Occoquan Solicitation Lawyer
Prostitution and solicitation of prostitution are criminal offenses in the Commonwealth of Virginia. If found guilty, you may face harsh consequences, even if the transaction was entirely consensual. As a result, you may need the assistance of an Occoquan solicitation lawyer if you are facing solicitation charges.
There are various defenses that you may be able to raise in response to accusations of solicitation. These defenses may include entrapment by law enforcement authorities, such as through a police sting operation, and a lack of intent to carry out the transaction. A criminal defense attorney may be highly beneficial to you in determining which defense strategy will be most effective in your case.
Occoquan Solicitation Offenses
Under Virginia law, both parties to a prostitution transaction commit the same offense of prostitution. Persons who request sex in exchange for money may face the same penalties as those who seek money in exchange for sex. Virginia Code § 18.2-346 defines solicitation as offering cash or other items of value to others to engage in specific sexual activities.
However, this code section requires more than individuals simply offering money in exchange for sex; to be guilty of this offense, individuals must take some substantial step toward completing the proposed transaction.
In other words, persons must do something beyond merely offering money for sex acts, such as delivering the money or item of value to the person they are soliciting or arranging a time and place to meet with the person whom they have sought.
A solicitation lawyer in Occoquan may be able to build a strong defense in response to criminal solicitation charges.
Potential Penalties for Solicitation
Both prostitution and solicitation are Class 1 misdemeanor offenses. Conviction on a Class 1 misdemeanor can result in a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $2,500. A solicitation conviction creates a permanent criminal record that can be detrimental for those seeking to take advantage of job and career opportunities in the future.
In some cases, solicitation can be a felony charge, such as if individuals solicit minors for sex. If the minor is over the age of 16, then the offense is a Class 6 felony; if the minor is under the age of 16, then the offense is a Class 5 felony.
A Class 6 felony conviction may result in a prison sentence of one to five years, or a jail sentence of 12 months or less and a $2,500 fine, in the discretion of a judge or jury. A Class 5 felony conviction may result in a prison sentence ranging from one to ten years, but also can result in a lesser punishment, just as in the case of a Class 6 felony conviction.
Online Solicitation of a Minor
Individuals also may face felony solicitation charges if they use any mail, telephone, radio, online, or other communications system to solicit minors under age 18 with lascivious intent. VA Code § 18.2-374.3 includes the solicitation of minors to engage in a variety of sex acts or sex-related activities, including prostitution, sex trafficking, production of pornography, or other illicit sexual acts.
To some degree, the level of the felony that individuals may face depends on whether the minors are under the age of 15 or between the ages of 15 and 18. This code section also makes distinctions in the severity of the offense between parties who are less than seven years apart in age and those who are more than seven years apart in age.
This code section also requires that individuals must have knowledge or reason to believe that any individuals whom they are soliciting are minors. For offenses involving younger minors, the accused also must have the knowledge or reasonable belief that the persons are under the age of 15. As felony convictions can have severe implications, contacting a solicitation attorney in Occoquan may be wise.
Speak with an Occoquan Solicitation Attorney Today
Any conviction for a sex-related offense can be highly detrimental to your reputation in the community, your career, and your future endeavors, both professional and personal. If you are facing criminal solicitation charges, you may wish to consult an Occoquan solicitation lawyer for advice.
In the case of a felony conviction, you could suffer collateral consequences as well, including the loss of various civil rights, including the right to possess firearms. Therefore, it may be even more crucial for you to get the assistance of legal counsel if you are facing felony charges.