing structure, type of legal work performed, law firm prestige, and attorney experience. Depending on the legal issue you are facing, an attorney may bill you by the hour, settle on a flat fee, or enter into a contingency fee agreement. The type of legal work you need help with will also play a role in cost incurred.
Personal jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority over a person, in order to bind that person to the judgment of the court, based on minimum contacts. International Shoe Co v. Washington is a landmark Supreme Court case outlining the scope of a state court’s reach in personal jurisdiction.