A common crime that might be surprising to some is that of prostitution. We might think of it as normal back in the bad old days, with hookers on corners, but in reality, as laws have cracked down, prostitution has simply become more subtle. Prostitution and soliciting prostitution are both Class A misdemeanors in some states and penalties can be high. One of the more extreme punishments is spending up to a year in prison or having to pay over $6,000 in fines. If you find yourself in a sticky situation — either as a prostitute, or someone soliciting services — it is definitely in your best interest to start looking at prostitution attorneys. They can help build a legal defense and can attempt to get either your charge or sentence reduced.
A Common Crime
Though prostitution is often known as the “world’s oldest profession,” it still happens to be illegal in 49 states, despite recent conversations to decriminalize it. However, at the moment, it still remains a misdemeanor (though if it occurs in a school zone or if one is promoting prostitution, those charges are raised).
An estimated 80,000 people in the United States are arrested every year for soliciting sex and the Department of Justice reported that in 2010, over 40,000 women were arrested for prostitution or related offenses, compared to just under 20,000 men. As mentioned above, promoting prostitution is a more serious charge than just prostitution however; labeled as a Class C felony, one could spend up to five years in prison and pay as much as $125,000 in fines.
Community service and probation are other possible penalties that might be enacted for a prostitution charge, though those are often coupled with a fine or minor jail time.
How Can Prostitution Attorneys Help?
Hiring a criminal defense attorney is definitely in your best interest, regardless of whether you were soliciting sex or are a sex worker. They can inform you about your rights — some of which you might not even be aware of — discuss your possible defenses, and help you navigate a complex legal system.
Depending on where you are — and what the attitudes towards sex work are like — you may be on the wrong side of public opinion, so providing an excellent defense can help improve your chances of a just and fair trial. Criminal defense attorneys who specialize in prostitution can represent you if your case goes to court and in some cases, may be able to reduce your charges or your sentence, if you’re proven guilty. And, of course, in the best case scenario, they can eliminate the charges altogether.
Possible defenses that might be suggested are entrapment — that is, the defendant was coerced into admitting to the crime, when in reality they were innocent — or on the sex worker’s side, being forced illegally into prostitution, which is still a sad reality in our society. They may also hammer in on a lack of evidence or insufficient evidence.
Why Should I Consider Working With Prostitution Attorneys?
Whether you’re trying to clear your name or simply seek a reduced charge or sentence, prostitution attorneys know the ins and outs of the business. With them by your side, your chances of a good outcome are much higher. They’ll keep you from accidentally implicating yourself, saying too much, and can offer good counsel.
If your case winds up in court, they can challenge the charges and create a good defense, arguing on your behalf. They know previous precedents and loopholes, and can be more creative in your defense than you could.
They’ll also be up to date on the most recent laws in your state and have experience with prior cases that are similar to yours.
Don’t go it alone — seek out an experienced prostitution attorney if you find yourself facing charges. They can have a huge impact on the outcome of the trial — and ultimately, your life.