If you are dealing with prostitution charges, it is vital that you seek competent legal representation immediately. A Falls Church prostitution lawyer experienced in defending those charged with exchanging sexual favors for personal gain could explain how the criminal process works and what penalties may be assessed in the event of a conviction.
A skilled criminal attorney could formulate a compelling defense strategy to fight back against your charges. A lawyer could also advise you regarding the likelihood of getting your charges reduced or dismissed, or whether to take a plea bargain.
Under Code of Virginia § 18.2-346, a person who has sexual relations with someone or otherwise takes part in sexual activities in order to receive some form of economic compensation may be charged with prostitution. Virginia law also outlines several other behaviors connected to prostitution which are chargeable as serious crimes.
For example, someone may be charged with abetting prostitution if they supply information to someone else in an effort to assist them with obtaining prostitution. Pursuant to Va. Code. Ann. § 18.2-347, maintaining, visiting, or inhabiting what is known as a “bawdy place” intended as a meeting location for the exchange of sexual favors or prostitution would also subject the accused to criminal charges.
Solicitation is another type of charge that may be leveled alongside prostitution charges, so it is important to distinguish the difference between the two charges. While prostitution involves someone trading sex in order to receive money, solicitation occurs when a person supplies some form of monetary compensation to gain or try to secure sexual acts from someone else.
Furthermore, there need not be sexual contact between the two parties for a charge of solicitation to be made. Rather, presenting compensation to a person for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification would constitute solicitation in the eyes of the law. A local attorney could help someone facing accusations of prostitution and/or solicitation build a strong defense and fight on their behalf for a favorable outcome to these charges.
The penalties that may be imposed if someone is convicted of prostitution or an related sex crime depend significantly on the nature of the charge. The crime of prostitution is categorized as a Class 1 misdemeanor, as are related charges such as abetting prostitution. A Class 1 misdemeanor prostitution offense would be punishable by a maximum fine of $2,500. The convicted individual may also be required to serve up to one year in prison, either in addition to or in lieu of paying the fine.
Certain types of prostitution and similar crimes may be elevated to felony offenses which would be subject to higher penalties. Soliciting a child under 16 could constitute a Class 5 felony while solicitating someone aged 16 or up would be a Class 6 felony with maximum prison terms of ten years and five years, respectively.
If someone accepts funds that they know to be the product of prostitution, they would be charged with a Class 4 felony. The legal punishments for a Class 4 felony include a maximum period of confinement of ten years as well as a fine amount no greater than $100,000. However, if the individual from whom the funds were obtained was a minor, the recipient would face Class 3 felony punishments, including up to 20 years in jail and fines not to exceed $100,000.
An attorney in Falls Church could further explain the specific penalties that may be imposed for specific prostitution offenses and related crimes.
A Falls Church prostitution lawyer could provide continuous legal support and aggressive advocacy throughout the criminal case process. An experienced attorney could ensure your fundamental rights are not infringed upon and fight tirelessly on your behalf. Call a local attorney today to get your confidential case consultation.