State laws are strict on prostitution to the extent that you could be charged with a criminal offense even if all parties to the agreement were consenting adults, and in some cases, when no sexual conduct even occurred. As a result, the penalties for a prostitution conviction can be highly damaging to your reputation, your career, and your family.
Working with a Manassas prostitution lawyer may enable you to protect and defend yourself from the allegations against you and reach a better resolution in your case.
Some of the defenses available in prostitution cases, depending on the facts, may include entrapment, coercion, lack of intent, and a failure to take a substantial step to carry out the offense. Legal counsel can help you determine if these defenses or others are applicable in your case. By enlisting the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney, you may be able to obtain more beneficial results in your case.
Va. Code § 18.2-346 defines prostitution as individuals engaging in sexual activities in exchange for money or something else of value. However, to be guilty of prostitution, individuals must take some significant step toward carrying out the transaction.
By itself, merely offering to engage in sex in exchange for money with no further actions toward committing the offense does not qualify as prostitution under Virginia law.
Solicitation, or requesting sexual favors in exchange for money, is a separate offense than prostitution. With this offense, as well, there must be a substantial step toward the completion of the solicitation for individuals to be guilty of this offense.
As a prostitution lawyer in Manassas may attest, the lack of a substantial step toward committing the crimes of either prostitution or solicitation may be a defense in some cases.
Virginia law establishes various other crimes that involve elements of prostitution and solicitation. These offenses are misdemeanors in some cases and felonies in others, mainly if they include the use of force or the prostitution or solicitation of minors. As a result, the advice of a Manassas prostitution attorney when facing prostitution-related charges may be highly beneficial to avoid or reduce some of the potential penalties for these offenses.
For example, Va. Code § 18.2-348 makes it unlawful for individuals to take, attempt to take, procure, or assist in securing others to a place to commit prostitution. Similarly, under Va. Code § 18.2-349, it is illegal to use a vehicle in any way to carry out, aid in, or promote prostitution or criminal sexual acts. However, individuals either must know or have good reason to believe that prostitution or unlawful sexual acts are the ultimate purposes of their actions.
Maintaining a “bawdy place,” or a place used for prostitution or illegal sexual activity also is unlawful under Va. Code § 18.2-347. Taking, persuading, or encouraging others to enter a bawdy place for these purposes involuntarily is illegal. If individuals engage in pandering, or prostitution or illegal sex acts involving minors under Va. Code § 18.2-355, they also commit a criminal offense.
Prostitution and solicitation are Class 1 misdemeanor offenses. A conviction for either offense can result in up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Likewise, aiding prostitution, using vehicles to promote prostitution, and keeping a bawdy place also are Class 1 misdemeanor offenses under Virginia law.
Pandering, however, is a Class 3 felony. A conviction on a Class 3 felony can result in five to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $100,000. As all prostitution offenses have the potential to result in incarceration, getting legal advice in this situation may be highly advisable.
Prostitution charges can be stressful, sensitive, and overwhelming as you attempt to safeguard your reputation and your family. All too often, members of the public will judge you before you ever enter the courtroom.
A Manassas prostitution lawyer may be able to help diminish the cloud of suspicion surrounding you and find the defense strategy that is most likely to be useful in your situation.
Without legal guidance, you may inadvertently admit guilt or provide law enforcement officers with evidence against you. To avoid this possibility, you may wish to contact legal counsel for advice before making any statements to police.
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