Cecil County Prostitution Lawyer
While prostitution may be referred to in Cecil County as a victimless crime, concerns regarding exploitation and human trafficking have changed the way lawmakers view this offense. Conduct that may once have been acknowledged with a wink and a slap on the wrist now carries the potential for heavy penalties.
There are numerous defense strategies that a Cecil County prostitution lawyer could use to fight charges connected with prostitution. If you are facing charges involving prostitution-related offenses, an experienced criminal defense attorney familiar with the ways local courts handle these crimes could work tirelessly work on your behalf.
Consequences of a Conviction
Some offenses involving prostitution may be considered misdemeanors, while others are felonies. Many of the misdemeanor crimes may be penalized with lengthy sentences and heavy fines that might cause them to be considered felonies in other jurisdictions.
Engaging in prostitution is considered a misdemeanor under Maryland Code, Criminal Law §11-306. Those convicted may be subject to imprisonment for up to one year and fined up to $500. Other offenses with similar penalties under this statute could include:
- Setting up or maintaining a building for prostitution
- Allowing a building to be used for prostitution
- Allowing someone to enter a building for prostitution
- Soliciting or procuring for prostitution
A prostitution attorney in Cecil County could help an accused person learn how the law may affect their case.
Penalties a Defendant May Face
At the opposite end of the spectrum, if someone entices a minor under age 16 away from home to engage in prostitution and hides that minor, they may be found guilty of a felony punishable by as much as 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 under Maryland Code, Criminal Law §11-305. Or those who engage in behavior considered to constitute human trafficking could be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison and face fines as high as $15,000.
In between these extremes, other offenses connected with prostitution are labeled misdemeanors but may carry severe consequences. Receiving money from a prostitute may be penalized by up to 10 years in prison and a fine as high as $10,000. A Cecil County attorney could help defendants build a defense case when facing prostitution allegations.
How Prostitution is Defined in State Law
The law prohibiting the basic crime of prostitution is phrased very simply. Maryland Code, Criminal Law §11-306 specifies that “a person may not knowingly engage in prostitution or assignation by any means.” The terms prostitution and assignation are defined earlier in Maryland Code, Criminal Law §11-301. Someone commits the crime of prostitution by performing a sexual act, making sexual contact, or engaging in vaginal intercourse “for hire.”
When someone makes an appointment to engage in prostitution and takes any act toward furthering that appointment, they may be guilty of assignation. Sexual contact is defined pretty broadly to include any intentional touching of “intimate areas” for sexual arousal, so the threshold of action needed to constitute a violation could be considered rather low. An experienced attorney could explain how Maryland classifies and goes after the illegal sex industry.
Speak with a Cecil County Prostitution Attorney
Even misdemeanor charges involving prostitution may have a detrimental effect on your life. Since a criminal record is typically visible to anyone with a computer, a prostitution charge may cause difficulties with employment, housing, and personal relationships even without a conviction.
But a Cecil County prostitution lawyer could advise you of steps to take to preserve your rights and fight the charges. It may be possible to have an attorney fight on your behalf. To learn the options available in your situation, call now.