Sometimes all it takes to find yourself in the middle of a legal battle over prostitution, pandering, solicitation, and loitering is to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. But that mistake is not likely to lessen the aggressiveness with which such cases are prosecuted. If you are facing prostitution-related charges, it is crucial that you retain the services of a well-qualified Fauquier County prostitution lawyer. If you need help with different criminal charges in Fauquier County, click that link for further information.
Prostitution Attorneys Understand Law Enforcement Strategies
One who not only understands the local laws but the customs of the court, and who has a strong working relationship with the prosecutors and judges that will be handling your case. Such insight is extremely valuable, particularly given the numerous methods that authorities use to prosecute such cases. Law enforcement agents in Fauquier County, Virginia also use a variety of methods to lure both practitioners and solicitors of prostitution services. When your Fauquier prostitution lawyer has knowledge of how law enforcement operations functions, your prostitution attorney can more easily identify problems and errors made by law enforcement that could strengthen your defense. Among the most common of these methods are:
Police personnel will often pose as prostitutes, donning provocative attire and exhibiting specific behavior to lure would-be clients off the street and into a car, motel, or other venue where the arrest is then made.
Infiltrating Prostitution Rings
These tactics are the opposite of a sting operation. Police officers pose as potential clients and attempt to illicit an invitation for sex-for-hire from suspected prostitutes. Common targets include personal ads, classified ad websites, escort services, and massage parlors – anything that can be construed as a front for a prostitution business will rouse suspicion and is possibly being watched.
Online Sex Investigation
Numerous websites exist for the purpose of trafficking in sex. Most offer “companionship” services as a front for what they are really offering. People legitimately looking for the relationships these sites claim to offer can find themselves facing a prostitution charge. Other sites targeted by police include various personal and dating sites, especially those geared toward casual and discreet encounters. Just having your profile on some of these sites can gain the attention of law enforcement and make you a suspect.
Cellphones and Internet Chat
This method is often tied to the above listed methods, especially during sting operations wherein conversations are easy to listen to and record. The wrong statement made in the wrong context can easily lead to a prostitution or solicitation arrest, regardless of your actual intent.
Prostitution Offenses Defined
Simply stated, prostitution involves offering or agreeing to engage in sex in exchange for money. Both the person offering and the one accepting these arrangements can be arrested, charged, and convicted. No matter what kind of front is used to conceal the true intent of the transaction, if there was even a mention of sexual acts as part of the overall transaction you are at risk of being charged. When that happens, you need a Fauquier prostitution lawyer with experience dealing with these charges.
In order to successfully prosecute a prostitution charge in Fauquier County, the Commonwealth of Virginia has the burden of proving through evidence that there was either a crime committed or that criminal intent was clear. Several specific things they look for include:
Solicitation – This occurs when a person attempts to entice another to engage with them in an act of prostitution. When being charged with solicitation, law enforcement personnel need to have clear evidence of intent. They gather that by observing what a suspect says and does. Verbally offering specific services for money, proceeding to a hotel in the company of a prostitute or client, or visiting an ATM with a prostitute and withdrawing money to pay for services can all be grounds for arrest and conviction.
Agreement to Engage – A verbal agreement takes place to provide and receive sexual services for money. In stings, these conversations are almost always recorded. However, the intent on either side of the transaction needs to be clear for any charge to hold up in court.
Engagement in Sexual Activity – This involves catching participants in the act with clear evidence of prostitution. Quite often, a lesser case of public lewdness can escalate into a more serious prostitution charge, especially when the act takes place in clear view of the public.
Loitering – Spending too much time in one place, dressing in a provocative manner, or engaging passersby that do not appear to be acquaintances may all rouse the suspicion of illegal activity with law enforcement. Police look for suspects who spend inordinate amounts of time on street corners, or other public places, and will often observe if any suspicious behavior ensues.
Fauquier County Prostitution Lawyer
Penalties for prostitution can range from probation to fines and jail time. If you are facing these charges, you need a Fauquier County prostitution attorney who can explain and defend your legal rights and who will fight to the bitter end to ensure that those rights are never denied you. Though there is never a guarantee for the outcome of any case, that experience and know-how is crucial for improving your odds for a positive result. Contact ouroffice for a free consultation with a dedicated legal advocate, and begin building your defense case today. We also handle sex crime charges in Fauquier County (more information here).