Prostitution Charges: Everything You Need to Know
Exchanging sex for money, or any other form of compensation for favors, commonly known as prostitution, is illegal in all fifty states in the U.S.
In Nevada, however, it’s legal to engage in prostitution, as long as it happens in licensed brothels.
While prostitution may be viewed by many as a victimless crime, a conviction of prostitution-related sexual crimes can have a huge impact on your reputation and must be avoided at all costs.
If you face prostitution or any sex crime charges in Michigan, your best chance of getting a fair outcome would be working with a skilled criminal defense attorney, preferably one solely focused on sex crimes.
Prostitution Related Charges in Michigan
Although the definition of prostitution may be straightforward, in Michigan, many crimes fall under this category of prostitution.
Some of these include:
Engaging in Prostitution
Under Michigan law, any person above the age of 16 who chooses to engage in prostitution, when caught, is likely to face criminal charges.
Upon conviction as a first-time offender, the accused will be guilty of a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of 93 days in jail, a $500 fine, or both.
A second offense is also a misdemeanor carrying a maximum sentence of one year in prison, a $1,000 fine, or both.
Third and consecutive convictions constitute a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of up to two years, a $2,000 fine, or both.
Solicitation of a Prostitute
Prostitution and solicitation of a prostitute charges go hand in hand. While prostitution charges are directed to the prostitute, solicitation charges are directed towards the client.
Solicitation of a prostitute involves the actions leading to the sexual act. It can include inviting a prostitute to your car, discussing payment or even discussing arrangements for specific sexual acts.
Like prostitution, solicitation of a prostitute is an offense under Michigan law. It’s important to note that you can be charged with solicitation even when the sexual acts in question were not performed. The prosecution only needs to prove that you demanded, requested, or encouraged another person to engage in prostitution by facilitating them to commit the crime.
Penalties for solicitation charges are similar to penalties for prostitution, which are listed above.
Assisting, Aiding, or Abetting Prostitution
It’s a criminal offense under Michigan law to aid or assist a prostitute in seeking clients, or help a person find prostitution services.
Upon conviction, an offender will face misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on whether the offense was a first-time or a repeat offense.
Penalties for assisting a prostitute are similar to penalties for prostitution or hiring a prostitute.
Running a “House of Ill Fame”
Under Michigan law, it’s a criminal offense to keep, operate, maintain, assist in keeping, or manage a house used for prostitution or lewdness.
Upon a conviction, an offender will be guilty of a felony punishable by a maximum of five years in jail or a fine not to exceed $2,500.
Owning and Leasing a House for Prostitution
Under Michigan law, it’s a crime for any landlord to lease out a house to a tenant while they know that the tenant intends to use the house for prostitution.
Upon conviction, the offender will be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of six months in jail or a fine not to exceed $750.
Forcing One’s Wife into Prostitution
Under Michigan prostitution law, it’s a felony to put one’s wife into prostitution through fraud, threat, force, intimidation, or coercion.
A conviction of this crime will result in up to 20 years in prison.
Accepting Money from a Prostitute/Living off the Proceeds of Prostitution
Knowingly living off the proceeds of prostitution or receiving money from a prostitute or a pimp, while knowing that the money is earned through prostitution, is a felony under Michigan law punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Detaining a Prostitute in a House of Prostitution
In Michigan, it’s illegal for any person to hold a prostitute in a house of prostitution against her will because of a debt they may have incurred while staying or working in the house.
Upon conviction, the offender will be guilty of a felony with a penalty of between two to 20 years in state prison.
Transporting a Female for Prostitution
Transportation of persons for the purpose of prostitution is illegal in Michigan.
Upon conviction, an offender will be guilty of a felony that could carry penalties of up to 20 years in state prison.
If the transportation of a prostitute crosses state or international boundaries, the offender could also face other federal charges, alongside state charges.
Allowing an Underage Person to Stay or Work at a Brothel
Allowing a minor to reside in a house of prostitution, even if they do not actively engage in prostitution, is a crime under Michigan law.
A first-time offender faces a misdemeanor charge with penalties of up to 93 days in jail, a $500 fine, or both.
A second-time offender faces a misdemeanor charge carrying a penalty of up to one year jail time, a $1,000 fine, or both.
A third-time and consecutive offender will face a felony charge carrying a sentence of up to two years prison time, a $2,000 fine, or both.
How Prostitution Arrests Happen in Michigan
Many prostitution-related arrests result from police sting operations. In Michigan, law enforcement officers can pose as prostitutes or clients to catch those engaging in solicitation of prostitutes and prostitution. These types of operations are sometimes referred to as entrapment.
When conducting their operations, some law enforcement officers overstep their boundaries, resulting in some people, who would have not otherwise engaged in prostitution, getting caught up with their trickery.
If you believe you have been unfairly targeted by a law enforcement officer during a sting operation, talking to a good and reliable sex crimes attorney can help.
A skilled defense attorney can use entrapment as a defense strategy in your case to give you a favorable outcome.
Additional Charges on Top of Prostitution
It may happen that a person facing prostitution-related charges could be facing other crimes as well.
For example, if they were arrested for having sex in a public place, they could be charged with gross indecency, alongside their prostitution and solicitation charges.
Upon a conviction with gross indecency, an offender is subjected to a sex offender registration, with the Michigan sex offender registry, for up to 25 years. The time someone must be listed for may vary depending on the age of the victim.
Federal Charges may also Apply
Besides facing charges in state courts, sexual crimes that cross state lines could attract federal charges.
Federal sex crime charges can result in very severe penalties. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that you work with a lawyer who has good experience in sex crime laws at a state and federal level.
Let Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney Nicole Blank Becker Help With Your Prostitution or Solicitation Case Today!
Sex crimes are serious and can cause serious harm to your reputation. With that said, it’s important not to panic when facing prostitution, or any other criminal sexual conduct charges. Having a clear head can help you make better judgments.
If you live in Michigan, Nicole Blank Becker, of Blank Law, PC is your best bet.
Nicole has over 20 years of practice and solely focuses on Sex Crimes! This means that she knows and understands almost everything about sex laws, on both a state and federal level.
In her 20+ years, Nicole has defended the most severe of sexual crimes, with outstanding results.
If you are looking for a defense attorney keen to create an attorney-client relationship like no other, Nicole is your lawyer. She is focused on giving you the best legal advice possible, based on your charges, without passing judgment.
You can reach Nicole by contacting our law firm, Blank Law, PC, at (248) 515-6583 and book a free consultation.