Defense Lawyers for Prostitution & Solicitation Charges
Criminal Defense Lawyers Create Effective Defense Strategies for Clients Arrested on Prostitution & Solicitation Charges in Erie, PA
Prostitution is illegal in Pennsylvania, as are many other acts, such as solicitation of a prostitute, related to the crime of prostitution itself. Recently, the state of Pennsylvania has begun to crack down on prostitution and solicitation in the state through the use of undercover officers who may attempt to solicit prostitution whether in person or via online websites that promote sex for sale. A conviction for the crime of prostitution or solicitation not only carries steep criminal penalties but can devastate your personal and professional life. Conviction for prostitution or solicitation will appear on your criminal record and, under certain circumstances, your name may be publicly publicized by the court in the papers for prostitution or solicitation if convicted more than once.
At Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C., we know what’s at stake if you have been arrested for prostitution or solicitation in Erie or elsewhere in Pennsylvania. We will put all of our substantial resources to work in exploring options for having the charges against you reduced or dismissed if at all possible in your case, and are committed to developing a bold defense strategy in every case involving prostitution or solicitation charges.
If you have been arrested for prostitution or solicitation, contact us today so that we can explain your legal rights and explore options for forming a persuasive defense strategy in your case.
Defining Prostitution and Solicitation Charges Under Pennsylvania Law
The Pennsylvania criminal code defines the crime of prostitution as either:
- Engaging in sexual activity for money, or
- Loitering in a public place, or near a public place, with the purpose of being hired to engage in sexual activity.
It is also illegal to solicit, or hire, a prostitute. While the crimes of prostitution and solicitation of a prostitute are defined differently, the penalties are the same—both are punishable for first offenders by up to one year in jail and a maximum $2,500 fine. Subsequent offenses for the basic crimes of prostitution and solicitation are punished more harshly, as felony-level crimes with jail terms of up to five years and up to $10,000 in fines.
Aggravating circumstances can lead to significantly heavier penalties for prostitution and solicitation, including in the following circumstances:
- Prostitution or solicitation while knowingly infected with HIV or AIDS is punishable by up to seven years in jail and a maximum $15,000 fine,
- Procuring a prostitute for another, encouraging someone to remain a prostitute or owning a prostitution business is punishable by up to seven years in jail and a maximum $15,000 fine,
- Promoting prostitution of a minor, or of a spouse or dependent for whom the individual is responsible, is punishable by up to seven years in jail and a maximum $15,000 fine.
Results-Driven Criminal Defense Lawyers Aggressively Defend Clients Arrested on Prostitution and Solicitation Charges in Erie, PA
An arrest for prostitution or solicitation in Pennsylvania does not automatically mean that you will be convicted of the crime. At Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C., we put in the hard work necessary to gain the most favorable outcome in your case, including building a defense strategy that may include arguing that:
- You were not actually engaging, or attempting to engage, in the sexual activity for money,
- Violation of your constitutional rights,
- Lack of intent.
Elements of a successful defense strategy will vary depending upon the facts of your specific case. Our prostitution or solicitation defense lawyers know what is on the line when you have been arrested for any criminal offense involving sexual activity, and we will fight tirelessly on your behalf.
Call Purchase, George & Murphey Today to Schedule a Confidential Consultation with a Defense Lawyer for Prostitution & Solicitation Charges in Erie County
A conviction for prostitution or solicitation in Erie or elsewhere in Pennsylvania can carry jail time, monetary fines and the significant embarrassment of having to disclose the conviction to future employers, landlords, and others. In some cases, you may even be legally required to attend a “john school” to receive education as to the impact of prostitution in the state. If you have been arrested, call or contact our experienced prostitution and solicitation defense lawyers so that we can begin to protect your rights immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions About Prostitution & Solicitation Charges in Western Pennsylvania
FAQ: What distinguishes you from other law firms that handle criminal defense cases involving prostitution or solicitation?
Our law firm has developed a reputation for focused, effective and experienced legal representation. We have the knowledge, skills and financial resources necessary to both conduct our own investigation and effectively analyze all available evidence in your case. Additionally, we treat our clients with dignity and respect regardless of the crime alleged. We have created a full-service legal practice and pride ourselves on being available to our clients personally, meaning that we will keep you informed of what is happening every step of the way as your case progresses and are always available to answer your questions or help alleviate your concerns about your case.
FAQ: If I am convicted for prostitution or solicitation in Pennsylvania, do I have to register as a sex offender?
Registration as a sex offender is typically reserved for more violent criminal offenses. Despite this, if you solicit a prostitute who turns out to be a minor, you may be required to register (this is generally the case regardless of whether you were actually aware that the person was a minor).
FAQ: Does the prosecution need to show that money actually changed hands to convict me for prostitution or solicitation under Pennsylvania law?
No. In some cases, a simple agreement that money will be exchanged for sex is sufficient even if no funds have actually changed hands. This is a situation that often arises when individuals enter into agreements via online websites to engage in or solicit prostitution. It is also sufficient that the arresting officer witnesses the verbal agreement between the parties.