Alexandria Prostitution Lawyer
Prostitution is illegal in Virginia, with a conviction carrying significant legal penalties, as well as a severe social stigma. If you were accused of prostitution, you might feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to proceed. However, you do not have to navigate the legal system alone.
An Alexandria prostitution lawyer might able to help. A dedicated defense attorney could help to assess the evidence against you, determine possible legal defenses, and work to build a strong case to protect your freedom.
Alexandria’s Prostitution Laws
In Alexandria, prostitution is prohibited under the Virginia Code § 18.2-346(a). This law makes it illegal to be compensated for performing a wide variety of sex acts, and subsequently committing a “substantial act in furtherance” of performing that sexual act. An important element of this law to understand is that it does not require someone to be monetarily compensated for performing a sexual act; payment could also be made in the form of a trade – whether for an object or some other service – so long as what is received has some sort of value.
Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of the law for prosecutors to prove, however – and therefore one of the ways an Alexandria prostitution lawyer might be able to build a defense a – is that there was no “substantial act in furtherance” of following through with the alleged sexual act. Because of this, a person facing charges might benefit from speaking with a seasoned attorney.
The Penalties for a Prostitution Conviction
As a Class 1 misdemeanor, the penalties for a conviction for prostitution include up to a year in jail, as well as a fine of up to $2,500. However, the social stigmatization of having a criminal background with a prostitution conviction on it might have a devastating impact on a person’s financial, personal, and professional life.
Any subsequent background checks – including the checks routinely done by potential employers or many landlords – would reveal a past conviction. This might make it difficult for a convicted person to obtain meaningful employment or secure housing.
Legal Defenses Against Prostitution Charges
With the penalties — and subsequent collateral damages — so high, it could be essential to raise a persuasive defense to a charge of prostitution. This could be done in a number of ways, such as challenging the prosecutor’s case by cross-examining their witnesses and raising reasonable doubt. However, for charges of prostitution, another legal defense exists, known as entrapment.
Entrapment is a defense to an accusation of a crime that claims the police coerced an innocent suspect into committing a crime that they would not otherwise have committed. In prostitution cases, police may entrap a suspect by, for example, forcing them to commit a “substantial act in furtherance” of prostitution. Therefore, with a showing that but for the police actions, the elements of the charge would not have been committed, a defendant might be able to build a substantial defense.
Speak with an Alexandria Prostitution Attorney Today
No matter the circumstances of a charge, everyone has a legal right to a defense. If you have been accused of violating the law with an act of prostitution, consider contacting a steadfast Alexandria prostitution lawyer for help.
By hiring a well-versed defense attorney, you could rest assured with the knowledge that a legal professional is working tirelessly to protect your rights, fight for your interests, and stand by your side throughout the legal proceedings. To learn more about your legal options to a defense, call today.