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Leesburg Solicitation Lawyer

The rules that govern the alleged purchasing of sex are surprisingly complex. Naturally, it is illegal to actually make this transaction. However, the laws in Leesburg also prohibit taking any action that would help to guide this process along. Merely making an arrangement for an exchange and showing up to perform could count as a violation.

In addition, you may be surprised to see that a citation issued by a police officer lists the offense as “prostitution.” The Commonwealth’s laws describe the actions of both the buyer and the seller as “prostitution.” Therefore, actions that are commonly known as solicitation in other states are acts of alleged prostitution in Leesburg.

Whatever you call it, a Leesburg solicitation lawyer could fight for you. They can work to dispel the notion that any sexual encounter or attempted sexual encounter involved an exchange of sex for a thing of value. A seasoned criminal law attorney can also help to protect you against any aggravating factors that may involve the age of the supposed sexual partner.

Leesburg Laws Concerning Solicitation

The laws in Leesburg combine solicitation and prostitution into a single statute. VA Code §18.2-346B says that it is a class 1 misdemeanor for any person to offer money or anything of value to another for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts. In addition, a prosecutor needs to prove that a buyer took a substantial act towards completing this transaction. Class 1 misdemeanors are serious offenses where a conviction will create a criminal record and could result in the payment of a fine, a jail sentence, or both.

The allegations become much more serious if the alleged partner is under the age of 18. If the partner is 16 or 17 years old, the offense is a class 6 felony. If the partner is under the age of 16, the offense is a class 5 felony. Convictions here can carry a mandatory prison sentence of one year in many cases. A Leesburg solicitation attorney could help defendants to understand the Commonwealth’s laws and how they apply to their cases.

The Concept of a Substantial Act

According to the statute, it is not enough to simply prove that a defendant offered to exchange sex for money. The prosecutor also must prove that the defendant took a “substantial step” towards making that exchange. Whether a defendant’s actions met this definition is a cornerstone of many solicitation cases.

In short, a substantial step is one that furthers the defendant’s goal of completing the act and one that leaves no doubt as to their intent. Therefore, a prosecutor may attempt to point to several factors that may count as substantial steps. These include:

  • Traveling to a predetermined location
  • Renting a hotel room
  • Carrying large amounts of cash
  • Driving up to a potential partner on the street

A solicitation lawyer in Leesburg could help defendants to combat the idea of a substantial step. They can work to offer alternative reasons for why a defendant took those steps or even to contest that those steps took place at all.

Speak with a Leesburg Solicitation Attorney Today

Allegations of solicitation in Leesburg are serious matters. Even though most of these offenses are misdemeanors, a conviction could still have a harsh impact upon your life. It is essential that you take steps to protect yourself.

Hiring a Leesburg solicitation lawyer could provide powerful protection. They can work with you to identify realistic goals, to gather evidence in the case, and to develop a plan designed to meet your objectives. Every stage of a criminal case is important; contact a Leesburg solicitation lawyer today to give yourself the best chance of success.

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