Washington County Prostitution Lawyer
Prostitution or the performance of sexual acts in exchange for money remains an illegal activity throughout most of the country. More often than not, these investigations and subsequent arrests start with an online advertisement, website, or personal ads. The consequences to responding to such things are rarely anything short of life-altering. If you are facing prostitution or related charges, you may wish to consult a Washington County prostitution lawyer for assistance.
The penalties for a prostitution conviction are damaging for your job and your reputation. You may be in a better position to avoid or minimize the impact of a prostitution charge by enlisting the help of a criminal lawyer. Working with legal counsel could enable you to develop a clear and effective defense strategy that you need in this situation.
Prostitution in Washington County
Under Md. Code, Crim. Law § 11-301, prostitution occurs when people perform sexual acts, engage in sexual contact, or provide sexual intercourse for hire, whether in exchange for money or something else of value. Purposely engaging in prostitution is unlawful under § 11-303, as is being present in a building, structure, or vehicle to carry out an act of prostitution.
Assignation involves making an appointment or engagement for prostitution or taking any action to carry out the planned activities. Both assignation and prostitution are equally unlawful, as well as being present in a building, structure, or vehicle to carry out either activity.
Penalties for Prostitution
State law treats prostitution and assignation equally as misdemeanor offenses. A conviction for either crime can result in a jail sentence of up to one year and a $500 fine. Additionally, since there is no statute of limitations on prostitution or assignation charges, prosecutors can file these charges long after the acts occur.
A prostitution or assignation conviction also creates a criminal record. Although these offenses are misdemeanors, they still may be damaging to the ability to get some jobs or pursue some careers. As a prostitution lawyer in Washington County may advise, having a prostitution conviction show up on a routine background check can be a challenging situation to overcome in terms of employment or even volunteer opportunities.
Various other acts related to or in support of prostitution exist under state law, including:
- Profiting from prostitution
- Solicitation of prostitution or assignation
- Setting up or maintaining a structure or vehicle, or agreeing to allow others to set up or maintain a structure or vehicle for prostitution or assignation
These crimes all are misdemeanor offenses, as well, but some carry the potential for harsher penalties than a prostitution charge. Under § 11-304, receiving or acquiring proceeds from a person engaged in prostitution to promote the crime, profit from the crime, or conceal or disguise the offense is a misdemeanor, but can result in a prison sentence of up to ten years and a $10,000 fine.
Duress as an Affirmative Defense to Prostitution
There are statutes that set forth the affirmative defense of duress to prostitution or assignation. If the accused persons committed prostitution or assignation as a victim of human trafficking, they might be able to utilize this defense in any charges that they are facing under this code section.
Individuals may not assert this defense unless they notify the prosecution of their intent to use this defense at least ten days before trial. Utilizing this affirmative defense and other defenses that may be available in some cases may be more productive with the assistance of a prostitution attorney in Washington County. Successfully asserting any defense in a criminal proceeding involves presenting sufficient evidence in support of that defense.
Work with a Washington County Prostitution Attorney
Safeguarding your reputation, your job, and your family requires you to mount an aggressive defense when you are facing prostitution or related charges. Developing the defense strategy that is most likely to be effective in your case may be more likely with the input of a Washington County prostitution lawyer.
Relying on experienced legal defense counsel to protect your rights is likely to be your best means of protection in a criminal case. Having a strong advocate on your behalf throughout your criminal proceedings could help you reach a more favorable resolution to the charges against you.