Charles County Solicitation Lawyer

Solicitation charges could be a shock and an embarrassment to you, your family, your employer, and the community. Although solicitation is generally a misdemeanor offense, you still could face jail time and high fines, as well as damage to your personal and professional reputation. By consulting with a Charles County solicitation lawyer, you may be able to overcome or reduce the charges and penalties that you are facing.

Accusations of solicitation often reflect a subjective assessment of your actions by law enforcement officers. As a result, allegations of wrongdoing may be exaggerated or inaccurate. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to investigate the circumstances that led to your charges and challenge the evidence against you.

Solicitation Charges in Charles County

Solicitation under Md. Code, Crim. Law § 11-301 occurs when individuals persuade, encourage, ask, or require a sexual act to occur. The crime of solicitation often occurs in the context of prostitution and assignation, which involve the provisions of sex acts for money or other items of value.
Under Md. Code, Crim. Law § 11-301, prostitution occurs when individuals engage in sexual acts, contact, or intercourse in exchange for money or anything of value. Assignation is defined as when individuals set up an appointment with others for prostitution. Individuals also commit assignation when they take any step toward carrying out prearranged prostitution.

Solicitation could take various forms based on the breadth of the state criminal code. Some common examples of solicitation may include individuals who:

  • Hire prostitutes to provide sex acts for themselves or others
  • Encourage others to participate in a prostitution scheme
  • Persuade others to meet them at a specific location for sex in exchange for money
  • Force others to engage in prostitution
  • Responses to online ads
  • The use of text messages for the discussion of “services”
  • Exchanges of cash

Penalties for Solicitation

Under Maryland law, solicitation is a misdemeanor offense. A conviction for solicitation, like prostitution, could result in a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of $500. Since there is no mandatory minimum jail sentence required for solicitation, first-time offenders may not serve jail time, but instead may serve a term on probation.

In some jurisdictions, diversionary programs also may be available, depending on the circumstances. Nonetheless, individuals still may face collateral consequences as a result of a solicitation conviction, both professionally and personally. Due to the stigma that surrounds solicitation, prostitution, and assignation charges, individuals may wish to contact a solicitation lawyer in Charles County for advice.

Police Sting Operations

Arrests for solicitation and related crimes often stem from police sting operations. Undercover police officers often pose as prostitutes in online publications to draw individuals into soliciting prostitution. Since the legal definition of solicitation under state law is so broad, a solicitation conviction does not require money to change hands or sexual activity to occur. As a result, police easily could set up sting operations and arrest individuals for alleged solicitation, even if their intent to commit solicitation is less than clear.

Likewise, a solicitation conviction does not require any agreement between the parties that prostitution is going to occur. Therefore, a solicitation arrest may occur even if the other party had no intention of going through with the transaction. The mere arrival of individuals at a meeting place or location following a general discussion about prostitution could be enough to support a solicitation charge. As a result of how easy it is to be charged, getting the assistance of a solicitation attorney in Charles County could be crucial to protecting the rights of those charged with solicitation.

Call a Charles County Solicitation Attorney for Assistance

As solicitation has such a broad definition under state law, reasonable people could differ as to whether the actions of individuals rise to the level of solicitation. Since a criminal conviction requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt, individuals are likely to benefit from getting legal advice from the outset of their cases. A Charles County solicitation lawyer could be instrumental in reaching a more favorable resolution of the charges against you.