Delaware County Solicitation Lawyer

Although solicitation and prostitution are misdemeanor offenses under Pennsylvania law, allegations related to these offenses can be highly damaging to your personal and professional life. Solicitation is a sex offense, which means that the community may prejudge you when allegations surface, even before you have been charged or convicted of a crime.

As a result, seeking the advice of a Delaware County solicitation lawyer may be highly advisable. In many cases, solicitation charges stem from misunderstandings, miscommunication, and elaborate sting operations carried out by law enforcement officers. Solicitation charges can have implications that go well beyond the payment of a fine. A solicitation defense attorney may be able to represent your interests when you are facing solicitation charges effectively.

Legal Definition of Solicitation

18 Pa.C.S. § 5902 defines prostitution and related offenses, including patronizing prostitutes, which is commonly known as solicitation. Patronizing prostitutes occurs in two different situations, as follows:

  • Individuals hire a prostitute or any other person to engage in sexual activity with them
  • Individuals go to or stay in a house of prostitution to engage in sexual activity

A house of prostitution refers to any place at which one person regularly carries on prostitution or promotion of prostitution. To constitute a house of prostitution, at least one other person must supervise, manage, or control the prostitution activities that occur at the place in question. A solicitation attorney in Delaware County may be useful in fighting back against solicitation charges.

Possible Penalties for Solicitation in Delaware County

Solicitation or patronizing prostitutes is a third-degree misdemeanor under Pennsylvania law if it is a first or second offense. For a third offense, it is a misdemeanor of the second degree, and for a fourth or subsequent offense, it is a first-degree misdemeanor. Additionally, if the individuals knew that they were HIV positive or had AIDS, they commit a third-degree felony.

Under 101 Pa. Code § 1566, sentences for misdemeanor solicitation can range from up to one year of incarceration for a third-degree misdemeanor to five years in prison for a first-degree misdemeanor. For a third-degree felony patronizing prostitutes conviction, the individuals can receive up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine. A solicitation lawyer in Delaware County may be able to assist individuals in presenting mitigating circumstances that could lead to reduced sentences.

Collateral Consequences of Solicitation

A conviction for solicitation will appear when prospective employers, landlords, and lenders perform criminal background checks. This can lead to difficulties finding employment, procuring housing, getting credit, and obtaining some professional licenses. Although a solicitation charge may be a misdemeanor offense in many cases, it still is not a criminal offense that most people want to have on their criminal backgrounds. This charge could affect future job applications or your ability to keep a professional license that you already possess.

Even for individuals who are not convicted, the mere presence of a prostitution-related arrest is likely to make the newspaper and cause others to assume the worst. As a result, allegations of solicitation can result in irreparable damage to the reputation of accused individuals.

All too often, merely patronizing prostitutes can lead to enhanced charges with more severe penalties, such as promoting prostitution. This offense can involve a wide range of prostitution-related conduct, such as finding prostitutes for others, making money from a prostitution scheme, transporting others for prostitution, and similar activities. Promoting prostitution is a second-degree misdemeanor for a first offense and can become a third-degree felony in many different instances. A diligent attorney could help you build a defense to avoid the consequences of a conviction.

Contact a Delaware County Solicitation Attorney Today

The public often rushes to judgment when law enforcement authorities arrest or charge individuals with solicitation, patronizing a prostitute, or other related offenses. To avoid this social stigma, you may have no choice but to fight the charges against you. A Delaware County solicitation lawyer may be able to assist you in resolving allegations of patronizing prostitutes to your satisfaction.

Some defenses may apply in situations in which law enforcement officers have accused you of solicitation. For instance, a common defense is that you were unaware that the person with whom you were speaking was a prostitute. By using all defenses available to you, you may be able to reduce or minimize the charges against you.