Although many people willingly participate in prostitution, it remains an illegal activity under state law. The consequences of a conviction can be harsh, including jail time, fines, and the stigma of a permanent criminal record. If you or someone close to you is facing charges, you may wish to consult a Mecklenburg County prostitution lawyer for advice and counsel.
Consulting an experienced criminal defense attorney may enable you to understand your options and determine the course of action that is best in your case. When you have a legal advocate on your side who regularly handles criminal cases in the local court system, you may have a better chance of obtaining your desired outcome.
Under Virginia Code § 18.2-346, engaging or attempting to engage in sexual acts in exchange for money or something else valuable is considered prostitution. Although the sexual acts need not happen for prostitution to take place, at least one of the parties to the proposed transaction must take some action to further or carry out the proposal.
Therefore, offering to engage in sex in exchange for money may be insufficient to sustain a charge if individuals took no further steps to engage in prostitution rather than a mere discussion.
Solicitation is a related but separate offense from prostitution. To commit solicitation, individuals must offer money in exchange for money or something of value and take some significant step toward completing the transaction. As an experienced attorney in Mecklenburg County may explain, individuals who took no further step toward the completion of prostitution or solicitation may have a solid defense against any criminal charges for these offenses.
Various other criminal offenses exist within this realm, some of which may be misdemeanors and others which may be felonies. The presence of force, violence, or minors in prostitution or solicitation-related transactions are more likely to result in felony charges than those offenses that do not involve these elements.
Regardless of the charge, however, the outcome of any prostitution or solicitation-related charges may be severe, so getting legal advice can be crucial to a more favorable outcome of the charges that individuals are facing.
For instance, aiding in, taking, or attempting to bring others to a location to engage in prostitution is a misdemeanor offense under Va. Code § 18.2-348. However, if the crime involves an individual who is under the age of 18, the offense becomes a felony. Likewise, under Va. Code § 18.2-349, individuals may not use vehicles to promote prostitution.
One crucial element in these offenses is that individuals must know or have good reason to know that the purpose behind their actions is to facilitate unlawful sexual intercourse. Therefore, if individuals give a person a ride in their vehicles to an unknown location as a favor, with no knowledge of the intent of the visit, then they likely do not violate this code section.
A prostitution charge is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense in Virginia. The maximum penalties for a conviction on a Class 1 misdemeanor include up to one year of incarceration and a fine of up to $2,5000. Aiding prostitution and using a vehicle to promote also are Class 1 misdemeanor offenses that have the potential for the same penalties.
The stigma of a prostitution conviction also can adversely impact employment opportunities and be highly damaging to the reputations of individuals in their communities.
As a result, these persons may want to reach out to a prostitution attorney in Mecklenburg County for help in possibly minimizing the penalties that they may receive or avoiding a conviction altogether.
Regardless of your level of involvement, prostitution and related charges always have the potential to have negative consequences for your personal and professional life. Therefore, contacting a Mecklenburg County prostitution lawyer for advice about your options may be essential to a more favorable resolution to the charges against you.
All too often, individuals believe that they can handle criminal cases on their own. Obtaining legal representation, however, can help ensure that you understand the full implications of any choices that you make in your case. Call today to learn more.
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