When facing federal prostitution charges, it’s hard to know what to do and who to turn to. The thought of going to prison is stressful, not only because of the time spent inside but also because of the stigma attached to doing time and the difficulty people have reentering society.
Everyone deserves a helping hand when it comes to prison preparation and finding a prostitution defense attorney. If you are facing incarceration for prostitution, a federal prison consultant can help you make the best decisions for your future. They can:
- Help you find a prostitution lawyer
- Give you information about what to expect in federal prison and how to serve your term best
- Inform you of problems that may arise while you are in federal prison
- Make your reentry into society after your release go as smoothly as possible
Read on to learn about the laws regarding prostitution and sexual conduct.
What Is Prostitution?
Also known as commercial sex or sex work, prostitution is the act of performing sexual acts in exchange for money. State laws also consider it illegal to offer sexual services for cash and pay for said services, regardless of whether the services are ever provided.
Hiring a prostitute is known as “soliciting a prostitute” and is just as illegal as prostitution itself. It is also illegal to work as an intermediary or “pimp” between a prostitute and a customer. The legal terminology for this act is “pandering.” All of these are considered prohibited sexual conduct.
Prostitution falls into one of three categories: brothel prostitution, street prostitution, and escort prostitution.
- Brothel prostitution is illegal in most of the United States, but some still operate under the guise of a massage parlor, spa, or other legal establishments.
- Street prostitution is a kind of prostitution that a sex worker solicits in a public place, usually a street corner or a park.
- Escort prostitution is typically managed by escort agencies that match sex workers with clients who request services. The arranged meeting usually takes place either at the client’s residence or the escort’s residence.
Is Prostitution Illegal?
Prostitution is illegal in most of the 50 states. Each state has its laws regarding prostitution, and almost every county in the U.S. categorizes prostitution as unlawful. The most prominent exception is a handful of counties in rural Nevada.
Laws regarding prostitution are a lot more nuanced than simply prohibiting a person from performing sex acts for compensation. You can also be prosecuted for merely offering sexual services for money or soliciting prostitution.
Solicitation of prostitution is defined as agreeing to pay for sex. In most states, solicitation is a misdemeanor just as punishable as prostitution itself. You can still be charged with solicitation even if the sexual act never happened. This law is how undercover law enforcement makes arrests during sting operations.
Is Prostitution a Federal Crime?
Usually, the federal government leaves the regulation of prostitution up to individual states, but some sex crimes are prosecuted by federal law. Federal prostitution laws focus on crimes that may cross borders and involve more extensive operations than just an individual or small group.
In cases of human trafficking and exploiting minors for prostitution, the federal government will get involved. For example, importing an alien to the U.S. for prostitution violates federal laws against prostitution. Child sex trafficking also falls under the jurisdiction of federal law.
Sentences for Prostitution
Prostitution was once classified as a vagrancy crime, but these days it is considered a misdemeanor. The punishment for prostitution is a fine and 1 to 6 months of jail time for first-time offenders. Repeat offenses and offenses that involve exploitation of minors or human trafficking are penalized more severely:
- Sex trafficking of minors is punishable by ten years to life in prison.
- Importing an alien to the U.S. for purposes of prostitution is punishable by up to 10 years and a fine.
In all other cases, prostitution is regulated by individual state governments. Depending on the state, you could be sentenced to jail time, a fine, or both.
- In Alabama, both the sex worker and customer can be sentenced to up to 1 year in prison and/or a $6,000 fine.
- In Illinois, both the sex worker and the customer can be sentenced to up to 1 year in prison and up to $2,500.
- In Nevada counties where prostitution is illegal, an offender can be sentenced to up to 6 months jail time, and/or up to a $1,000 fine, and/or up to 200 hours of community service.
Hire a Federal Prostitution Defense Attorney
Keep in mind that the prosecution in your case needs to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Even if you are found guilty, there may be a plea bargain available to you, depending on your circumstances.
Everyone has a right to be represented in court, and a prostitution attorney from the Zoukis Consulting Group can be there to fight your charges.
Call us now for an initial consultation.
Published Feb 15, 2022 by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA | Last Updated by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA on Jun 13, 2023 at 2:39 pm