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New York Prostitution Lawyer

Under New York Penal Law §230.00 is a crime to engage in, agree to, or offer to engage in sexual conduct with another person in return for a fee. Prostitution is not a gender-specific. Any gender can be charged with prostitution. In addition both the person who offers to engage in sex for a fee (the seller) and the person who agrees to pay for the sex (the buyer) can be charged under the prostitution statute. The act of agreeing to make a transaction of sex for money is the crime. If you or someone you care about has been charged with prostitution, it’s important to seek the assistance of a qualified New York prostitution lawyer who will help ensure that your legal rights and interests are protected.

Elements of Prostitution

The elements of the crime of solicitation in New York include engaging in, offering or agreeing to engage in sexual conduct in exchange for a fee, intent, commission of the act, and jurisdiction. In order to be convicted of prostitution, the prosecution must prove that the defendant knowingly and intentionally agreed to pay another person for sexual acts.

Prostitution can take place in a variety of settings, including on the street, in brothels or massage parlors, and through online advertisements. The crime of prostitution is not limited to the person offering payment for sexual acts. The person receiving payment for sexual acts can also be charged with prostitution.

Defenses to Prostitution Charge

There are many defenses to a charge of prostitution. A qualified New York prostitution lawyer will look at the facts of your case and create a defense that will give you the opportunity for the best possible account. Possible defenses include:

  • Lack of intent: The defendant must have intended to engage in prostitution. If they did not have this intent, they cannot be convicted of the crime.
  • Entrapment by law enforcement: If the defendant was induced or encouraged by law enforcement to commit the crime, they may have a defense of entrapment.
  • Mistake of fact: If the defendant believed that the person they were engaging in sexual activity with was over the age of consent, they may have a defense of mistake of fact.
  • Lack of knowledge: If the defendant did not know that the sexual activity was for a fee, they may have a defense of lack of knowledge.
  • Coercion or duress: If the defendant was forced or threatened to engage in prostitution, they may have a defense of coercion or duress.
Penalties for a Prostitution Conviction

The penalties for the crime of solicitation in New York depend on the circumstances of each individual case and can vary greatly. Generally, solicitation is a Class B Misdemeanor and is punishable by up to three months in jail and a fine of up to $500. Even though prostitution is a misdemeanor, if convicted you will have a criminal record. This may impact your current employment as well as opportunities for future employment and other opportunities. Thus, if you are facing a prostitution charge, contact an experienced prostitution lawyer in New York.

Notable New York Prostitution Cases
  • People v. Rodriguez, 2008 NY Slip Op 50931 (N.Y. Crim. Ct. 2008). In the case, the Defendant used an intermediary by allegedly facilitating a transaction between an undercover officer and another individual involved in the prostitution arrangement. The intermediary informed the undercover officer that, for a fee of $40, they could engage in sexual activity with one of three women. The undercover officer paid the agreed-upon sum to this intermediary, who then led the officer to Defendant Rodriguez. Defendant Rodriguez then allegedly proceeded to engage in sexual activity with the officer. The Defendant Rodriguez was charged with prostitution under PL § 230.00. The Defendant moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that it did not establish that they had agreed to engage in the illegal activity. The court rejected this argument, reasoning that the mere fact that the Defendant used an intermediary did not immunize them from the charge, as long as they had agreed to provide sexual services in exchange for money. Therefore, the Defendant's motion to dismiss was denied.
  • In re Danielle B., 94 A.D.3d 757 (N.Y. App. Div. 2012). In this juvenile delinquency proceeding, the appellant was charged with acts that, if committed by an adult, would constitute the crime of prostitution. The Family Court found the appellant delinquent based on evidence that she agreed to perform oral sex on an undercover police officer at the club where she worked as a dancer. The court adjudged her a juvenile delinquent and placed her in the custody of the New York State Office of Children and Family Services for 12 months. On appeal, the court held that while the evidence was legally sufficient to establish the elements of prostitution, the fact-finding was against the weight of the evidence. The court found that there was insufficient evidence to conclude that the appellant intended to follow through on the alleged agreement with the undercover officer. As a result, the order of disposition was reversed, the fact-finding order was vacated, and the petition was dismissed. The matter was remitted for further proceedings.
Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you have been charged with prostitution. You need experienced representation. Even though it is a misdemeanor, it’s important to not attempt to handle the case on your own. An experienced prostitution attorney serving New York can help you understand the charges against you, develop a defense strategy, negotiate a plea bargain, and represent them in court. Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County, Westchester County, and Suffolk County.

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