Soliciting a prostitute is a criminal offense in Minnesota. While solicitation of sexual services from an adult is only a misdemeanor offense, other allegations involving prostitution, such as trafficking someone for sex or soliciting a minor, could be punishable by several years in prison upon conviction.
In order to defend your rights and best interests effectively, you may need help from an experienced Bloomington solicitation lawyer. The guidance and support of a defense attorney who is familiar with these cases these could allow you to mitigate the potential consequences of this crime and preserve your reputation and personal prospects outside of court.
How State Law Defines Solicitation of a Prostitute
Both prostitution and solicitation are defined in Minnesota Statutes §609-324, which states that it is illegal for a person to engage in prostitution with or attempt to hire a person over the age of 18 for sexual contact or intercourse. Completion of a sexual act is not a requirement for a criminal charge and conviction. As long as an offer was made to exchange something of value for sexual services, a crime was committed under state law.
This statute also stipulates that solicitation in a public place is a more serious offense than solicitation out of the public eye. Solicitation of a minor, a person under the age of 18, is considered a felony offense. A local solicitation attorney could clarify for an individual defendant what aggravating factors may or may not apply to their specific case.
Potential Penalties Upon Conviction
If someone in Bloomington is convicted of the most basic form of solicitation, they will face penalties commensurate with a misdemeanor offense. These penalties may include a 90-day jail sentence and a $1,500 fine. Unlike other misdemeanor offenses, state law requires convictions for solicitation to be punished with a minimum $500 fine.
A subsequent conviction for solicitation within two years of a previous conviction would be considered a gross misdemeanor, for which courts are required to sentence defendants to a minimum $1,500 fine and 20 hours of community service. Solicitation in a public place is also considered a gross misdemeanor that can be penalized by a minimum of $1,500 and a maximum of $3,000 in fines. Representation from a qualified lawyer in the area could be beneficial for anyone in Bloomington with a prior record of solicitation.
Felony punishments for solicitation of a minor vary depending on the age of the minor in question. The maximum sanctions in the least severe type of case, which is solicitation of a minor between 16 and 18 years of age, include a five-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine. Soliciting a minor between 13 and 16 years of age could result in ten years of imprisonment and a $20,000 fine and soliciting a minor under 13 years of age is punishable by a 20-year prison term and $40,000 in fines.
Discuss Legal Options with a Bloomington Solicitation Attorney
Offering anything of value in exchange for sexual services could lead to serious trouble with the law in Bloomington. Without the assistance of a seasoned attorney, you may have a difficult time contesting your charges and pursuing a favorable outcome to your case.
Contacting a Bloomington solicitation lawyer should be your first priority if you have been charged with a solicitation offense. Call today to schedule your initial consultation and start discussing your available options.