Prostitution Laws In Arizona: The Consequences Of Solicitation & The Importance Of Legal Representation
The state of Arizona recognizes prostitution as a serious crime. Not only is prostitution generally frowned upon by society as a whole, but people who are accused of prostitution may be held in contempt by others. Being arrested or charged with solicitation of prostitution can be embarrassing and seriously damage your reputation, even if you are falsely accused.
If you’ve been accused of soliciting for prostitution in Arizona, it’s imperative to consult with an experienced Tempe sex crimes attorney immediately to discuss your rights, legal options, and potential defenses.
How Are Prostitution & Solicitation Defined In Arizona?
Arizona state statutes define prostitution as “engaging in or agreeing or offering to engage in sexual conduct under a fee arrangement with any person for money or any other valuable consideration.” Simply stated, any exchange of sexual conduct as a transaction can be considered prostitution.
Solicitation of prostitution means to hire, offer to hire, or agree to hire another person with the intention of engaging in sexual contact. The state of Arizona does not define solicitation, but instead leaves it up to local governments. This means that if you are arrested for soliciting a prostitute, you will be prosecuted according to the laws of the city where the offense occurred. The majority of cities in Arizona outlaw the solicitation of prostitution, with similar definitions and punishments in their codes of law. As an example, the Phoenix Municipal Code indicates that it is illegal to engage in prostitution or to solicit someone else for an act of prostitution.
What Is Required To Convict For Solicitation?
In order for you to receive a conviction of solicitation, the prosecutor will need to prove three elements:
- You requested an individual to engage in an act of prostitution
- You intended to engage in prostitution with that person
- The other person received the request
An act of prostitution can include anything from a lewd act to sexual intercourse. The prosecutor bears the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt before a conviction can occur.
It’s important to realize that a person charged with solicitation does not have to have actually paid the other person. The crime of solicitation has been committed as soon as there is agreement to make a transaction for sex. This leaves the door open for false accusations, entrapment, and other scenarios. Because charges of solicitation can be very complicated, it’s important to consult with a Mesa sex crimes lawyer immediately for the best possible outcome.
What Are The Consequences For Soliciting Prostitution In Arizona?
There are no consequences for solicitation of prostitution at the state level because the state law does not address solicitation. Instead, the consequences will be determined by local or municipal law in which the alleged crime occurred. Many cities in Arizona have very similar regulations and consequences for solicitation, with the vast majority of municipalities considering solicitation to be a class 1 misdemeanor.
In Phoenix, a first conviction of solicitation will receive:
- Minimum jail time of 15 days up to a maximum of 6 months
- Fine of up to $2500
- Surcharge of 84% on any imposed fines
- Up to 3 years of probation, potentially including counseling and classes
Subsequent violations will receive stricter penalties, including a longer minimum jail sentence. Individuals who are convicted of solicitation will also face additional consequences that can include social and relational challenges, loss of professional licensure, or difficulty finding employment and housing.
What Should I Do If I Am Accused Of Soliciting For Prostitution In Arizona?
There are several steps to take if you have been accused of solicitation in Arizona. Most importantly, stay calm and composed.
- Utilize your right to stay silent, because anything that you say can be used against you in court.
- Contact an experienced Chandler sex crimes attorney for legal advice and representation. Your attorney will guide you through your next steps and begin a legal defense.
- Collect any evidence that might help prove your innocence, including phone records, screenshots, video surveillance, and more
- Locate witnesses who can corroborate your story
- Discuss with your attorney any potential evidence or statements that you have already made to the police
Some things to avoid include:
- Talking to law enforcement or court officials without your lawyer present
- Fleeting the scene
- Sharing information about the case with friends or family
- Posting about the case on any social media channels
How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me?
Working with an experienced Chandler criminal defense attorney is imperative. Your attorney will identify potential defense strategies, find weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, collect evidence and witness testimony, guide you through the court process, and represent you throughout the entire case. Don’t try to face a solicitation charge without the guidance of an attorney who is knowledgeable in sex crime accusations.
Contact An Experienced Sex Crimes Lawyer Today
Being accused of solicitation is a serious situation, and it’s important to act right away. Your personal and professional life is at risk, but you have options! The attorneys at VS Criminal Defense have extensive experience navigating accusations of solicitation for prostitution and ready to stand by your side throughout the entire process. Contact us to schedule a confidential consultation to learn more about your legal options and how VS Criminal Defense can protect your rights.
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