Solicitation charges can be embarrassing, frightening, and concerning for many people. Even the mere accusation of involvement in prostitution or sex acts for hire can be devastating to your career and family. To combat these unwanted repercussions, contact a New Kent solicitation lawyer for advice.
Building a strong defense as soon as you are facing an arrest or charges can be essential to your case. Instead of trying to explain yourself, you may end up unintentionally incriminating yourself and making matters worse. Do not hesitate to contact a seasoned criminal defense attorney when you need legal representation and advocacy on your behalf.
Solicitation falls under the same code section as prostitution and carries the potential for the same charges and penalties. Under Virginia Code §18.2-346, solicitation occurs when individuals offer to pay money or give other items of value to others in exchange for sexual intercourse or other sex-related activities. However, an act of solicitation does not violate the law until the accused persons take a significant step toward the completion of this act.
Therefore, offering money to others without specifying that it is in exchange for sex may not result in a solicitation conviction. Similarly, a discussion about a potential prostitution transaction, with nothing more, is probably insufficient to result in charges under state law. Actions that may result in these charges, however, may include giving money to another as payment or traveling to a specific location in anticipation of sex.
Generally, solicitation is a Class 1 misdemeanor, and a conviction may result in maximum penalties of one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. A conviction for solicitation also results in a criminal record that shows up on background checks. As a result, an individual facing solicitation charges may wish to get the opinion of a lawyer in New Kent before making any significant decisions about their case.
In some circumstances, solicitation rises to a felony offense, which results in harsher penalties upon conviction. If someone solicits is a minor, the crime becomes a felony. If the minor was between the ages of 16 and 18, the offense is a Class 6 felony. Additionally, if someone may face a Class 5 felony if the minor was under the age of 16.
Another instance in which solicitation becomes a felony is when an adult uses social media or a cellphone to solicit minors. Under Va. Code §18.2-374.3, it is a Class 5 felony to solicit minors in this manner if the accused individuals knew or should have known that the person was under the age of 18.
Felony solicitation offenses generally are Class 5 or Class 6 felonies. Although these offenses typically carry the potential for harsher punishments than those for misdemeanor offenses, they also may result in the same penalties. The judge or jury hearing the case has the discretion to decrease the penalties to a jail sentence of fewer than 12 months and a fine of up to $2,500.
The maximum penalties for felony solicitation, however, are much more severe. Individuals facing a Class 6 felony conviction may receive a prison sentence ranging from one to five years. A Class 5 felony conviction may result in up to ten years in prison. Due to the gravity of these potential penalties, consulting a solicitation attorney in New Kent may be wise.
Solicitation charges can be highly detrimental to your life and career. Avoiding the stigma of a sex crime conviction can be crucial to reaching your goals and safeguarding your freedom. Work with a New Kent solicitation lawyer to achieve your objectives for your case.
A strong defense could make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. Protect your future by getting legal advice and guidance in situations in which you need it most. Call a dedicated lawyer today.
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