While jail time and hefty fines are a major concern for those charged with solicitation, these accusations can also cause trouble in all aspects of your life, jeopardizing your livelihood and your relationships. The sooner you engage a knowledgeable attorney to represent you, the better chance you have of minimizing potential repercussions and reaching an optimal outcome.
An Edina solicitation lawyer could assess your case, gather evidence, and build a strong defense on your behalf. Reach out today to discuss your case with an experienced professional.
Defining Solicitation Under the Law
Paying for or agreeing to pay for a sexual encounter is illegal in Edina. Under Minnesota Statutes § 609.324, criminalized conduct is not limited to engaging in sexual intercourse or contact. Hiring someone or simply agreeing to provide something of value in exchange for a sexual encounter is also punishable as solicitation.
The law does not require physical contact, only intent, for solicitation to occur. For example, a person who drives to a hotel room gets undressed but is interrupted by police before anything else happens could still be charged with solicitation.
Possible Penalties for a Solicitation Conviction in Edina
Solicitation may be a misdemeanor or felony offense. The distinction lies in the age of the party that the defendant allegedly sought contact with.
Soliciting a minor (someone under 18) is a felony. Minn. Stat. § 609.324, subd. 1 outlines the punishments imposed, with the most severe punishment for individuals who interact with children younger than 13. Someone convicted of solicitation of a minor may face the following penalties:
- Under 13 years of age – up to 20 years in prison, fines up to $40,000, or both
- 13 to 16 years of age – up to ten years in prison, fines up to $20,000, or both
- 16 to 18 years of age – up to five years in prison, fines up to $10,000, or both
A life-long consequence of a felony prostitution conviction is the requirement to register as a sex offender with the state.
Solicitation of an adult starts as a misdemeanor. Individuals facing these charges are subject to minimum fines of $500 and no more than 90 days in jail. The court also has the discretion to substitute community service for all or a portion of the financial penalties prescribed. Prior convictions of solicitation may increase a base-level charge to a gross misdemeanor and require sentencing of 20 hours of community service in addition to other penalties.
When the misconduct occurs in a public place, the charge escalates to a gross misdemeanor. Although rented for privacy, hotel rooms constitute public places under the law, so many adult solicitation charges fall into the gross misdemeanor category. Penalties for this offense include a minimum fine of $1,500. Maximum penalties include one year in jail and fines not to exceed $3,000.
Legal repercussions for these charges can be severe. By working with a seasoned solicitation attorney, those accused may educate themselves about the charges they are facing and work collaboratively to develop a robust defense.
Allegations Could Affect Personal Life
In addition to the punishment imposed by the criminal justice system, these accusations can place a great deal of pressure on the rest of a person’s life. Those accused may endure personal embarrassment and stress on interpersonal relationships. Convictions could result in the forfeiture of vehicles and personal property, including money, cell phones, and computers if they were used in the commission of the crime.
Additionally, a conviction becomes a part of someone’s driving record if they used their car during an alleged offense. First offenses remain private, except to law enforcement, but all subsequent offenses are public information. An attorney well-versed in handling solicitation charges could take a broad approach in developing a defense strategy that comprehensively addresses an individual’s concerns and challenges.
Reach out to an Edina Solicitation Attorney Today
Responding to solicitation charges is not just about keeping you out of jail and minimizing fines. Your positions in the community and within your family could also be in jeopardy.
Our dedicated Edina solicitation lawyers understand the nuances of these cases and could provide you with the personal attention and support you deserve during this time. Call today to schedule a consultation with a skilled member of our legal team.