Solicitation for Prostitution
While prostitution is often referred to as “the world's oldest profession” and “a victimless crime,” the truth remains that the people who are accused of engaging in it can face criminal charges in Pennsylvania. A person who is arrested for soliciting a prostitute deals with tremendous embarrassment and shame, but he or she also then has to face the possibility of fines and imprisonment as well.
Law enforcement will occasionally use tactics that may get alleged offenders to take actions they would not have otherwise committed. In some cases, police may arrest individuals for alleged solicitation as the result of a simple misunderstanding.
Philadelphia Solicitation for Prostitution Lawyer
If you have been arrested and charged with allegedly patronizing a prostitute in Southeastern Pennsylvania, you will want to make sure that you have legal counsel before saying a word to police. Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC fights to get the best outcomes to these cases for clients in Philadelphia County, Chester County, Montgomery County, Bucks County, Delaware County, and New Jersey.
Our solicitation for prostitution attorneys will fully investigate every aspect of your case and develop the strongest possible defense against these charges. Call (215) 665-1695 today to set up a free, confidential consultation that will allow our firm to review your case and discuss all of your legal options.
Pennsylvania Solicitation for Prostitution Overview
- How is this crime classified?
- What are the consequences if an alleged offender is convicted?
- Are there any defenses against these types of charges?
Prostitution is defined as the act of engaging in sexual activity as a business. Under Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute Title 18 § 5902(e), a person may be charged with patronizing prostitutes if he or she hires a prostitute or any other person to engage in sexual activity with him or her or if that person enters or remains in a house of prostitution for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.
It is important to remember that the actual sex or exchange of money does not need to occur in order for a person to be arrested. Rather, police only need some recording of a verbal or online agreement to press solicitation charges.
The classification of the criminal offense depends on the number of the alleged offender’s previous convictions and whether he or she knowingly had a sexually transmitted disease (STD):
- First or Second Offense — Third-degree misdemeanor
- Third Offense — Second-degree misdemeanor
- Fourth or Subsequent Offense — First-degree misdemeanor
- Alleged Offender Knew He or She Was Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Positive or Manifesting Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) — Third-degree felony
If a person is convicted of patronizing a prostitute, he or she could face the following sentences:
- Third-Degree Misdemeanor — Maximum sentence of one year in prison and maximum fine of $2,500
- Second-Degree Misdemeanor — Maximum sentence of two years in prison and maximum fine of $5,000
- First-Degree Misdemeanor — Maximum sentence of five years in prison and maximum fine of $10,000
- Third-Degree Felony — Maximum sentence of seven years in prison and maximum fine of $15,000
In addition to imprisonment and fines, Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute Title 18 § 5902(e.2) also states that a court imposing a sentence for a second or subsequent solicitation offense will publish the sentencing order in a newspaper of general circulation in that court’s judicial district. The cost of publishing the sentencing order will be included in the court costs imposed on the alleged offender.
While being charged with patronizing prostitutes can be an incredibly humiliating charge that alleged offenders want to put behind them as quickly as possible, there can often be one of several possible defenses that can result in the charges being reduced or possibly even dismissed. A few examples of defenses against such solicitation charges include, but are not limited to:
- Alleged agreement regarding sexual activity did not involve money being exchanged
- Alleged agreement was too ambiguous to be considered solicitation
- Lack of evidence
- No probable cause for arrest
Find a Solicitation for Prostitution Lawyer in Pennsylvania
Were you recently arrested for allegedly soliciting a prostitute in Southeastern Pennsylvania? Having experienced legal representation could potentially help you overcome these charges and avoid a criminal record.
Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC handles cases like these all over Delaware County, Bucks County, Montgomery County, Chester County, Philadelphia County, and New Jersey. Our solicitation for prostitution attorneys can evaluate your case when you call (215) 665-1695 to take advantage of a free legal consultation.