Hopewell Prostitution Lawyer

The laws in Hopewell do not allow prostitution, which is the act of exchanging some sexual act for something of value. While this could include a wide variety of activities and items of value, the most common case is sex for money.

When the police are searching for people they believe are breaking this law, the officer will typically use their vice department. Vice will often set up in areas that people know are prostitution areas. The police may arrest anyone in the area who does anything suspicious.

It is important to realize that just because the police may have arrested you, it does not mean you are guilty or you will be going to jail. There may be a large array of defenses available to you which may help you minimize or avoid any prosecution. Speak with a Hopewell prostitution lawyer who has experience in this area. A well-versed defense attorney could advocate on your behalf.

What Constitutes Prostitution?

Prostitution is a Class 1 misdemeanor according to the Code of Virginia §18.2-346. The offense is defined as any who performs or offers to perform the following acts for money or other items of value:

  • Adultery
  • Fornication
  • Cunnilingus
  • Fellatio
  • Anilingus
  • Anal sex
  • Incest

It is also prostitution to do anything in furtherance of the above-mentioned acts. This means that a promise to perform some sexual act or preparing a private room for some sexual act would also be prostitution. A person also may not pass along information to allow another person to commit prostitution or that person will face the same level of punishment. A Hopewell prostitution lawyer could explain how prostitution is defined and why the person could examine an accused person’s legal case.

Penalties for Prostitution

The court may have some discretion on punishments depending on the actual crime committed or the severity. If a person commits a Class 1 misdemeanor, the court could send a convicted person to jail for up to one year and order that person to pay up to $2,500 in fines.

If the act of prostitution includes pimping or pandering, that is a Class 4 felony, which the court may punish with two to ten years of jail and a fine of up to $100,000.

The law requires that an arrested person must submit to tests for HIV and hepatitis C and receive mental health counseling and STD education. The results from the tests cannot be used during a criminal proceeding, as noted in Code of Virginia §18.2-346.1. A knowledgeable lawyer could explain which penalties a defendant may face upon a criminal charge.

Police Strategy for Prostitution Arrests

The police may be motoring areas known for prostitution in order to observe someone engaging in some act in furtherance of the purchase of sex for money. They may also use online advertisements which are selling escort or massage services. An innocent response may result in the police arresting the responding person.

If the police overstep the law, the court may allow the arrested person a defense based on entrapment. Entrapment is when someone is pushed to do something they would not have normally done without the push. The police cannot encourage someone to break the law and then arrest them. A prostitution attorney in Hopewell could examine how a person was arrested and charged for prostitution to determine whether the police committed any errors in their conduct. Such mistakes could be used against the prosecution to fight the defense’s case.

Learn More from a Hopewell Prostitution Attorney

It could be difficult to know what steps to take in the event that the police accuse or suspect you of prostitution. While you may feel embarrassed or ashamed, you may require help and advice from a judgment-free voice no matter your feelings. Call a Hopewell prostitution lawyer to learn about possible defenses that you may have and how you can best protect yourself. It is often best to speak with an attorney quickly if you are at risk for an accusation. Call today.