Chesterfield Prostitution Lawyer
In Virginia, prostitution is treated as a crime for which the enforcement is taken very seriously. If you are charged with an act falling under Virginia’s prostitution laws – as any party involved in the solicitation of sex or prostitution – you should take it very seriously and engage an experienced Chesterfield prostitution lawyer as soon as possible.
Prostitution in Virginia
If an individual performs sexual acts for money or an equivalent (such as drugs), then the individual is guilty of prostitution [Virginia Section 18.2-346(A)].
If an individual even offers to perform sexual acts for money or an equivalent, then the individual is guilty of prostitution [Section 18.2-346(A)]. A sexual act does not have to actually occur in order for their to be prostitution. The crime of prostitution is committed whether a person performs a sexual act or merely offers to do so for money. However, one element of the crime requires that the individual making the offer follow up the offer by either:
- Performing the sexual act,
- or doing any substantial act in furtherance thereof [Section 18.2-346(A).]
With this in mind it’s important that you contact a Chesterfield prostitution lawyer if you’ve been accused, even if no sexual acts actually took place.
Solicitation Charges in Virginia
If an individual offers money to a person in exchange for a sexual act and then does any substantial act in furtherance of the offer, or acts on the offer, then the individual is guilty of solicitation of prostitution. [Section 18.2-346(A).]
Prostitution is the offer of a sexual act for money (or thing of value) and then performing it or doing any substantial act in furtherance of the offer. Solicitation, as a Chesterfield prostitution lawyer can explain, is an offer of money (or anything of value) for a sexual act in return and then doing a substantial act in furtherance thereof. [Section 18.2-346(A).]
The penalties for prostitution and soliciting a prostitute are the same. Both, regardless of whether the sexual act is performed or not, are class 1 misdemeanors punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. [Sections 18.2-11(a) and 18.2-346(A).]
Soliciting a Minor Charges
Solicitation still applies as it would for someone overage, however the penalty for this type of solicitation is enhanced.
If the individual solicits prostitution from a minor who is at least 16 years old, then the crime (solicitation of prostitution) is treated as a class 6 felony punishable by one to five years in prison, or, at the discretion of the court or a jury, lessened penalties of up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. [Sections 18.2-10(f) and 18.2-346(B)(i).]
If an individual solicits prostitution from a minor who is younger than 16 years old, then it is imperative that a Chesterfield prostitution lawyer is contacted as soon as possible because the crime is treated as a class 5 felony punishable by one to 10 years in prison, or, at the discretion of a jury or the court, lessened penalties of up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. [Sections 18.2-10(e) and 18.2-346(B)(ii).]
Other Crimes Associated with Prostitution
In addition to prostitution and solicitation of prostitution, Virginia prohibits several types of activities that are related to prostitution, including:
- Keeping, living in, or visiting “bawdy places” [Section 18.2-347]
- Aiding prostitution or Illicit sexual intercourse [Section 18.2-348]
- Using vehicles to promote prostitution [Section 18.2-349]
A charge under Virginia’s prostitution/solicitation laws is not to be taken lightly. A conviction could have long-lasting implications on your permanent record and your ability to obtain and maintain employment. If you are charged in the Chesterfield area you should immediately contact a Chesterfield prostitution attorney experienced in such legal matters.