Prostitution Solicitation and Prostitution Stings

Facing a charge of soliciting or patronizing a prostitute is a serious matter, as a conviction can result in life-changing consequences. Your job, your personal relationships, and your reputation are on the line. Fortunately, a Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney can help you fight the charge and pursue the most favorable outcome possible for your situation.


Prostitution Stings in Pennsylvania

Law enforcement has a number of ways of arresting individuals on suspicion of prostitution and related offenses, including by patrolling areas known for prostitution and arranging stings. Prostitution stings may be set up either in person or online. In a prostitution sting, a law enforcement officer will pose as a prostitute and attempt to entice a person to exchange money for sexual activity. If that person accepts the offer, they can be charged with soliciting or patronizing a prostitute under Pennsylvania law.

However, there are rules governing prostitution stings. For example, it’s legal for the officer to be the one who suggests exchanging sex for money, but it isn’t legal for them to do anything to coerce a person into accepting the offer. If you felt coerced into doing something you didn’t want to do, you could have a strong entrapment defense against the charges.


Charges and Penalties for Soliciting Prostitution in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, soliciting a prostitute is known as “patronizing.” A person commits this offense if they hire a prostitute or visit a house of prostitution with the intent to engage in sexual activities. A first or second offense on charges of patronizing a prostitute is a third-degree misdemeanor. Charges grow more severe beginning with a third offense, or if a person patronizes a prostitute while knowingly being HIV-positive.

Under Pennsylvania law, a third-degree misdemeanor carries a maximum punishment of up to 1 year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.

Given the severity of the legal, personal, financial, and reputational penalties that may accompany a conviction, you want to do everything possible to fight for your rights and freedom when you face charges of patronizing a prostitute. Retaining the services of an experienced attorney offers your best option for fighting the charges, defending your rights, and achieving a favorable outcome.


How a Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

When you hire a criminal defense lawyer to defend you against charges of patronizing a prostitute, they will review the facts of the case, hear your side of events, and begin crafting the most viable defense strategy on your behalf. They may also be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce the charges to something that carries less social stigma. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest, they could seek to have the charges dropped if the sting was unlawfully carried out.

If you’re facing a charge of patronizing a prostitute, the experienced team at Chieppor & Egner, LLC, is prepared to fight for your freedom. Our partners are former prosecutors who are committed to protecting the rights of the accused. Contact us today to discuss your legal rights and options in a free initial consultation.

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