A prostitution arrest can lead to significant consequences, some of which may be lifelong. If you face charges of this nature, it is wise to consult with an Edina prostitution lawyer as soon as possible.
A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney could help you understand the charges you face, associated penalties, and social impacts. To learn more about how we could help you build a strong defense in your criminal case, call our office today.
Defining Prostitution in Edina
Despite what many believe, prostitution is not just participating in sexual intercourse for money. While that behavior does fall within the state’s definition, a much wider variety of conduct is laid out under Minnesota Statutes § 609.324.
In Edina, a person commits prostitution if they engage in, are hired for, or agree to participate in any sexual conduct or contact in exchange for something of value. Penetration is not necessary, nor is a completion of the act, for authorities to file charges. Consenting to a proposition and having the intention of completing the act is sufficient. For example, if two individuals enter an alley for a sexual encounter in exchange for money, but the customer gets cold feet and abandons the plan, the other person could still find themselves charged with prostitution.
Additionally, the currency of prostitution is not always money. Anything of value provided to receive sexual gratification could support a prostitution charge and conviction. A seasoned local attorney could review the charges someone is facing and assess whether or not they fall under the state’s definition of prostitution.
Possible Punishments for a Prostitution Conviction
Prostitution convictions can lead to hefty fines, jail time, or both. The sentence imposed by the judge will depend on the age of the patron, the accused party’s criminal record, and any other aggravating or mitigating factors.
State law identifies performing sexual acts with an adult in a private setting as the lowest-level prostitution charge and a misdemeanor. These charges subject first-time offenders to fines not to exceed $1,000 and a maximum jail time of 90 days. Subsequent arrests bump the charges up to gross misdemeanors. Individuals engaging in prostitution in public places (which include a hotel room) also commit gross misdemeanors. These offenses are punishable with fines up to $3,000, one year in jail, or both.
If the patron is a minor (under 18), the offense is a felony under Minn. Stat. § 609.324, subd. 1. Punishments for engaging with a child differ based on the child’s age – the younger the child, the more severe the penalties. These charges carry fines ranging from $10,000 to $40,000 and maximum imprisonment terms from five to 20 years. If convicted of felony prostitution, an individual must register as a sex offender in the state.
Without an experienced prostitution attorney, defendants in Edina run the risk of missing opportunities to reduce their sentences and may end up receiving the most stringent penalties. It is always best to consult a legal professional as soon as possible to start building a strong defense.
Defending Prostitution Charges
Every prostitution case is unique. However, common defenses to this charge include:
- Improper arrest due to lack of probable cause
- No intent to commit the crime
- Constitutional violations
A legal professional with experience handling prostitution cases could determine which defenses best fit the facts and emphasize the evidence in a favorable light to the defendant.
Contact an Edina Prostitution Attorney Early in the Process
An arrest does not have to lead to a conviction. The sooner you engage the skill of an Edina prostitution lawyer, the sooner they could begin reviewing the facts, negotiating with prosecutors, and working toward the best possible resolution of your case. Call today to schedule a consultation with a dedicated legal professional.