How to Beat a Solicitation Charge in Michigan
Solicitation is the act of inciting someone to commit a crime. In matters of sex crimes, solicitation refers to engaging in prostitution or asking a person under the age of 16 to engage in a sexual act.
Prostitution and solicitation charges are very embarrassing and have the potential of permanently altering the course of your life.
If you face any of these charges in Michigan, your chances of salvaging your reputation will depend on working with a skilled criminal defense attorney.
HOW TO BEAT A SOLICITATION CHARGE IN MICHIGAN
To effectively challenge and beat a solicitation charge in Michigan, understanding the laws and offenses related to the charge of solicitation is the best place to start.
PROSTITUTION vs. SOLICITATION IN MICHIGAN
Solicitation and prostitution offenses in Michigan are closely linked.
Prostitution charges are directed towards individuals who offer sexual acts for money. On the other hand, a solicitation charge is directed towards the clients or individuals who pay for sexual services.
Prostitution charges require the performance of a sexual act. However, the performance of a sexual act is not a requirement for soliciting a prostitute charge.
The only requirement in order to be prosecuted with solicitation is that there is proof of a person contacting another, in a public or private place, through word, gesture, text message, or any other form, and offered money or other favors for a sexual act.
Under Michigan Penal Code § 750.167(1)(b), a conviction for soliciting a prostitute attracts a maximum of 90 days in jail, a $500 fine, or both.
SOLICITATION BY ACCOSTING, INVITING, RECEIVING, OR ADMITTING
As per Michigan solicitation law, it’s a criminal offense for a person over the age of 16 to engage or offer to engage in sexual acts with another person in exchange for money.
Additionally, it’s unlawful for a person to assist another to commit a crime of prostitution. This includes receiving, admitting, or offering to admit or receive another person into a house of prostitution, or any other place, to engage in the act of prostitution.
Upon a conviction with solicitation by accosting, inviting, receiving, or admitting, the defendant will face a maximum penalty of 93 days in jail, a fine not exceeding $500, or both.
For a second conviction, the defendant will be guilty of a misdemeanor, which attracts a maximum of one year in prison, a $1,000 fine, or both.
For a third and subsequent conviction, the offender will be guilty of a felony, carrying a penalty of not more than two years in prison, a fine of $2,000, or both.
Irrespective of whether it’s the first time facing a solicitation charge, getting skilled criminal defense attorneys to represent you should be a priority, if you hope to beat your charges.
You do not want a solicitation of a prostitute conviction to appear in your records, as it can affect your ability to travel, find a job, or even find apartments for rent.
SOLICITING SEX FROM A MINOR CHARGES
Under Michigan Penal Code § 750.145a, it’s a criminal offense for any person to solicit sex from a person below 16 years of age.
The defendant doesn’t have to offer money in exchange for sex to be charged with soliciting a minor; the only requirement is that the person requested sex from a person below 16 years old.
Upon conviction, the offender will be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment with a maximum term of four years in prison, a fine of $4,000, or both.
Repeat offenses attract up to 10 years in prison, a fine of $10,000, or both.
This offense also calls for sex offender registration as a tier-one offender, according to the Michigan Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA).
MICHIGAN POLICE STING OPERATION
As earlier stated, a person doesn’t have to participate in a sexual act to face a solicitation charge.
Many Michigan solicitation charges are a result of police sting operations. A sting operation involves law enforcement officers going undercover to catch criminals engaged in soliciting prostitutes.
Frequently, police officers pose as prostitutes, in strategic locations, hoping to find people to offer them money for sex. As soon as a person solicits an undercover law enforcement officer, the rest of the team swoops in to make an arrest.
If your charge results from a police sting operation, your defense team may look at entrapment as a possible defense strategy for your charges.
Entrapment often happens when an officer uses underhand methods to trick a person, who would not have otherwise engaged in prostitution, into committing a crime.
Proving entrapment can be complicated. The key to proving entrapment calls for working with a criminal defense lawyer with experience in Michigan law.
YOUR RIGHT TO AN ATTORNEY
Once arrested for any crime in America, you have the right to an attorney.
Often, a solicitation-related charge becomes complicated when the defendant starts speaking to the investigating officers without a lawyer.
You have the right to remain silent and not answer any questions until you have a lawyer present.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking it will make you look nice and innocent if you talk. The main goal of the police is to nail a suspect, and talking to them presents opportunities for errors that can be very costly.
Therefore, make sure the first step you take is calling a lawyer as soon as you get arrested for solicitation.
DEFENDING YOUR SOLICITATION RELATED CHARGE IN MICHIGAN
Prostitution and solicitation of prostitute charges can be very complicated legal challenges. This is mainly because the charges rely heavily on police observation.
Sometimes a police officer may observe what they think is a transaction intended to solicit a sexual act. The problem is their interpretation may not always be accurate.
Even if money changed hands, it’s not always obvious that the exchange was for sexual services.
Beating your charges will be highly dependent on your ability to craft and present compelling defense arguments.
A skilled criminal defense lawyer can scrutinize all of the evidence and testimonies presented in court for loopholes that can effectively introduce reasonable doubt to the prosecution’s case.
LET ATTORNEY NICOLE BLANK BECKER HELP YOU WITH YOUR SOLICITATION RELATED CHARGES TODAY
When facing solicitation charges, you want a lawyer that is experienced in sex crime laws.
Nicole Blank Becker, of Blank Law, PC, is a skilled Michigan defense attorney solely focused on sex crimes. She has dedicated 20+ years of her law career mastering Michigan criminal law, which puts her a step ahead of her peers.
Nicole’s main goal is to create an attorney-client relationship that ensures her clients don’t feel stigmatized based on their charges. The Blank Law, PC law firm offers a first free consultation for all clients.
Reach out to us today to get yourself your free consultation with the best sex crime attorney in Michigan. You can call us toll-free at (248) 515-6583, or contact from text message or voicemail, the contact form or email and we’ll be more than happy to hear you out.