Prostitution is the criminal act of agreeing to perform or agreeing to submit to a sex act in exchange for money or services. A companion charge to this offense is the crime of “Solicitation”, which involves asking that a person perform or submit to a sex act in exchange for money or services. Both offenses are charged as Class A Misdemeanors, although multiple convictions for prostitution can eventually cause that offense to be charged as a felony.
Most prostitution charges today are caused by “stings” set up by undercover police officers attempting to hire women advertising their services on the internet. These advertisements often advertise the woman’s services as a massage therapist or as an “escort”, which is basically a hired date. The ads are usually vague, and make no mention of what services are to be performed for the money exchanged. Once the police officer makes contact with the woman and the money has been exchanged, he will find some reason for arresting her and claim that she offered to perform (or actually did perform) some type of sex act for the money.
Successful defense of a prostitution case involves a careful analysis of all conversations and events that occurred between you and the police officer. It is not, for example, illegal to pay for a date, nor is it illegal to pay for a massage, although it may violate a local ordinance if you aren’t properly licensed to give massages. Police officers may have made an arrest prematurely because they “knew” that you were there to perform a sex act for money, despite no such agreement being reached.
If you have been charged with a prostitution offense, contact my office immediately to begin discussing the facts of your case and what can be done to help you at this time.