A prostitution charge can result in overwhelming shame and the risk of serious penalties. Being linked to or associated with the “world’s oldest profession” can also leave you subject you to other criminal charges which — combined with allegations of prostitution — can result in further exposure to increased penalties, such as incarceration, steep fines, and a criminal record.
If you have been charged with exchanging sex for money and the alleged crime involved crossing state lines or the Internet, you may be facing federal charges, which can result in even more drastic penalties. If you have been charged with any offense related to exchanging sex for money, you should contact a dedicated Fairfax prostitution lawyer immediately to learn more about your criminal defense options.
Prostitution-related offenses are defined within Virginia Code Section 18.2-346 et seq. Many prostitution offenses are classified as misdemeanors and, as such, can result in penalties of up to a year in jail and fines of no more than $2,500. It’s important to keep in mind that some actions that lead to or “promote” this crime may be charged as separate counts. The more counts you face, the greater the potential penalty.
Some of these crimes can result in felony charges. If the alleged offense involves a guardian or parent allowing a minor or underage individual to be taken, detained, or confined for the purpose of prostitution, the charge is elevated to a Class 4 felony and penalties can include up to 10 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines.
If you are found guilty of soliciting prostitution from a minor who is at least 16 years old, the crime is treated as a Class 6 felony, and if the charge involves solicitation from anyone younger than 16, the charge rises to the level of a Class 5 felony.
Similarly, if you are charged with receiving money from the earnings of a prostitute, what is commonly referred to as pandering, you will be subject to a Class 4 felony and all the previously listed penalties. A lawyer in Fairfax could help you minimize or avoid the penalties associated with prostitution.
Conviction of some prostitution-related offenses can result in forced compliance with the Commonwealth’s Sex-Offender Registration and Notification system as well as the National Sex Offender Public Website. Depending on the severity of the crime, registration may be required for several years or your lifetime.
A skilled defense lawyer in Fairfax has a number of options for you to consider when building your prostitution defense. One primary defense strategy involves focusing on the arrest and whether or not the officer or law enforcement official who detained you violated your constitutional rights. Under the Fourth Amendment, you are protected against unreasonable search and seizure and arresting authorities must provide probable cause for your arrest and any search of your belongings.
If, for example, you were erroneously targeted in a prostitution “sting” or subjected to a search of your home or computer without a warrant, a skilled attorney will argue that the charges filed against you must be dismissed on the grounds that any evidence gleaned by authorities is inadmissible.
A knowledgeable lawyer will conduct her own investigation of the arrest to determine whether any mistakes were made and she will search for potential witnesses who can bolster your claims of innocence or provide you with an alibi. She will also aggressively search for and reveal any weak points in the prosecution’s case. Such issues can result in a dismissal of the charges or, if that’s not possible, a reduction in the charges or potentially mitigation of any penalties you may face.
As previously stated, prostitution charges are aggressively pursued in Fairfax, and throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. They are disfavored in society and can be embarrassing, not to mention that they can result in serious consequences in the event of a conviction. Prostitution charges can range from misdemeanors to felonies and the ensuing penalties can include time in jail or prison, harsh fines, and – in certain cases – registration on state and federal sex offender databases.
This is why it is essential that you retain a Fairfax prostitution lawyer who has experience representing clients charged with this crime.
Their experience is crucial when it comes to preparing the strongest possible defense. Karin Riley Porter Attorney at Law can provide you with experienced legal counsel. Her team of attorneys are well-versed in Virginia law and have an innate understanding of how the Fairfax County and state court system functions.
Their offices are located in Fairfax, which provides them with strong local connections and positive-working relationships with the prosecutors and judges who will likely handle your case. Call the firm today to schedule a free, initial consultation and find out more about the services that Ms. Porter and her team can provide.
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