Maryland Prostitution Penalties
Below Maryland prostitution lawyer Seth Okin answers questions about the penalties for prostitution and solicitation in Maryland.
What are the penalties for prostitution or solicitation charges?
Seth Okin: The penalties for prostitution are one year in jail, which is the maximum penalty, as well as a $500 fine. It could be one or the other, or it could be both, but those are the maximums. The penalties increase from there depending on whether the individual is accused of human trafficking or anything that involves a minor. The penalties for those offenses vary from 10 years and a $5,000 fine up to 25 years and a $15,000 fine. The ultimate penalty is that the person would be forced to register as a sex offender.
What are the long-term implications of a prostitution or solicitation conviction?
Seth Okin: In cases like these, the long-term implications are even worse than for DUI. Everyone knows they shouldn’t drink and drive, but people still do it, so that is one of the worst things out there. People always frown upon an alcohol-related offense, but if you’re convicted of prostitution, then that is really frowned upon. From that point forward you would be looked at in a very different way by your family members, wife, husband, children, grandchildren, and people you work with.
What impact can a prostitution or solicitation charge have on an individual’s immigration status?
Seth Okin: Immigration itself is unique in that there are certain consistencies in terms of the types of crimes that are committed, whether they be felonies, aggravated felonies, or where substance abuse was involved in some way. Those are certain things that we have to look at right away. Were there firearms, money laundering, or any type of smuggling involved? Basically they are looking for fraud and violence. I caution all of my clients that if they are not a U.S. citizen then there are always consequences. A conviction could be grounds for deportation, but that’s when I would refer them to an immigration attorney. In some situations, it can mean deportation, but in most situations, someone is just trying to make money and no one is really getting hurt. As far as we know, people have been selling sex for thousands of years. Does anyone ever get hurt? Possibly, yes. If they are in a situation where they are being forced to do it then they are being hurt and they are not doing it because they want to do it. But there are other situations where they are not hurting themselves or anyone else and they are taking proper precautions to legitimately getting tested for STDs. Yes, it is a crime, so when it comes to immigration status, they look at good moral character at the time of the application and this would show that someone does not have the best moral character. They might not be able to become a citizen right away; they might have to wait for an extended period of time.