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Montgomery County, PA Prostitution Lawyer
In Pennsylvania, many different behaviors can result in being charged with prostitution or a related offense. Even loitering in view of a public place could result in an arrest for prostitution if law enforcement officers believe you are there to find someone to pay you for sex acts. A prostitution charge can have a major impact on your reputation and your life, and you need to protect your legal rights. A Montgomery County prostitution lawyer can provide knowledgeable legal representation to help those who have been accused of a prostitution offense.
Montgomery County, PA Prostitution Laws
Pennsylvania Code section 5902 establishes penalties for prostitution and related offenses. Under this Code Section, you may be charged with any of the following where it may be a good idea to contact a Montgomery County Prostitution lawyer as soon as possible:
- Prostitution, if you live in a house of prostitution where sexual activity is conduct as a business, or if you“loiter” somewhere for purposes of being hired for sex. This is a third degree misdemeanor for a first or second offense, a second degree misdemeanor for a third offense, a first degree misdemeanor for a fourth or subsequent offense, or a felony if you know you have HIV or AIDS.
- Promoting prostitution, if you own a house of prostitution, encourage someone to become or remain a prostitute, solicit someone to buy sex from a prostitute, transport someone to engage in prostitution, or procure a prostitute for someone else. This offense is usually charged as a second degree misdemeanor, although it can be charged as a third degree felony if you promote the prostitution of your spouse or a child you are responsible for caring for.
- Patronizing prostitutes if you hire a prostitute or enter into a house of prostitution to engage in sexual activities. This offense is a third degree misdemeanor for a first or second conviction; a second degree misdemeanor for a third conviction, or a first degree misdemeanor for a fourth or subsequent conviction. If you know you have HIV or AIDS, then it is a felony of the third degree.
In many cases, a Montgomery County prostitution lawyer can help you to negotiate a deal with a prosecutor to admit guilt as long as the prosecutor offers reduced charges or allows you to plead to a lesser offense. Plea bargaining is an option for you if you do not want to take your chances in court or go through a public trial.
Penalties for Prostitution
Penalties for prostitution vary depending upon what offense you were charged with. A third degree misdemeanor can result in up to a year in jail. A second degree misdemeanor carries a potential penalty of up to two years’ incarceration. A third degree felony could result in seven years imprisonment. Fines, probation, and a criminal record are also possible consequences if you are convicted of prostitution.
How a Montgomery County, PA Prostitution Lawyer Can Help You
There are defenses available if you have been charged with a prostitution offense. In most cases, the prosecutor must prove you intentionally broke laws prohibiting prostitution or related offenses. If a prosecutor cannot prove any element of the case against you beyond a reasonable doubt, then you should get a verdict of not guilty at trial.
A Montgomery County prostitution lawyer can help you to try to prevent the prosecutor from proving a case. Your attorney can also argue you were the victim of entrapment if you were coerced into breaking laws related to prostitution. To learn more, contact a Montgomery County prostitution lawyer today for help with your criminal charges.