A prostitution conviction can have social and professional consequences that follow you well into the future. You may miss out on valuable career opportunities with a criminal conviction on your record. If you have been accused of prostitution, you may wish to contact a Mecklenburg County prostitution lawyer immediately. A criminal defense attorney could be vital in protecting your future.
Under Virginia Code § 18.2-346, prostitution occurs when people engage in various sex acts with others for money or other valuable. Offering to engage in a sex act or discussing a proposed act is inadequate to support a prostitution charge, but rather a solicitation charge.
Individuals must take an affirmative step toward carrying out the crime to commit prostitution. Evidence that might support a prostitution charge could include receiving payment for an anticipated act of prostitution or accompanying others to a specific location to consummate the transaction.
Prostitution is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense, resulting in a one-year jail sentence and a fine of $2,500. A conviction for this offense also results in a permanent criminal record that can pose a significant obstacle for individuals attempting to return to school, get some professional licenses, or find housing. A Mecklenburg County attorney experienced with prostitution charges could fight to minimize the damaging consequences of a conviction or pursue alternative penalties whenever possible.
The same code section that defines prostitution also defines the solicitation of prostitution. Individuals engage in solicitation when they offer to pay or give something of value to individuals for sexual acts. Solicitation of prostitution and prostitution are the same level of offense under state law.
Various other crimes exist that are related to prostitution. Under Va. Code § 18.2-348 it is illegal for individuals to transport, attempt to transport, or otherwise help take others to a location to commit prostitution.
Similarly, Va. Code § 18.2-349 prohibits people from using a vehicle to carry out or facilitate any act of prostitution. For a conviction under this code section, the accused persons must know or have good reason to know that their actions will result in prostitution or illicit sexual acts.
While all these offenses are classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor, they can escalate to a Class 6 felony if the act involves anyone under the age of 18.
The legal definition of prostitution covers a wide range of behaviors that prosecutors can construe as a substantial step toward carrying out an act of prostitution. Even if no sexual contact occurs, and money does not change hands, other evidence can support a finding of guilt in a prostitution case. As a result, individuals accused of this offense could benefit from the guidance of a Mecklenburg County prostitution lawyer.
Prostitution and related criminal offenses tend to involve the same types of behavior, so you may be facing more than one criminal charge. Enlist legal assistance to help you through this challenging time, call today.