Committing prostitution, solicitation, and other prostitution-related offenses all may result in criminal charges under Virginia law. The penalties in some instances could be severe, notably when the offenses involve minors.
If you are facing any sort of prostitution-related charges, you may wish to consult with a Fredericksburg prostitution lawyer.
While you may not initially see a way out of a prostitution conviction, there are defenses that may be applicable to your case and options for resolving it in a positive manner.
A seasoned criminal attorney may be able to help you identify these defenses and use them in plea negotiations or at trial on your charges.
Virginia Code § 18.2-346 defines prostitution as engaging in or offering to engage in certain sexual acts in exchange for money or anything of value. There must be evidence showing that individuals took a substantial step toward commission of the exchange for the offense to occur. A mere offer of prostitution does not become unlawful unless it involves one or both parties taking an action to carry out that offer.
This code section distinguishes between prostitution and solicitation of prostitution. A conviction on either offense could result in the same penalties.
Prostitution and solicitation both are Class 1 misdemeanor offenses under Virginia law. The potential punishment for a conviction on a Class 1 misdemeanor may include a sentence of up to one year in jail and the payment of a fine of up to $2,500. As a seasoned Fredericksburg prostitution lawyer could explain, solicitation of prostitution involving a minor will result in felony charges with more severe penalties.
Virginia law contains various other criminal offenses that relate to prostitution. While some of these offenses are misdemeanors, others are felonies, typically since they involve minors or some element of force or coercion.
Under Va. Code § 18.2-348, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense for individuals to take or transport anyone, or to offer to take or transport anyone to a bawdy place or to procure anyone for the purposes of engaging in sexual acts or enable anyone to commit prostitution. To commit this offense, the individuals must know or have a good reason to believe that the purpose of the visit is immoral.
It is also illegal under Va. Code § 18.2-349 to use a vehicle or allow a vehicle to be used to aid in or promote prostitution or unlawful sexual intercourse. The individuals must have knowledge or reason to believe that the vehicle is intended to be used for such a purpose. Those who are accused of aiding or promoting prostitution are advised to contact a seasoned Fredericksburg attorney.
Va. Code § 18.2-347 defines the offense of keeping, residing in, or visiting a bawdy place. This section goes on to define a bawdy place as any location outside or inside a building or structure used for lewdness, assignation, or prostitution. This offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Under Va. Code § 18.2-356, it is a Class 4 felony to receive money or anything of value in exchange for procuring another to engage in prostitution or be placed in a house of prostitution. This offense is a Class 3 felony if it involves an individual under the age of 18. Defendants in Fredericksburg facing such charges are recommended to speak with an adept defense attorney to understand their rights.
Va. Code § 18.2-355 makes it illegal to take, persuade, cause, or force others to enter bawdy places. It is also unlawful under this section to allow others over whom individuals have custodial, guardian, or parental rights to be taken or detained for prostitution or unlawful sexual intercourse.
Pandering is also illegal under this section, which occurs when individuals take or cause a minor to enter a bawdy place for the purposes of prostitution. Violations of this section are Class 4 felony offenses. This offense carries significant penalties, which is why it is essential to call a Fredericksburg prostitution attorney as soon as possible.
While the consequences of a prostitution conviction are potentially severe, there may be help available to you. A Fredericksburg prostitution lawyer may be able to evaluate your overall case, explore the possibilities for resolution, and work toward your goals.
While it may be tempting to try and handle matters on your own, you should strongly consider getting legal advice in this type of situation. The potential impact of a conviction on your future plans is not minor, and a Fredericksburg criminal defense attorney may be able to help you ease or avoid that impact.
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