Prostitution is illegal in the United States except in certain counties in the state of Nevada. Prostitution laws make it a crime in most states to offer, agree to, or engage in any type of sexual act for compensation. Depending upon the applicable laws of the state, the stages of a typical prostitution "transaction" can involve charges against the supplier of services (prostitution), the customer paying for the services (solicitation of prostitution), and any middleman involved in the transaction (pimping).
Some jurisdictions will impound your vehicle if you used it attempting to hire a prostitute, while others will publish your name in the local newspapers. The police are allowed to and actually do carry out sting operations to thwart prostitution. Police stings are performed on streetwalkers, and occasionally escort services and massage parlors.
Prostitution is taken a little more lightly in urban areas, and generally a first time arrest for patronizing or prostitution will get you a fine or a suspended sentence on a guilty plea. The average punishment for being caught patronizing a prostitute for the first time can be a fine of anywhere from $100 to $250. A suspended sentence means that the judge will accept the guilty plea and not sentence you as long as you aren't arrested for anything else during your probation. A six-month period of unsupervised probation is usually the sentence. If you are arrested while on probation, expect the judge to impose the previously suspended charges, especially if it's a charge of prostitution again.
Typical prostitution criminal code basically defines several sexual related terms, usually "sexual intercourse," typically straight penile/vaginal sexual activity, and "deviant sexual intercourse," basically something more involved than mere "sexual contact" as described, but which doesn't qualify as straight penis/vagina sexual intercourse.
Regardless, most prostitution statutes are gender neutral now, so "deviate sexual intercourse" applies to both same sex and different sex "unions" and "sexual contact," usually touching of clothed or unclothed sexual organs or female breasts with the purpose of eliciting or gratifying sexual desire of one of the parties to the incident.
All prostitution charges are then specified referring to these terms, as defined in the criminal code. The prostitution statute under such a code would prohibit sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, or sexual contact for "valuable consideration," meaning, "receipt of cash, property, or valuable services (other than the sex) by one of the parties involved."
Prostitution is a touchy subject as far as civil liberties are concerned. Steps to legalize prostitution have been considered to make it a regulated and safer practice, but these are likely to be continually shot down by conservatives.
If you have been charged will prostitution or soliciting a prostitute you are in need of legal counsel. An experienced criminal attorney can help you receive the least punitive sentence possible. Don't let one of these charges ruin your reputation, or even worse land you in jail. Contact an experienced criminal attorney today to give your case the best treatment possible.
Related Prostitution News
Sept 7, 2007 - Sting Operations Target Prostitution on Craigslist
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