The laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia explicitly bar any form of prostitution, also referred to as commercial sexual conduct. Anyone that performs a sex act for money or something else of value could face prosecution.
The consequences of a conviction for prostitution can carry significant consequences. The good news is that your arrest does not mean a conviction is unavoidable. A compassionate criminal defense attorney could help you fight the charges against you and potentially prevail at trial.
If you are facing prostitution charges in Culpeper, you have the right to defend yourself in court. The Commonwealth has significant resources it can put into the case against you, but you do not have to take them on alone. To discuss your defense options, contact a Culpeper prostitution lawyer right away.
Generally speaking, prostitution is the exchange of money for sexual favors. Specifically, Virginia Code 18.2-346 defines prostitution as
It is worth noting that a Culpeper prostitution charge does not require a sex act to occur for a prosecutor to obtain a guilty plea. Merely offering to commit a sex act in exchange for money or its equivalent violates the statute.
The term “money or its equivalent” is also intentionally broad. Anything of value, including goods, services, or illegal drugs, qualify under the prostitution statute. What’s more, the crime of prostitution can still occur even if money has not changed hands. An experienced Culpeper prostitution defense attorney should review the facts of a prostitution arrest carefully to determine if a prosecutor met these elements. If the prosecutor cannot satisfy every element of the crime, the defendant should be acquitted.
In Culpeper, a conviction for prostitution can result in significant hardship for the accused. The social impact of a conviction can be significant and could make obtaining housing or employment more difficult. Most seriously, a conviction could lead to steep fines or even jail time.
A prostitution charge is a Class 1 misdemeanor in the Commonwealth of Virginia. A conviction carries a maximum jail sentence of up to one year behind bars as well as a maximum fine of $2,500.
Virginia Code 18.2-346.1 includes some additional requirements for anyone convicted of prostitution. The statute requires testing of any person convicted of prostitution for HIV and hepatitis C. The results of these tests will not become public, and the testers only release these result to the Virginia Department of Health. A person convicted of prostitution must also receive mental health counseling and education on sexually transmitted diseases.
With the guidance of a Culpeper prostitution attorney, a defendant might be able to limit the impact of a conviction. In the best-case scenario, a defendant and their attorney might avoid a conviction entirely.
If law enforcement has arrested you on suspicion of prostitution, it is important that you move quickly to protect your legal rights. The prosecutor will take action on your claim immediately in most cases, so it is essential to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
A Culpeper prostitution lawyer could review the facts surrounding your case to ensure your rights were not violated. To learn more, schedule your initial consultation as soon as possible.