Charles City Prostitution Lawyer

Charges of prostitution can be inherently challenging for the accused. While these charges could lead to incarceration or hefty fines, there are other withstanding consequences that may result from a conviction. Theses convictions carry a social stigma that may impact your ability to maintain employment or find housing.

A skilled criminal defense attorney could help you build a case if you are facing allegations of commercial sexual misconduct. Additionally, a seasoned Charles City prostitution lawyer could use their experience to advocate on your behalf and argue to reduce the charges against you.

What is Prostitution?

According to state law, prostitution involves an exchange of a sexual act for something of value. This transaction could come in the form of money or its equivalent, goods, services, or illegal drugs. It is important to note that there is no requirement that a sexual act must take place for a prosecutor to secure a conviction. Instead, state law only requires that the defendant took steps in furtherance of the act. These steps could include the physical exchange of money or its equivalent, undressing, or discussing the specifics of the sexual act.

According to Virginia Code § 18.2-346, exchanging sexual favors for something of value is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Upon conviction, a defendant could face a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail or a fine of no more than $2,500. These penalties are only the maximum; in some prostitution cases, a Charles City lawyer could help a defendant mitigate the potential consequences.

Upon a conviction for commercial sexual misconduct, other requirements may burden a defendant. State law requires anyone with a conviction to submit to testing for diseases such as HIV. Additionally, a person convicted of prostitution must also enroll in classes related to the risks of sexually transmitted diseases.

Potential Defenses

There are many directions from which a Charles City prostitution attorney could approach defending a case. Simply holding the prosecutor to their burden of proof can be one of the most common defense strategies. There are multiple factors related to illegal sex work, and the prosecutor must establish each one. If a defendant can persuade a jury that one of these elements does not apply, the jury may return a verdict of not guilty.

A common defense in a prostitution case is that the defendant failed to commit an act in furtherance of the commercial sexual transaction. Even if the defendant offered or accepted an offer for sex in exchange for something of value, the jury must acquit if there is no evidence of such an act.

Entrapment can be another defense frequently used in cases involving illegal sex work. Some of these arrests can result from an undercover operation. While it is not illegal to set up such an operation to catch someone in the act of prostitution, it is unlawful for police to coerce a defendant into breaking the law. Therefore, if a lawyer could prove that law enforcement used this method to catch someone, the defendant may not face a conviction.

Reach out to a Charles City Prostitution Attorney

Although exchanging sexual acts for items of value is a misdemeanor, the impact of a conviction can turn your life upside down. The penalties related to a conviction can be severe, and the social stigma can last long after a jail sentence. To fight back against the charges levied against you, get in touch with a Charles City prostitution lawyer as soon as possible.