Fredericksburg Solicitation Lawyer
Solicitation is a sex crime in Fredericksburg. However, unlike most other sex crimes, solicitation does not require any contact – instead, it is merely an attempt to pay for a particularly enumerated sexual act.
With the help of a Fredericksburg solicitation lawyer, you can defend against an accusation that you solicited someone else for sex. Successfully defending against this particular charge can avoid a costly conviction that comes with an awkward blemish on your criminal past.
What is Solicitation?
Solicitation is defined under Virginia Code Ann. § 18.2-346(b). This statute prohibits paying someone else in order to engage in a particular type of sexual act, and then taking a substantial act in furtherance of it.
A conviction of solicitation, however, requires the prosecutor to prove all of the aspects of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. This allows a Fredericksburg solicitation lawyer several important opportunities to fight the charge.
An Offer to Pay
Solicitation involves an offer to pay for sex. However, the payment does not necessarily have to be money. Instead, it can be anything of value, even a promise to do something.
Despite this broad requirement, a solicitation attorney can challenge it by showing that the alleged offer was a joke or was otherwise insincere.
For the Purpose of Engaging in a Sexual Act
The alleged payment also has to be shown to have been made for the purpose of engaging in a sexual act. Prosecutors have to infer what was going through a suspect’s mind from what they did and said before and after the alleged solicitation. This provides ample opportunity for a solicitation attorney in Fredericksburg to raise reasonable doubts about what happened.
A Substantial Act in Furtherance of the Sexual Act
Finally, prosecutors need to show that there was a substantial act in furtherance of the sexual act. What might seem culpable conduct – like leaving the scene of the alleged payment together – can actually be entirely innocent.
A Variety of Consequences for a Solicitation Conviction
A conviction for solicitation comes with numerous penalties, only some of which are listed in the statute outlawing the deed.
According to the statute, solicitation is usually a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. However, if the alleged solicitation involved someone under the age of 18, the offense becomes a felony and carries a jail term of up to ten years, depending on the circumstances.
However, the fines and jail time are not the only costs of a conviction for solicitation. Solicitation stays on a defendant’s criminal history forever and can be seen by anyone who conducts a background check.
As a result, a solicitation conviction can remain an obstacle for years into the future as potential employers and others find out about it and ask difficult questions or pass judgment.
How a Fredericksburg Solicitation Attorney Can Help
The costs of a solicitation conviction are not insignificant, and many of the worst outcomes hiding beneath the surface in the form of a difficult criminal history. Defending against a charge of solicitation is essential to prevent this from happening to you.
That is where a Fredericksburg solicitation lawyer can help. By advocating on your behalf in court and in front of the prosecutor, an attorney can protect your rights and interests and strive for an outcome that you can live with. Even in the most difficult cases, a Fredericksburg solicitation attorney can help to mitigate the damage or ensure that penalties you face are not devastating.