An accusation of soliciting sexual acts could harm your personal relationships and leave a lasting sense of shame. However, this act can also result in serious criminal charges that could pose a significant threat to your future if you do not seek legal representation. If you are facing these allegations, consult an experienced Minnesota solicitation lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights throughout the legal process.
Understanding Solicitation Under Minnesota Law
Soliciting a prostitute is a serious crime in Minnesota. Minnesota Statutes § 609.321, Subdivision 9 explains that prostitution is an agreement among multiple parties to commit a sexual act. The offense does not need to be completed for criminal charges to be levied. Additionally, any form of sexual contact is sufficient to establish a prostitution charge, and intercourse or other types of penetration are not necessary for a conviction.
Both the person hired to engage in the act and the person paying for the experience can face charges and be found guilty. According to state law, the patron is the person soliciting the services. Sexual offenses such as prostitution carry stiff criminal penalties. To fully exercise their rights and protect their futures, a person accused of solicitation should retain a Minnesota attorney who knows how to work within the criminal justice system.
Possible Sentences for Patrons
Authorities can charge solicitation defendants with a misdemeanor or felony count depending on a series of factors, as outlined in Minn. Stat. § 609.324:
- Age of the prostitute
- Location of the agreement
- Prior convictions of the accused
The younger the person who was solicited for sexual acts, the greater the punishment. For example, if the patron solicits a child under the age of 13, their sentence may be up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $40,000. Prison time and fines decrease to five years in prison and no more than a $10,000 fine if the prostitute is between 16 and 18 years old. The punishments for engaging with an adult range from fines of $1,000 to $ 3,000 and jail terms of 90 to 365 days.
The Effects of a Conviction Beyond Criminal Liability
Being found guilty of solicitation can affect a person’s life even after authorities release them from jail or prison. A criminal record may upend lives in the following ways:
- Forfeiture of technology used to commit the crime, such as cell phones and computers
- Seizure of vehicles
- Inability to secure loans or mortgages
- Diminished educational opportunities, such as advanced degrees
- Reduced job prospects
- Suspension of or difficulty obtaining a professional license
- Fewer housing options
- Loss of the right to vote
Some of these detriments relate to the requirement that individuals convicted of solicitation register as sex offenders with the state.
Being on the sex offender registry can greatly damage a person’s reputation. Reputational damage may also occur if the jurisdiction publishes a list of offenders’ names in the local paper or on the police website. Additionally, convictions may be part of a person’s permanent driving record and available to the public during routine background checks.
Once a person has a criminal record, moving on with their life may be difficult. By crafting the most vigorous defense possible, a Minnesota attorney skilled in handling solicitation cases could help an accused person preserve their future.
A Skilled Minnesota Solicitation Attorney Could Be Your Legal Advocate
Solicitation allegations can result in embarrassment, loss of freedom, financial burdens, and the threat to your future, which is why you should seek legal counsel if you are facing these charges. Fortunately, a dedicated Minnesota solicitation lawyer is here to help. Rely on their experience with the criminal justice system and knowledge of appropriate defenses to achieve the best outcome possible. Contact us today to start working on your case.