Suffolk Prostitution Lawyer

The prostitution laws in Suffolk outlaw the offer of exchanging sex for a thing of value. It is vital to note this crime could occur even if the sex act never takes place or the thing of value never changes hands. The broad nature of this offense can lead to the police mistakenly arresting people that have not violated these laws. Regardless of whether or not the arrest was a mistake, anyone accused of prostitution deserves the guidance of a seasoned criminal defense attorney.

A Suffolk prostitution lawyer could provide important guidance on what to expect from the early stages of a criminal case up through the day of trial. Through hard work and experience, an attorney could have your case dismissed or your charges reduced. Speak to a diligent attorney to discuss your case.

Prostitution Laws in Suffolk

The crime of prostitution falls under Virginia Code Section 18.2-346. This statute establishes the elements of the crime and identifies the potential sentences. According to the statute, it is unlawful to offer a sexual act in exchange for anything of value. While it is true that the crime of prostitution can occur before the sexual act takes place, the mere offer alone is not enough for a conviction. To violate the statute and commit the crime of prostitution, a person must also take substantial action towards completing the exchange. This could be anything from accepting money to undressing. Despite this, prostitution arrests routinely occur despite the lack of substantial action.

In many cases, the thing of value offered in exchange for sex is money. A conviction for prostitution could occur when the transaction is related to the exchange of other items of value. These items could include personal property, illegal drugs, or even information. A skilled local attorney could carefully evaluate the facts following an arrest to determine if substantial steps were made toward completing the exchange of sex for something of value.

Common Arrests for Prostitution

There are many ways a prostitution arrest could unfold. In many cases, law enforcement will patrol areas known for prostitution activity in an effort to catch people in the act. These transactions often occur in public, making it possible for police to witness the elements of the crime firsthand.

Many prostitution arrests stem from so-called “sting” operations. A sting operation involves a police officer posing as a prospective customer. The undercover officer will suggest they are interested in making a deal, and the police will swoop in to make an arrest when the prostitute takes steps to complete the transaction.

Penalties for Prostitution

According to state law, prostitution is a Class 1 misdemeanor. A conviction could result in a prison term of up to a year behind bars. Additionally, it could carry a fine of no more than $2,500. In addition to the statutory penalties, a conviction could bring collateral consequences like difficulty maintaining employment or finding housing. An experienced attorney could help a person accused of prostitution avoid these consequences.

Call a Suffolk Prostitution Attorney Right Away

If you have been arrested for prostitution in Suffolk, it is best to seek legal help as soon as possible. A Suffolk prostitution lawyer could advise you of your rights and help you plan out a defense strategy that fits your case. Call today to learn more about how a seasoned attorney could help your case.