Prostitution charges are prosecuted seriously, and a conviction could result in hefty fines and possible incarceration. A mistake made in your case could have significant consequences, so you should not attempt to undergo the legal process without skilled representation. Reach out to a Minnesota prostitution lawyer who could use their knowledge of the criminal justice system to help you build a strong defense and protect your rights.
Legally Defining Prostitution
Minnesota Statutes § 609.321, subd. 9 defines prostitution as hiring, offering to hire, or agreeing to be hired to engage in a sexual act. The key element is agreement, and the parties do not need to complete the act or even exchange money to commit a prostitution offense. All it takes is for a person to consent to participate. Even if the individuals change their minds and do not go through with the act, they may still face charges based on the initial agreement.
Penalties for Prostitution in Minnesota
The facts of the arrangement will dictate if the authorities will charge the accused with a felony or misdemeanor. In any case, fines and prison time are real possibilities, and any conviction may negatively impact other aspects of the person’s life. Those charged should consult with a Minnesota lawyer familiar with prostitution cases as soon as possible to develop the best defense strategy to minimize or even avoid adverse impacts on their lives.
Fines & Jail Time
Various factors, including the age of the involved individuals, the location of the act, and whether the person is a repeat offender, can influence the length of jail or prison time and the cost of the fine.
For the most severe offenses, an individual can face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $40,000. The lowest level charges could result in a sentence of up to one year in jail and a fine of $3,000 or less. Additionally, those convicted must register with the state as a sex offender, and that label can follow someone for the rest of their life.
Lasting Effects of Prostitution Convictions
A criminal record of sexual offenses can negatively impact an individual’s future success. Convictions are public information and are likely to come up whenever someone runs a background check on this person. This information’s discoverability may affect a person’s ability to secure loans, housing, advanced degrees, employment, and professional licenses.
With such far-reaching consequences, those arrested on prostitution charges should consider working with lawyers who regularly handle such cases. A skilled Minnesota prostitution attorney could understand how to defend against these charges and minimize their impact on the accused.
Defenses to a Prostitution Charge
Being arrested for prostitution does not guarantee a conviction, but an accused person may not know how to effectively counter their allegations. One way to undermine the prosecutor’s case is by raising viable defenses. Common examples include:
- Lack of probable cause to arrest
- Mistake (no intent to commit the crime)
- Insufficient evidence
- Due process violations
A Minnesota attorney who is experienced in handling prostitution cases could know how and when to raise these defenses and could help a defendant negotiate plea deals to resolve the charges.
Fight Your Charges with the Help of a Minnesota Prostitution Attorney
An accusation of prostitution can seem overwhelming but enlisting legal counsel early on in your case could give you a better chance of dismissing your charges. A seasoned Minnesota prostitution lawyer could guide you through your case, so get in touch as soon as possible to build a strong defense. Contact us today and learn more about your options.