Alexandria Prostitution Lawyer
Prostitution offenses are charged under the Commonwealth’s statute surrounding commercial sexual conduct [Section 18.2-346] and encompass various acts of prostitution and solicitation. If someone engages in sex acts for money, or an equivalent return (such as drugs or some other pecuniary compensation), they are guilty of prostitution [Section 18.2-346(A)].
The crime is charged as a class 1 misdemeanor, and the accused can face up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500 if convicted [Section 18.2-11(a)]. Regardless of the penalty, those accused of prostitution in Virginia can greatly benefit from the expertise of a seasoned Alexandria prostitution lawyer.
Anyone who offers money to a prostitute to perform any sexual favors, then performs an act in furtherance of the intent to engage in the sexual act, can be charged with solicitation of prostitution. This is also a class 1 misdemeanor [Section 18.2-346(B)] (maximum $2,500 fine and/or up to a year in jail).
Solicitation of Underage Participants
There are also two prostitution-related offenses involving solicitation of sexual services of underage participants.
Soliciting prostitution from a minor is charged against those who solicit sexual favors from someone at least 16 years of age. This is a class 6 felony [Section 18.2-346(B)(i)]. If convicted, the punishment is one to five years in prison, though at its discretion, the court or a jury can impose a discretionary maximum of 12 months in jail. A maximum fine of up to $2,500 is also a part of the sentence: [Section 18.2-10(f)].
But if the suspect is alleged to have solicited prostitution from a minor under 16 years of age, it’s a class 5 felony: [Section 18.2-346(B)(ii)]. The penalty upon conviction is one to 10 years in prison, with possibly the same discretionary reduction (12 months in jail) and/or a fine of up to $2,500 [Virginia Code Section 18.2-10(e)].
There is also a statute that applies to those who aid prostitutes [Section 18.2-348]. Anyone who transports anyone to any place for the purpose of prostitution is suspected of aiding the offense, a class 1 misdemeanor, and faces a sentence upon conviction of a maximum 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
If someone gives information to another regarding how and/or where to find a prostitute, that offense is also a class 1 misdemeanor with the same penalty. Those accused may want to hire an Alexandria prostitution lawyer so they can begin to look at the facts of the case.
Other Prostitution-Related Offenses
- Keeping, living in, or visiting a “bawdy place” [Section 18.2-347] – Such locations are defined as any place (indoors or outdoors) used for prostitution or assignation (a secret rendezvous between participants). A person who keeps, lives in, or visits a bawdy place for the purposes of prostitution can be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor (maximum $2,500 fine and/or up to a year in jail). But each day that the bawdy place is kept, lived in, or visited can be charged as a separate offense.
- Receiving money for procuring prostitution [Section 18.2-356] – One who accepts money or something of pecuniary value in exchange for placing someone in a bawdy place, brothel, or other location for the purpose of prostitution can be charged with a class 4 felony. The punishment is two to 10 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $100,000 [Section 18.2-10(d)]. Offenses such as procuring individuals for forced labor, or minors who are involved in the manufacture of child pornography also fall under this statute.
- Receiving money from a prostitute’s earnings: [Section 18.2-357] – If someone is knowingly “paid” money or anything of value from a prostitute’s earnings, the suspect can be charged with a class 4 felony and faces a sentence of two to 10 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $100,000.
Abduction for the Purposes of Prostitution
Those who force a person into prostitution can do so in any (or a combination) of the following ways.
- Takes someone into, or causes someone to enter, a “bawdy place,” or any place against that person’s will, for the purpose of prostitution
- Captures or detains someone against their will, intending to force or coerce the person into marrying the suspect or another person, or intending to “defile” the victim
- Consents, as a parent or guardian, to either of the above
All suspects allegedly involved in such abductions are charged with “taking or detaining” a person for prostitution. This is charged as a class 4 felony [Section 18.2-355(C)]. Conviction brings two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
Additionally, any of the above offenses that involve the crossing of state lines, kidnapping, or the child prostitution could bring federal charges, which are punished more severely than Commonwealth felonies.
All who are alleged to have committed any prostitution-related offense are best served by an experienced Alexandria prostitution lawyer.