Hanover Solicitation Lawyer

Solicitation and other crimes connected with prostitution are treated with surprising severity under state law, even though these offenses may be common in Hanover and elsewhere.  What was once perceived as a “victimless crime” is now considered to have the potential to exploit vulnerable populations. Lawmakers have responded by providing serious penalties, particularly where minors may be involved.

If you are facing allegations involving solicitation, it is important to treat the situation seriously and avoiding making statements or taking actions that could jeopardize your defense. When you work with an experienced Hanover solicitation lawyer, your attorney could begin providing advice and assistance right away to defend against the charges.

A skilled criminal defense lawyer could also advocate on your behalf at all stages of the proceedings and work to help reach the optimum outcome based on the circumstances.

Solicitation and Prostitution Defined

Va. Code Ann. §18.2-346 defines the crimes of prostitution and solicitation, while related crimes are described in other sections. The statute defines solicitation as offering money or anything of value in exchange for certain sexual actions and taking one “substantial act” in furtherance of that action. So the law may treat someone as having committed solicitation in violation of the statute even if no sexual action is ever performed.

The sexual acts involved are defined in the first part of the statute and primarily include types of sexual intercourse or oral sex. The first part of the statute also defines prostitution, which consists of performing these sexual acts (or offering to perform them) in exchange for money.

Potential Penalties for Solicitation

Those convicted of violating the statute by committing solicitation may be charged with either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the circumstances. If someone solicits prostitution from a minor aged 16 and up, then the offense is treated as a Class 6 felony. If they solicit someone younger than 16, then they will be charged with a Class 5 felony. If solicitation is committed with an adult, the offense is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Penalties for a Class 1 misdemeanor include up to $2,500 in fines and a term of imprisonment for up to one year. The maximum term of imprisonment increases to five years for those convicted of a Class 6 felony, while those convicted of a Class 5 felony face up to ten years in prison. A fine as high as $2,500 may be imposed for either a Class 5 or Class 6 felony conviction.

Other Offenses Connected to Solicitation

Virginia law also prohibits several different actions that relate to prostitution. Some of these actions are misdemeanors while others are felony offenses. As an example, aiding in prostitution, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor, occurs when someone transports or offers to transport another to a place for prostitution or even gives information or directions to another with the intent to enable them to engage in prostitution.

Actions that may be considered to aid in human trafficking are treated very severely under the state laws. Encouraging someone to enter a “bawdy place” for prostitution or taking someone to such place against their will is considered a Class 4 felony under Va. Code Ann. §18.2-355. If the person taken to a bawdy house is a minor, the offense escalates to a Class 3 felony.

Speak with a Hanover Solicitation Attorney Today

If you are facing solicitation charges, it is wise to make certain you understand the charges and the ramifications as soon as possible. A Hanover solicitation lawyer could explain what you are up against and your options for defending against the charges.

In addition, a knowledgeable attorney could help protect your rights and advise you actions to take—and what to avoid—to protect your record and your future. For a free consultation, call now.