Suffolk Solicitation Lawyer

Suffolk Solicitation Lawyer

The crime of prostitution requires two parties. The person offering to perform a sexual act in exchange for something for value is known as the prostitute. However, the other person involved in the transaction could also face criminal charges. This offense is known as solicitation. A solicitation conviction could impact your life in many ways. It carries a potential jail term and a hefty fine.

Solicitation charges are often defensible with the help of a dedicated criminal defense attorney. A Suffolk solicitation lawyer could help you protect your rights and avoid a conviction on your record.

Solicitation Laws in Suffolk

In Suffolk, solicitation is a Class 1 misdemeanor. This offense is governed by Virginia Code Section 18.2-346. This offense occurs when a person offers money or another thing of value in exchange for a sex act, adultery, or fornication. There is no requirement that a sexual act takes place. It is possible to face arrest for solicitation by merely offering to pay for these acts, so long as that offer comes with an act in furtherance of the agreement. This act could be anything from handing over money, driving the other party to a hotel, or undressing.

The statute covers more than transactions involving money. Specifically, it references the exchange of money or its equivalent. This could be anything from personal property to illicit drugs or weapons. It could also include the exchange of valuable information or a promise to do something. This promise must be sincere. A joking offer of solicitation is not a crime, even if it involves a substantial act.

As a Class 1 misdemeanor, solicitation convictions typically carry a maximum jail term of one year. They also have a fine of up to $2,500 or a combination of the two. The statute does increase the penalty for a solicitation conviction when the other party to the crime is aged 16 or 17. This increases the charge to a Class 6 felony. If the target is under the age of 16, the crime becomes a Class 5 felony. A conviction in either case could lead to years in state prison. An attorney could assist a Suffolk resident facing solicitation charges to understand what is at stake while guiding them through the criminal justice system.

Common Defenses Against the Charges

There are a number of ways a defense attorney could help a Suffolk resident successfully defend a solicitation charge. These defenses are not one size fits all, and must make sense based on the facts of the defendant’s case.

It is not unusual for defendants in solicitation cases to claim that they lacked the intent to solicit sex for money. If the case was a misunderstanding or the offer was not genuine, a conviction would not be appropriate. Other potential defenses include:

  • Illegal search and seizure
  • Entrapment
  • Lack of evidence
  • Mistaken identity

Call a Suffolk Solicitation Attorney as Soon as Possible

There is no time to delay when it comes to defending yourself in a solicitation case. The damage that can be done to your reputation is substantial, as is the jail time that could come with a conviction. The sooner a defense attorney reviews your case, the sooner you can get to work crafting a defense.

A consultation with a Suffolk solicitation lawyer could provide you with the answers you need regarding your situation. Schedule a consultation today.