Prostitution, as many people are aware, is illegal throughout the state of Arizona and the majority of states/locations within the United States. Prostitution is defined as any engaging in, offering, or agreeing to sexual services under a fee arrangement.

With such severe and wide-ranging legislation in this regard, anyone who solicits a prostitute could be considered as “engaged in” the process and could be facing criminal charges. It’s important to know your rights and the allegations brought against you if you are facing charges for soliciting prostitution. Make sure you consult with a Mesa criminal defense attorney sooner rather than later. Minimizing this charge could come back to bite you later.

Penalties for Prostitution Solicitation

If you have been accused of soliciting a prostitute, but this is your first offense, you could be looking at a class 1 misdemeanor. A charge like this carries up to 15 days in jail. If you have been convicted of this before, you should be prepared for stricter consequences. For a second offense, you could get up to 30 days in jail, for example. For a third or further offense of this type, the charge becomes a class 5 felony with up to 180 days in prison.

The Impact of Criminal Charges on Your Record

Aside from the direct criminal penalties, it can be embarrassing or frustrating to have a criminal charge on your record. This is why many individuals in this situation seek out a Mesa criminal defense lawyer to help craft a defense strategy as soon as possible. Having a charge like this haunt your future is something you should avoid if you can, and it’s recommended that you work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight the charges.

Handling Your Defense

If you have already been charged, there is a strong chance that you might have engaged in a conversation with an undercover police officer posing in the role of prostitute. Like with any criminal investigation that involves undercover police, your attorney should evaluate the potential of an entrapment defense. To use this defense, your attorney would need to demonstrate that you were both urged by the officer and induced to solicit the act.

Entrapment revolves around the idea of the criminal act being suggested by the police officer and the idea that the accused individual would not have committed this act without being encouraged to do so by the police officer. This means that the accused person was not predisposed to commit the act without the encouragement and suggestion made by the officer.

Although this is one of the most common defenses after you have been accused of soliciting a prostitute, it’s certainly not your only option. You need to walk through the evidence and the circumstances of your arrest with your Mesa criminal defense lawyer to determine the course of action most appropriate for your needs. A strong defense is the best way to reduce the chances that you’ll be looking at criminal penalties for a solicitation charge in Arizona.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.