Virginia Prostitution Lawyer

When you are facing a prostitution charge, the stakes are high, both personally and professionally. A Virginia prostitution lawyer may be able to help you understand the elements that the state must prove in your case, as well as the potential penalties for this offense. You also can get answers to your questions so that you have the knowledge to make crucial decisions in your case.

A seasoned criminal defense lawyer could help identify any weaknesses in your case and evaluate the sufficiency of the evidence against you. With this assessment, legal counsel will be better able to develop the defense strategy most likely to be successful in your case. As a result, you might be able to reach a better resolution to the charges against you.

Charges for Prostitution in Virginia

Va. Code § 18.2-346 establishes the criminal offense of prostitution, which occurs when individuals engage in sexual intercourse or other sexual activities in exchange for money or anything of value. Furthermore, individuals do not commit prostitution unless they take some substantial action to complete the transaction. Due to the limitations in this code section, then a mere offer to engage in prostitution likely is insufficient to justify a prostitution charge.

However, actions that might merit a charge of prostitution might include receiving money from others to pay for sex acts or meeting someone at a prearranged location to engage in sex for hire. Likewise, accompanying someone to get money to purchase sex acts could be a significant step toward carrying out prostitution. A prostitution lawyer in Virginia may be able to evaluate whether specific facts constitute evidence of some substantial action toward the completion of the transaction.

Solicitation of Prostitution

Solicitation of prostitution falls under the same code section as prostitution. Solicitation occurs when individuals request others to provide them with sexual intercourse or other sexual activities in exchange for money or something of value. However, it is insufficient for individuals to offer to pay money to someone in exchange for sex.

A conviction for solicitation, like a conviction for prostitution, requires that individuals act in some significant way to further the transaction. For instance, individuals must hand money to someone in anticipation of sex acts or appear at a designated place and time for the sexual exchange to occur.

Penalties for a Prostitution Conviction

Virginia law treats the crimes of prostitution and solicitation identically in terms of their penalties. Both offenses are Class 1 misdemeanors, which carry the potential for up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. These penalties can be harsh, so consulting a Virginia prostitution lawyer may be wise.

Aside from the penalties that a court imposes, individuals are likely to face substantial collateral consequences from a prostitution conviction. In some cases, a conviction can result in job loss or an inability to pursue some careers. The stigma of a prostitution conviction also can be highly detrimental to reputations, personal relationships, and more.

Prostitution-Related Offenses

Virginia law provides for various other prostitution and solicitation-related offenses. Some of these offenses include:

  • Aiding prostitution, or knowingly taking or securing others to a location to engage in prostitution, or enabling prostitution
  • Using a vehicle to carry out or assist in illegal sexual intercourse or prostitution
  • Keeping, living in, or frequenting a bawdy place, or any location used for prostitution or illicit sexual activity
  • Persuading, encouraging, or forcing others to enter a bawdy place for prostitution

Most prostitution and solicitation-related offenses also are misdemeanors under state law. However, if the crime involves individuals under the age of 18, felony charges often result, which can have far more severe repercussions. Elements of force involved in acts of prostitution also can elevate the charges and resulting penalties.

Contact a Virginia Prostitution Attorney Today

When you are facing a prostitution charge, you are likely fearful of the potentially severe consequences of a conviction. Even allegations of involvement with prostitution can be damaging to your reputation and career. A Virginia prostitution lawyer may be able to help neutralize the impact of these charges on your life and work to resolve them in as positive a manner as possible.

Fortunately, many first-time prostitution offenses can be reduced or dismissed in appropriate circumstances, especially for individuals with little or no prior criminal history. To learn more about your rights and options in these criminal proceedings, consulting legal counsel may be highly beneficial to you.