Individuals may face prostitution charges even if they do not engage in behaviors that constitute traditional sex work. As the potential consequences of a conviction may be severe, including incarceration, consulting a Charleston prostitution lawyer may be essential.
A criminal defense lawyer could help explain the charges against you and build a strong defense on your behalf. Legal advice may be the difference between a positive and negative outcome in your case.
What is the Legal Definition of Prostitution?
Under South Carolina Code of Laws § 16-15-90, attempting or actually engaging in, purposely facilitating, or soliciting prostitution is against the law. Various other actions concerning prostitution are also illegal under South Carolina law, including:
- Residing in or entering any place for prostitution
- Receiving others or permitting them to remain in any vehicle or place for prostitution
- Taking, transporting, or offering or agreeing to transport others anywhere with reasonable cause to believe the offense will occur
- Leasing or renting any vehicle or place with reasonable cause to believe that others will use it for prostitution
A knowledgeable attorney could further explain to a Charleston resident whether a specific action falls under prostitution-related offenses.
What Could a Pimp be Charged With?
S.C. Code of Laws § 16-15-100 lists various prohibited acts typically committed by pimps or handlers as opposed to sex workers. These individuals violate the law if they:
- Use promises, threats, or violence to engage a person in prostitution
- Cause a person to enter or leave the state for prostitution
- Receive or give money or anything of value for procuring a person for prostitution
As a conviction on any of these prostitution charges may be severe, individuals facing such allegations may wish to contact an attorney familiar with lewdness offenses in Charleston for the best next step.
Penalties for Charleston Offenses Against Morality and Decency
S.C. Code of Laws § 16-15-110 sets forth the penalties for prostitution and related convictions. For a first offense, individuals may face a $200 fine and a 30-day sentence of incarceration. For a second offense, the fine may increase to $1,000, and the sentence may increase to six months. For a third or subsequent offense involving any of the prohibited acts related to prostitution, individuals may face a fine of up to $3,000 and incarceration for not less than one year.
Do Prostitution Charges Show Up on Background Checks?
A conviction for prostitution will remain on a criminal record, meaning that it is likely to appear on background checks by prospective employers. A criminal background may cause some future employers, educational institutions, and licensing agencies to reconsider your application.
Call a Charleston Prostitution Attorney Today
Defenses could be available in fighting back against prostitution charges or related offenses. Proving that you intentionally engaged in illegal acts that amount to an offense against morality and decency under South Carolina law is not always an easy burden of proof for the prosecutor. As a result, seeking the advice of a Charleston prostitution lawyer may be highly beneficial.
A conviction for prostitution can be highly damaging to your future, even if you ultimately serve no jail time. Since individuals charged with related crimes may also face high fines and significant jail sentences, they should contact a prostitution defense attorney in Charleston for legal representation. Having legal counsel throughout your criminal proceedings may be essential to a better resolution to your case. Call today to learn more.