Fairfax Solicitation Attorney
Everyone should be aware that the act of prostitution is against the law in the Commonwealth of Virginia. However, many people do not think about the fact that soliciting a prostitute is also a serious criminal offense and, in some circumstances, more serious than prostitution itself. If you are suspected of soliciting a prostitute in Fairfax, Virginia, you should contact an experienced Fairfax solicitation lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case.
A Fairfax criminal defense team with experience handling solicitation of prostitution charges in Northern Virginia can explain what you can expect from the charges and what your options are.
What is Solicitation of Prostitution in Fairfax?
Common prostitution scenarios involve a customer, often referred to as a “john.” When such a customer offers money or other items of value (such as property or money) to another person in exchange for engaging in sexual acts, they may be charged with solicitation of prostitution.
In order to be charged with solicitation of prostitution, a prosecutor must believe that you did both of the following:
- Offered money or its equivalent to another person for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts, AND
- Thereafter did any substantial act in furtherance of the exchange of money or property for sexual acts.
Acts in furtherance may include going to the ATM for money or trying to book a motel room for yourself and the alleged prostitute. The law does not require that any sexual act actually occur for you to be charged with solicitation.
Defense Strategies a Fairfax Solicitation Attorney Can Use
There are different ways in which an attorney can aggressively defend solicitation of prostitution charges. For example, the law requires that a person know that they are, in fact, soliciting prostitution in order for them to be convicted. Many people can be mistaken and can engage in sexual conduct with another person without knowing that the person is actually a prostitute. If you misread signals of attraction and accidentally ended up involved with a prostitute, your Fairfax solicitation lawyer can use that in your defense.
Additionally, sometimes people may give prostitutes money for other services that are not sexual. If this is the case, you should not be convicted of solicitation.
Advantages of a Fairfax Solicitation Lawyer
If you have been arrested for or charged with solicitation of prostitution, you should never take the situation lightly. If you try to handle your case yourself and provide your own defense, you risk receiving the maximum sentence available under the law. You should never attempt to defend yourself to police while they are questioning you, as you may unintentionally say something they may be able to use against you later in court. Even completely innocent people make mistakes when they are speaking to law enforcement officers or prosecutors due to nerves or a lack of understanding of the law.
Instead, your first step after you are arrested should be to contact an experienced Fairfax solicitation lawyer in Virginia for help. An attorney can communicate with police for you, negotiate with prosecutors, and represent you in court to help mitigate the penalties you face or get your solicitation case dismissed. Do not hesitate to contact our attorneys at our Fairfax office today for a free consultation.
Penalties for Solicitation
Solicitation for prostitution is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense under Virginia law. If convicted, you could possibly face probation, fines up to $2,500, or even up to one year in jail. However, solicitation charges become much more serious under certain circumstances. For example, if you are suspected of solicitation of a minor, you will likely face felony charges and increased penalties. The potential charges and penalties are as follows:
As you can see, the stakes can increase very quickly if a prosecutor believes that you solicited prostitution from a minor. Under no circumstances do you want to risk wrongful conviction and prison sentences, so you should not hesitate to contacting an experienced Fairfax solicitation defense attorney as soon as possible for help with your case.
In addition to jail time and fines, a solicitation conviction can have a significant negative effect on your personal relationships, professional life, and reputation in general. Additionally, a conviction for solicitation of a minor may require you to register as a sex offender with the Commonwealth of Virginia, which can affect where you live and work for extended periods of time.