Fredericksburg Prostitution Lawyer
Prostitution is illegal in Fredericksburg and is one of the numerous sex crimes that are prohibited by the state’s penal code. Like many other sex crimes in Fredericksburg, the consequences of a conviction for prostitution include a serious blemish on your criminal history that can be difficult to overcome.
Unlike most sex crimes, though, a conviction for prostitution does not require there to have been any sexual contact. Do not waste time and contact an attorney.
A Fredericksburg prostitution lawyer can help you fight an accusation of prostitution by invoking your rights and challenging the prosecutor’s case against you.
Prostitution in Fredericksburg
Prostitution is prohibited in Fredericksburg by Virginia Code Ann. § 18.2-346(a). This statute prohibits anyone from receiving compensation to perform a sexual act and then taking a substantial step in furtherance of performing that sexual act.
Importantly, the payment that has to be received in order to perform the sexual act does not have to be monetary in order for a prostitution charge to follow. Compensation can take the form of a promise to do something else or can even take the form of a trade.
However, one of the most important elements of prostitution – and the one that a Fredericksburg prostitution lawyer tends to focus on, while defending against an accusation of prostitution – is the part that requires there to be a “substantial act in furtherance” of the sexual act. Many of these steps that a prosecutor claims to be evidence of prostitution can be innocent but misinterpreted actions.
Defenses to Prostitution Allegations
Challenging the evidence that is presented by the prosecutor is often the most effective way to defend against an accusation of prostitution. The elements of the offense need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, allowing a prostitution lawyer the opportunity to raise those doubts by presenting the possibility that there was an innocent explanation.
However, there is also an important legal defense that a Fredericksburg prostitution lawyer can use, as well: Entrapment. The defense of entrapment is an argument that law enforcement coerced someone into committing a crime that they would not have committed, without that pressure.
In the context of prostitution, entrapment can involve an undercover police officer offering such a huge sum of money for a sexual act that it would be unreasonable to turn down.
Consequences of a Prostitution Conviction
In Fredericksburg, prostitution is a Class 1 misdemeanor. If convicted, a defendant can face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
However, this is just where the penalties of a prostitution conviction begin. Even after the fines have been paid and the jail time served, the costs of a prostitution conviction can continue in the form of a blemish on a defendant’s criminal history.
This blemish can be found by anyone who performs a background check – including potential employers and landlords.
People who have been convicted of prostitution earlier in their lives can face severe social stigmatization for years into the future and have to deal with people who make judgments about them based on the prior conviction.
Consult with a Fredericksburg Prostitution Attorney Today
An accusation of prostitution is not a small issue. The penalties of a conviction are significant and long-lasting, while the social stigmatization can be difficult to overcome.
With the help of a Fredericksburg prostitution lawyer, though, you can fight against the charges you are facing, defend against the allegation, and protect your rights and your future.