Being charged with solicitation of a prostitute is a humiliating experience that can be devastating to your reputation and family relationships. While the penalty for this crime can vary greatly depending on the circumstances, even simple solicitation charges deserve the attention of an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney.
Prostitution and Minnesota Law
Under typical circumstances, the penalties for solicitation and prostitution are not as severe as other crimes. A first offense for soliciting a prostitute is a misdemeanor carrying a minimum fine of $1,000. However ... if done in a public place, this may be increased. Repeat offenders may also face a big fine and possibly jail.
Loitering with intent to either solicit or offer prostitution is also a misdemeanor. For those acting as prostitutes, a first offense is classified as a misdemeanor with a second or subsequent offense being elevated to a gross misdemeanor.
However, not all circumstances are considered "typical" and a charge of prostitution can do serious damage to a person's life.
Consequences (Beyond Court)
If you are here on non-immigrant visas such as an H1-B work visa, or are here illegally, the consequences of a criminal conviction go far beyond simply paying a fine or performing community service. You risk the revocation of your visa and possible deportation. With so much on the line, it is important to contact an attorney immediately to defend you.
Prostitution arrests frequently involve undercover operations or surveillance. This raises certain evidentiary issues that an experienced Minnesota Prostitution Attorney is best equipped to address. If police violated your constitutional rights in the process of an investigation, an experienced attorney may be able to obtain a dismissal of the charges.
Is Solicitation of Prostitution a Felony?
Under most circumstances, solicitation of prostitution is a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor. There are, however, some instances when it can be a felony. This includes soliciting a prostitute under the age of 18.
Depending on the age, the penalty can be up to 20 years in prison. Moreover, knowingly housing an unrelated minor prostitute can carry a penalty of up to one year in prison and a $5,000 fine. Lastly, a prostitution offense that would otherwise be a gross misdemeanor can be elevated to a felony if committed in a school zone or public park.
While acting as a prostitute is generally only a misdemeanor, the penalties for those who promote prostitution are very serious. A person convicted of sex trafficking in the second degree — which includes recruiting, promoting or receiving profit from prostitutes — can face up to 15 years in prison. In cases involving minor prostitutes, the penalty can be up to 20 years in prison and up to 25 years if certain aggravating factors are present. In addition, trafficking across state lines can lead to additional federal charges.
The Rolloff Law Office understands how important defending your reputation is if you have been accused of solicitation or other prostitution-related crimes. With free initial consultations and evening and weekend hours, I am available when you need me to address your concerns. Call today: (612) 234-1165.