Hampton Roads Prostitution Lawyer

Laws in the Commonwealth of Virginia strictly forbid prostitution, solicitation, and related sex crimes. The law defines prostitution as engaging in fornication in exchange for money or its equivalent.

Prostitution is a Class 1 misdemeanor, and a conviction could result in serious penalties. The conviction also goes on the accused’s criminal record, potentially leading to serious personal consequences down the road.

If you have been charged with prostitution in Hampton Roads, it is important that you find and seek help from a skilled defense attorney as soon as possible after sustaining your charge. A Hampton prostitution lawyer could assist you in court with defending against your criminal charge and help you to minimize the consequences of any guilty finding or conviction.

Elements of a Prostitution Charge

To find the accused guilty of a prostitution charge, the Commonwealth prosecutor has the burden of proof. Specifically, the prosecutor must show that the accused:

  • Offered or accepted sexual activity
  • In exchange for something of value

Moreover, both parties involved must have intended to commit the prostitution or solicitation crime.

Under the law, “sexual activity” means masturbation, oral sex, sexual intercourse, touching in a sexual area, or touching on the buttocks. Moreover, “something of value” could refer to money, property, or something else of value which a person offers in exchange for the requested sexual service.

In a prostitution case, the Commonwealth could decide to prosecute the prostitute (i.e. the person supplying the requested sexual services) as well as the customer.

Penalties for a Prostitution Conviction

A person facing a prostitution conviction can be subject to various penalties under the law. At an in-court sentencing hearing, the judge determines the penalty or penalties to impose following a prostitution conviction.

The potential penalties upon conviction for prostitution include a maximum of 12 months of incarceration, as well as a maximum monetary fine of $2,500. A judge could also order that the accused undergo mandatory SDS testing, such as for HIV and hepatitis C, and that they enroll in mandatory STD education and mental health counseling.

A prostitution lawyer in Hampton could take measures to try and reduce the penalties and other consequences associated with a prostitution conviction.

Defending against a Prostitution Charge

One way to avoid the potential penalties associated with a Hampton prostitution charge is not to be convicted in the first place. When defending against a criminal charge such as a prostitution, a Hampton prostitution attorney could be extremely helpful.

A defense attorney, for example, assert that the Commonwealth prosecutor did not satisfy all of the legal elements of the charge and that the accused deserves an acquittal. An attorney could also argue that police officers or investigators unlawfully entrapped the accused into committing the prostitution crime, such as during a sting operation.

Speak with a Hampton Roads Prostitution Attorney Today

If you are currently facing a criminal charge for prostitution, you have legal rights that remain in place up through and during your criminal trial. These rights do not go away, and an experienced Hampton Roads  prostitution lawyer can make sure that you understand those rights and that they remain safeguarded.

A lawyer could also represent you during all of your criminal court proceedings and advocate for your interests, in the hope of attaining the best possible result for you.