What Should I Do if I’m Arrested for Soliciting a Prostitute?
Sex crime charges are some of the most serious offenses an individual can face. Having a sex crime conviction on your record can damage your reputation, ruin your career, and cost you your freedom. That is why it is so crucial that you work with a defense attorney to protect your future.
If you have been arrested for soliciting a prostitute in San Diego, you need to act fast to safeguard your rights and reputation. Call (760) 630-2000 to speak with Attorney James Dicks.
What Does Soliciting a Prostitute Mean?
According to the law in California, solicitation of a prostitute is any crime involving two people and an agreement to exchange goods (such as money) for sexual acts. There doesn’t have to be an explicit agreement—a person’s actions alone may be enough to demonstrate the agreement.
If convicted of soliciting a prostitute, you could be facing:
- A jail sentence of anywhere between 30 days and one year
- Fines ranging from $100 to $1000 plus court fees
- A potential probation period of at least 12 months
Defending Against Charges of Soliciting a Prostitute
Even if it feels like there are no defense options in your case, it is crucial that you speak with a seasoned defense lawyer who can review your charges. You may not realize the possible strategies that can be used to protect your name and clear you of the prostitution charges.
For example, the following defenses can be used in some cases:
- Lack of Intent – It can be easy for some people to misread another person’s intentions. If you did not know that the person you were communicating with was a prostitute trying to offer you sex in exchange for money and had no intention of soliciting, you may be able to use this defense to fight your charges.
- Entrapment – This can be a valid defense in cases where undercover police officers persuade an individual to commitment a crime they would not have committed if it weren’t for the actions of the police officer. While difficult to prove, it can be possible with the help of a skilled lawyer.
- Service wasn’t sexual in nature – Just because compensation was offered / exchanged for services doesn’t mean the service involved was necessarily sex. If you were wrongly arrested for soliciting a prostitute when you were actually exchanging money for legal goods / services, you can fight your charges.
- Lack of evidence – Officers may try to arrest you with minimal evidence available to them. For example, they may arrest you before you’ve even spoken to a prostitute or “made an agreement” and taken actions to further that agreement. Without sufficient evidence, your charges may be thrown out.
- Violation of your rights – If your rights were somehow violated during the arrest or interrogation process, your defense attorney can fight to get your charges reduced, dropped, or thrown out if possible.
What if I Never Paid the Prostitute?
You may be wondering how you could be charged with solicitation if you never even paid a prostitute, much less had sex with one. Under the law, you can be convicted the moment you “make an agreement” to pay for sex and take some type of action to further the agreement.
What is considered “furthering the agreement?”
- Going to an ATM to withdraw money
- Driving a prostitute to a hotel / motel
- Allowing a prostitute to get in your car
- Any other action to encourage the crime
The “Prostitute” Was an Undercover Officer. Is That Legal?
Unfortunately, police officers are legally allowed to do certain things when working on prostitution cases without being considered guilty of entrapment. For example, a police officer undercover as a prostitute can engage in conversation with you and offer sex in exchange for money. However, if you did not demonstrate some desire to solicit a prostitute, it may be an issue of entrapment. You will need to discuss this situation with a qualified sex crime defense attorney.
If you are convicted of soliciting a prostitute, you are facing up to six months in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, and potential registration as a sex offender. You need to take your case seriously and retain zealous defense right away.
You need JD Law on your side. Call our San Diego sex crime defense lawyer now.
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