The Philadelphia police have cracked down on prostitution by using undercover operations both in neighborhoods known for prostitution and on websites where sex is sold. If you are caught up in one of these stings and convicted of solicitation, you face a humiliating experience that can result not only in your arrest, but also in your name appearing in the Philadelphia Inquirer and other newspapers for your spouse and everyone who knows you to see.
If you are arrested by an undercover officer and charged with selling or buying sex, or promoting prostitution, you will need to retain an experienced defense attorney as soon as you can.
What You Need To Know About Prostitution
Pennsylvania law makes it a crime to:
- Engage in sexual activity for money
- Loiter in a public place or in view of a public place for the purpose of being hired for sexual activity
- Hire a prostitute
- Make money from promoting prostitution.
Both prostitution and hiring a prostitute have the same punishment. You face up to one year in prison for a first or second offense.
If you commit prostitution knowing you are HIV positive or have AIDS, you will be punished severely with a felony of the third degree.
You can be charged with promoting prostitution if you:
- Own or manage a prostitution business
- Procure a person to be a prostitute
- Encourage or cause a person to become or remain a prostitute
- Find a customer for a prostitute
- Find a prostitute for a customer
- Transport someone into or across Pennsylvania for prostitution
- Lease or allow property you control to be used for prostitution without making an effort to stop it.
- Live off the proceeds of prostitution.
- Make money for doing any of the above.
If you are charged with promoting prostitution, you can be sentenced to up to three years in prison for your first offense. You will face more severe punishment if you promote the prostitution of a minor or someone with HIV/AIDS.
What To Do If You Are Charged
If you are charged with a prostitution offense, do not anger the arresting officer unnecessarily. At this stage, do not discuss what happened with the police or assert your innocence.
- As with most criminal charges, you should not talk to the police or prosecutors without your attorney by your side. What you say can be taken out of context and used against you.
- If the police question you, tell them you want a lawyer and politely refuse to answer their questions.
- If you have been picked up in a sting operation, be especially careful of what you say because the undercover officer may be recording your words.
What Your Lawyer Can Do
Your attorney will carefully review every aspect of your case to determine if there is evidence for all you have been accused of.
- Your attorney will investigate very closely to see if there is any evidence that will prove your claims.
- Your lawyer will make every effort to discredit any evidence against you.
Your lawyer will be looking at every avenue that can help you, so it’s important that you give them all of the information that can support your case.
How A Lawyer Will Help
When you are up against a prostitution charge, you will be facing both a determined prosecutor and community condemnation. You need an attorney who will stand by you every step of the way, work hard to discredit any evidence – and help you determine your best course of action.
Pennsylvania Prostitution Law
Prostitution is described and defined under The Pennsylvania Criminal Code under Title 18, Chapter 31. Read the code here.
Questions? Contact us today.
Based on the evidence, Fienman Defense will try to show that the charges should be dismissed. If it’s in your best interest, we will work to negotiate a lesser sentence. Should the case go to trial, we will fight to present the strongest defense possible for your situation.