While most individuals are familiar with the definition of prostitution, there are a whole host of other prostitution-related actions that also are illegal under Virginia law. Some are misdemeanor offenses, but others are felony offenses that carry far more severe penalties.
When you are facing any type of criminal charges related to prostitution, contacting a Fairfax County prostitution lawyer may be advisable.
There are a variety of defenses that may be available to you, but you may be unaware of these options unless you talk to a skilled defense attorney. Getting legal advice is this type of situation may be essential to building a strong defense in your case.
Prostitution is defined in Va. Code § 18.2-346 as performing or offering to perform sexual acts in exchange for money or another item of value. In order to establish this offense, there must be proof that individuals took some type of significant action toward completing the transaction. It is not sufficient to merely make an offer of prostitution; rather, money must change hands or some other affirmative act must occur.
For instance, if individuals actually gave money to another with the intention of engaging in sexual acts, there is probably sufficient evidence of a significant action in furtherance of the transaction. It is most likely not sufficient if two parties simply discussed an exchange of money for prostitution without meeting in person or paying money for the exchange.
Under Virginia law, prostitution is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense. This offense may result in a jail sentence of one year or less and a fine of no more than $2,500.
Va. Code § 18.2-346 also deals with soliciting prostitution. Under this section, offering money or something of value in exchange for performing sexual acts constitutes solicitation of prostitution. Again, in order to establish this offense, there must be evidence of some substantial action toward the completion of the offer.
Solicitation of prostitution also is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense with the same potential penalties as those for prostitution. If the solicitation of prostitution involves minors, however, the offense increases to a felony.
In the state of Virginia, there are various other criminal offenses involving prostitution. For instance, under Va. Code § 18.2-347, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor to keep, live in, or visit a bawdy place for immoral purposes. The definition of a bawdy place is any building or other location where prostitution, lewdness, or assignation occurs.
Another relevant misdemeanor offense is aiding in prostitution. Pursuant to Va. Code § 18.2-348, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor to assist, give information or directions, procure, or offer to take another to a place for the purposes of prostitution or other illicit sex acts.
In addition to misdemeanor offenses, there are some prostitution-related offenses that are felonies under Virginia law. For example, under Va. Code § 18.2-355, it is a Class 4 felony offense for individuals, for the purposes of prostitution or unlawful sexual intercourse, to:
Similarly, it is a Class 4 felony to procure another to engage in prostitution or be placed in a house of prostitution and receive money or anything of value in exchange for doing so. According to Va. Code § 18.2-356, it is a Class 3 felony if the procured individual is under the age of 18.
Prostitution and related charges can have serious repercussions aside from criminal penalties. These allegations may cause you to suffer adverse consequences related to your reputation, your job, and your ability to seek higher education. In some instances, a Fairfax County prostitution lawyer may be able to assist you in minimizing the potential impact of these charges on your life.
Do not take the risk of being railroaded by the prosecutor because you are not represented by legal counsel. Contact a criminal defense attorney who may be able to give you the advice that you need.
Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law