Howard County Solicitation Lawyer
In movies and television, it may appear that soliciting a prostitute is merely a fun evening or a funny prank. However, the police view it as a serious matter and vigorously pursue actions against suspects. What may have started as a fun night could end in misunderstandings and handcuffs. If an officer believes you were attempting to engage a person for some sexual activity in exchange for something of value, that officer can arrest you.
You may be in shock if you find yourself in police custody. Your first job is to remain silent and the second may be to speak to an attorney. Your freedom and reputation may be at risk. To adequately protect yourself, you may find the advice of a Howard County solicitation lawyer to be vital. You may find out there are defenses or arguments available to you which may result in a more favorable outcome than you previously expected.
Solicitation Laws in Howard County
Solicitation is defined by the Maryland legislature and includes “urging, advising, inducing, encouraging, requesting or commanding another” to engage in some act of prostitution, as defined in Criminal Code §11-301. It is also a crime to make a plan or appointment with a person to engage in prostitution, which is called assignation. Prostitution is hiring out a person’s body for some sexual act or contact.
Penalty for Solicitation
If a person knowingly engages in solicitation or assignation, that is a misdemeanor, as noted in Criminal Code §11-306. A court may sentence a person to up to one year in jail and order that person pays a fine of up to $500.
The same punish applies if a person enters a building to engage the services of a prostitute. That means the police may arrest a person if that person entered a dwelling used for prostitution. The penalties are harsh, therefore, it is essential for defendants to reach out to a solicitation lawyer in Howard County.
Solicitation of Minors
As noted above, a person may not solicit another person to perform some sexual act in exchange for money. If the person solicited is younger than 16 years old, the punishment is more significant, as described in Criminal Code §11-305. If a person either attempts to convince, induce or help a young person to engage in prostitution, that is a felony. A court may sentence a person to up to 25 years in jail and order that person pays a fine of up to $5,000.
If a person attempts to persuade another person to help them find an underage prostitute, the court could convict that person of human trafficking, which is located in Criminal Code §11-303. Human trafficking is a felony, and a court may punish a person with up to 25 years in jail and a fine of no more than $15,000.
Enlist the Services of a Howard County Solicitation Attorney Today
You may not know what step to take if the police have arrested you for solicitation. Perhaps your first move should be to contact an attorney so that you can learn more about the potential charges and what the related penalties are. You may find that there are defenses you can argue which may protect you from the government or at least lessen any possible penalties.
Schedule a meeting with a Howard County solicitation lawyer who may be knowledgeable about the law and how the criminal process works. You may find the advice of an attorney helpful and it may set your mind at ease to know what to expect.