If you are suspected of soliciting money or something of value in exchange for sexual services, you may be arrested and charged with prostitution even if the planned sexual encounter never actually occurred. If found guilty of this crime, you could end up with a permanent misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor offense on your record, resulting in significant consequences for your personal and professional future.
Fortunately, there are a few different defense strategies that a Bloomington prostitution lawyer could help you utilize depending on the circumstances of your case. An experienced criminal defense attorney could examine the details of your charges and help you pursue the most effective strategy to protect your best interests.
The most basic classification of prostitution as a criminal offense is defined in Subdivision 7 of Minnesota Statutes §609.324. According to this section, it is a misdemeanor offense to engage in prostitution with someone over 18 years of age, or to agree to engage in sexual contact or intercourse with a person for some form of compensation.
Additionally, engaging in prostitution in a public place is considered a gross misdemeanor under Subdivision 6 of this statute, which increases the maximum fine and jail time that a convicted individual could face. Any act of prostitution committed in a school zone or public park likewise increases potential penalties upon conviction, as per MN Stat. §609.3242.
While engaging in prostitution is a misdemeanor offense, promoting or receiving profit from an act of prostitution is treated as sex trafficking, meaning it is a felony offense. Depending on the age of the person induced to provide sexual services, conviction of this crime could result in up to 20 years in prison. Representation from an experienced prostitution attorney in the area may be crucial to building a defense of someone accused of these acts.
There are a few situations in which a person who engaged in prostitution cannot be criminally convicted of a crime based on their actions. For example, if the person accused of prostitution only engaged in sexual services because they were compelled to do so by force or because they were a victim of sex trafficking, they cannot be convicted of this offense. Additionally, while advertising and/or making a profit from a prostitute’s services is a felony offense, it is not illegal for a child or an adult over 55 years of age to be supported by income gained through an act of prostitution.
If any of these exceptions apply to a particular case, a local prostitution lawyer could factor them into a defense strategy. Alternatively, legal counsel could focus on contesting the prosecution’s assertion that the defendant engaged in prostitution at all by arguing that they did not accept anything of value for sex or never knowingly made a promise of sexual favors in exchange of money.
If you were recently charged with prostitution, you may be unsure of who to turn to and the extent of your legal options. You may require qualified legal representation to explain your rights and help you mitigate the consequences of your charges.
A Bloomington prostitution lawyer could walk you through every stage of your case, from the initial investigation to your trial’s final verdict. Call today to schedule a consultation and start building your defense.