Salt Lake City Solicitation of Prostitution Lawyer
Interestingly, there is no actual crime under the Utah criminal code known as solicitation of prostitution. Instead, the act of soliciting, or attempting to purchase the sexual services of, a prostitute is charged as the crime of “patronizing a prostitute.” If you attempt to trade for or purchase the sexual services of someone other than a prostitute, you will be charged with sexual solicitation. Both of these crimes can carry serious penalties, including long jail sentences and large fines.
At Overson Law, PLLC, our Salt Lake City, UT solicitation of prostitution lawyers have many years of experience successfully working to get these charges dismissed or downgraded for our clients. We will be there with you every step of the way, answering any questions you may have about the process and fighting tooth and nail to bring your case to a positive conclusion. For a free consultation, contact us today at (801) 758-2287.
Criminal Charges That Can Result from Solicitation of Prostitution in Salt Lake City, UT
The most likely charge you will face if you solicit the services of a prostitute is patronizing a prostitute. Under the Utah Criminal Code, this charge is defined as to “pay or offer or agree to pay a prostitute, or an individual the actor believes to be a prostitute, a fee, or the functional equivalent of a fee, for the purpose of engaging in an act of sexual activity.” This means that no actual sexual activity must occur, you just need to offer to pay for the sexual services of a prostitute.
Furthermore, even if the person is just pretending to be a prostitute, like a police officer in a sting operation, the charge can still apply. The charge also applies if you are found are found to have entered into “a place of prostitution for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.” Again, you do not have to actually receive sex or even pay for it, so long as you enter the building intending to engage in sexual activity.
As noted above, there is a related charge known as “sexual solicitation.” This would be charged in a situation where the person that you tried to pay or trade something of value in exchange for sex was not a prostitute or pretending to be a prostitute. For example, if you offer to give your flat screen television to a neighbor in exchange for sex, that would be sexual solicitation.
Potential Outcomes of Utah Solicitation of Prostitution Cases
First and foremost, our skilled Utah bail hearing attorneys will work to get you released from jail on little to no bail so that you can deal with your charges from the safety of your home. Then, we will request all the evidence in the prosecutor’s possession so that we can assess the strength of your case and begin negotiations for a potential deal to get your charges dismissed or downgraded. Most criminal cases in Utah end in a deal at the settlement stage. Outright dismissal is rare unless the prosecutor’s cases is extremely weak or we turn up some sort of new evidence that makes it clear you did not commit the crime.
In some situations, we may be able to get you into a pre-trial diversion or deferred prosecution program where your charges will be dropped if you complete the program successfully. This is usually only offered for first-time offenders charged with lesser crimes that patronizing a prostitute or sexual solicitation. Commonly, the prosecutor will offer to downgrade the charge to something less serious in exchange for you pleading guilty and saving the state the time and expenses required to put on a trial. If the prosecutor will not downgrade the charge, they may offer to make a lenient sentence recommendation in exchange for your guilty plea. The judge typically follows the prosecutor’s sentencing recommendation except in unusual cases.
If you do not wish to take a deal or are not satisfied with the deal offered, the option of taking your case to trial is always open. Our experienced trial lawyers know how to craft the best arguments to convince a judge or jury to render a verdict of not guilty. Possible defenses include mistaken identity, false accusations, the possibility that comments were made in jest, or that the sexual relationship was consensual and not actually in exchange for money.
Penalties for Solicitation of Prostitution Crime Convictions in Salt Lake City, UT
Penalties for a conviction or guilty plea in either a patronizing a prostitute or sexual solicitation case can be quite harsh. Normally, both of these crimes are charged as a class A misdemeanor. In Utah, class A misdemeanors can be punished by up to a year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. However, there are two scenarios where the charges can be upped to a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in jail and up to $5,000 in fines.
The first situation where the charge will be increased to a third-degree felony is if the crime involves solicitation of a minor. The other situation is if you have more than one prior conviction for either of these crimes. Furthermore, you should keep in mind that a conviction means this charge will be on your criminal record, which can make it difficult to get employment, get into school, or get certain professional licenses in the future.
If You Have Been Accused of Solicitation of Prostitution in Salt Lake City, Call Our Battle-Tested Lawyers Today
A conviction for either patronizing a prostitute or sexual solicitation can come with serious consequences, including long jail sentences and an embarrassing conviction on your criminal record. At Overson Law, PLLC, our Salt Lake City, UT solicitation of prostitution attorneys understand that just because you have been accused of this crime, that does not mean you are guilty. We will fight to show your side of the story and guide the matter to a successful resolution. Call our firm today at (801) 758-2287 for a free, confidential consultation.