Dinwiddie Solicitation Lawyer

There are a lot of sex crimes that can be committed in Dinwiddie. One of them is for soliciting a sexual act. While solicitation does not even involve or require any contact for the law to be broken, the penalties are significant and the collateral consequences of having a prior offense of solicitation on your criminal background can be very awkward. In some cases, a prior solicitation conviction can alter the course of your future.

Defending against the accusation with vigor is critical if you want to preserve your reputation and protect your future. A Dinwiddie solicitation lawyer can help.

Potential Penalties for a Solicitation Conviction

People who have been accused of soliciting a sexual act in Dinwiddie face the possibility of penalties and sanctions that come directly from the state. These are the legal consequences of a conviction for solicitation and are far from trivial. A standard solicitation conviction, alone, is a Class 1 misdemeanor that comes with a fine of up to $2,500 and up to a year in prison.

However, if the alleged solicitation involved pursuing a sexual act from a minor under the age of 18, the offense becomes a felony charge. A conviction for soliciting a minor can carry a jail term of up to ten years.

Collateral Consequences

Unfortunately, the legal consequences are not the only ones that defendants can have to deal with, should they get convicted for solicitation. The state government is not the only party that can make life difficult – other people and private parties can take action against someone who has been convicted for soliciting someone else for sex, as well.

These are called collateral consequences of a crime, and stem from the fact that a prior criminal offense can be seen by anyone who performs a background check on someone. For people with a solicitation offense in their past, anyone from landlords to potential employers can frown on someone and take action that they think they need to take in order to protect their own interests, often at the expense of the person with the prior conviction. Hiring a Dinwiddie solicitation lawyer can prevent this kind of discrimination from future contacts by fighting against the conviction, in the first place.

Laws Governing Solicitation in Dinwiddie

In Dinwiddie, solicitation is outlawed by Virginia Code Ann. § 18.2-346(b), which makes it a crime to offer to pay someone else for a sexual act, and then take a substantial act in furtherance of completing the exchange.

Importantly, the offer to pay for sex does not have to be in the form of money – it can be an offer of money, or a trade for something else of value, or even a promise to do something in the future. All that matters is that the offer involves something of value, and be made for the purpose of engage in a sexual act.

The element of the offense that a Dinwiddie solicitation lawyer often focuses on is whether there was a substantial act in furtherance of the crime. Prosecutors often claim that innocent conduct that could have been done to complete the crime is proof that there was a solicitation offense.

Where there are innocent explanations for what happened after an apparent agreement to exchange a sexual favor for compensation, though, a Dinwiddie solicitation attorney can use those alternative explanations in a suspect’s defense.

Call a Dinwiddie Solicitation Attorney for Help

If you have been accused of solicitation in Dinwiddie, you need to take the accusation seriously or you could risk facing serious repercussions for the rest of your life. The blemish on your criminal history can shut doors in your future and keep you from doing what you most want to do.

A Dinwiddie solicitation lawyer can be an important asset in your defense against the accusation. Contact one today to schedule a consultation and begin planning your defense.