A solicitation of prostitution conviction could result in consequences beyond jail time and high fines. A conviction results in a permanent criminal record that could be accessed by landlords and employers. You may lose job offers and be unable to obtain or renew professional certificates or licenses. If you are facing a solicitation charge, you could benefit from reaching out to a practiced defense attorney. A Mecklenburg County solicitation lawyer could be vital in helping you avoid or minimize these adverse consequences.
People can face solicitation of prostitution charges under Virginia Code § 18.2-346 when they offer money or its equivalent in exchange for sex acts. Conviction of a solicitation charge requires evidence that the accused persons acted in some way to substantially further the transaction, such as:
A solicitation conviction does not require that the planned sexual acts occur. Taking any steps toward completing the transaction is enough to support a conviction. A solicitation attorney in Mecklenburg County could argue the defendant did not take substantial steps to partake in the illegal act.
Solicitation and prostitution convictions carry the same penalties under state law. A conviction for solicitation is a Class 1 misdemeanor that can result in up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. A Mecklenburg County attorney experienced with solicitation cases could minimize the penalties for a first-time offender.
However, if the target of the solicitation is a minor, the charge could escalate to a felony. If the minor is 16 or older, the charge is a Class 6 felony, but if the minor is under 16, the charge is a Class 5 felony. Persons facing a conviction of a Class 6 felony solicitation charge may serve up to five years in prison. However, a Class 5 felony conviction could cause as much as a ten-year prison sentence.
In some cases, the conduct of individuals can violate offenses related to solicitation. For instance, transporting someone to engage in prostitution with a third party violates Va. Code § 18.2-349, which makes it illegal to use a vehicle to carry out or assist in the act of prostitution.
Similarly, if an individual takes or attempts to take someone to a place for an act of prostitution, they may violate Va. Code § 18.2-348. Although both these offenses also are Class 1 misdemeanors, they can become Class 6 felony offenses if they involve individuals under the age of 18.
The consequences of a solicitation conviction can be significant, including jail time, fines, and a permanent record. You may experience additional consequences for a solicitation of prostitution conviction, including problems keeping your current job or obtaining a new one. A Mecklenburg County solicitation lawyer could guide you through the process of working toward a positive outcome. Call today to get started.