Soliciting Prostitution Online Charges: What You Need to Know
Prostitution is considered a serious crime. Paying someone money for sexual gratification is illegal in all states, except Nevada, which has controlled brothels. Besides the actual prostitution, solicitation of a prostitute is also a crime punishable by jail time and hefty fines, on top of other court fees.
Like other sex crimes, being convicted of a solicitation of a prostitute charge is embarrassing and may ruin your reputation. If you have a conviction for soliciting a prostitute, this can directly impact your employability.
Many people facing prostitution or solicitation of a prostitute charges take the offenses lightly, only to realize later that they made a terrible mistake and should have educated themselves prior to moving forward so flipantly. If you face any kind of prostitution charge in Michigan, call (248) 515-6583 to book a free consultation and case evaluation with Michigan’s best prostitution lawyer, attorney Nicole Blank Becker of Blank Law, PC.
What is Solicitation of a Prostitute?
Solicitation of a prostitute is the act that precedes a sexual act, which can include inviting someone to a vehicle or room to perform sexual acts, in exchange for money. The charge of solicitation of a prostitute involves two parties: the solicitor and the solicited. In order to be charged with solicitation of a prostitute, the offender does not have to actually engage in a sexual act. The only requirement is to show that you had the “intent.” Also, there is no requirement that money changes hands. The only requirement the prosecutor has to show is that there was an intent to pay for a sex act during the interaction.
Solicitation of a Minor
It is important to note that an offense qualifies as a solicitation of a prostitute so long as the person being solicited is over 16 years old. If the person being solicited is under the age of 16, the crime constitutes as a solicitation of a minor, which is way more severe and carries much harsher penalties.
Much like solicitation of prostitution charges, there is no requirement for money to change hands or even a discussion for payment to be had to face a solicitation of a minor charge. The only requirement is that the other person is under 16 years old.
Soliciting Prostitution Online
Historically, solicitation of a prostitute involved the solicitor driving or walking a street, or any other place, to find a prostitute and engage in a face-to-face conversation about payment agreements prior to engaging in a sexual act. With the advent of the internet, however, everything has changed, and some sex crimes, including soliciting a prostitute, have now been charged based on online solicitation (internet sex crimes).
The Laws that Make Using the Internet to Commit a Sex Crime Illegal
MCL 750.145d criminalizes the use of the internet or a computer to commit a sex crime.
The common crimes covered under Michigan internet sex crimes include:
- Internet Child Pornography
- Online Solicitation of a Prostitute
- Online Solicitation of a Minor
The difference between traditional solicitation of a prostitute and internet solicitation of a prostitute is the use of the internet or a computer to achieve the solicitation. This means that the person soliciting prostitution (solicitor) uses the internet to invite, approach, or communicate with the solicited and offers to pay for a sexual act.
Just like charges of solicitation of a prostitute, when someone solicits a person on the internet, they do not have to engage in sexual intercourse for charges to be applicable. The only requirement is that the accused person showed “intent” to pay for sex acts with the other person. There must always be some discussion about payment for sex acts in these cases.
Solicitation of a Minor over the Internet
If the online solicitation charges were as a result of soliciting a person that is 16 years old or older, the solicitor will likely be charged with solicitation of a prostitute via the internet. However, online solicitation of persons younger than 16 years old will result in solicitation of a minor via the Internet charge.
Penalties for Prostitute Solicitation Online
Penalties for online solicitation of prostitution charges are applied as enhancements to the underlying crime. A good example is if the underlying online solicitation of a prostitute offense is a misdemeanor, with a penalty of up to one year in jail. In such a case, the sex offender will receive an enhanced sentence of up to one year, a fine not exceeding $5,000, or both. This enhancement is applicable for first and second-time convictions with online solicitation of prostitution, which carry penalties of up to 93 days and not more than 12 months, respectively.
If the underlying crime is a misdemeanor or a felony carrying a penalty of a maximum of two years, the enhancement penalty will be an additional sentence of up to two years, a fine not exceeding $5,000, or both. This enhancement applies to persons with more than two convictions for internet solicitation of prostitutes.
Police Sting Operations
It is legal for a law enforcement officer in Michigan to pose as prostitutes on the side of the street, in a bar, or anywhere else they desire. This is done to nab persons engaging in illegal solicitation of prostitutes. The law does not consider this entrapment. That argument will fail in court.
It is very common for a law enforcement officer to pose as a prostitute online. These internet sex crimes are typically done through operations commonly referred to as ‘sting operations.’ For solicitation of a prostitute online, undercover police officers may pose as prostitutes in chat rooms. Often times, law enforcement is known to go overboard when setting up a sting operation, resulting in people who would otherwise not engage in criminal behavior finding themselves caught up in a solicitation of prostitution online charge. If your online solicitation charges result from an internet sting operation, a skilled internet sex crimes attorney can help you.
What to do if You are Arrested for Solicitation of a Minor via the Internet
If it is your first time having a brush with the law, an arrest for solicitation of a prostitute can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, the overwhelming moment can cause you to make mistakes that can further complicate your solicitation of a prostitute charge.
When arrested for solicitation of prostitution offense, or any other type of sex related offense, the first thing you should do is remember your rights. These rights include remaining silent and having legal representation with you every step of the way.
It is always best to enlist an experienced criminal defense lawyer from a reputable law firm in order to better your chances of a fair outcome.
Let Criminal Defense Lawyer Nicole Blank Becker Help You with Your Case
Defending your internet solicitation of a prostitute charge can be complicated, especially where there is evidence to show criminal intent. With that said, it is possible to significantly reduce your charges by working with the best, Michigan criminal defense attorney Nicole Blank Becker of Blank Law, PC.
Nicole’s 20+ years of practice in criminal law makes her more than just an experienced lawyer. She was the Chief of the Sexual Assault Unit and the Child Abuse Unit in Macomb County for years. Now, as a criminal defense attorney, she is solely focused on sex crimes. Therefore, she has deep insight into Michigan sex crime laws from both persepectives.
Having worked with countless people facing sexual assault charges, Nicole understands that being charged with a solicitation crime does not define who you are. Nicole is ready to fight for you and your rights, and she does not back down. In fact, Nicole believes in fighting for her clients tenaciously.
Nicole insists on building a solid attorney-client relationship so the truth can finally be told. Speaking to Nicole, you will feel the stress lift off of your shoulders and happily put onto her shoulders You will even feel at ease when sharing the details of your case, which is critical to building a strong defense. Nicole believes in honesty and not making false promises.
Call Blank Law, PC today for a free initial consultation. Call (248) 515-6583 or fill out this online contact form to book your free consultation and get criminal defense attorney Nicole Blank Becker on your case.
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