Prostitution charges typically involve the exchange of money for sex. Despite this being a common occurrence in North Carolina and throughout the country, it still constitutes illegal behavior and is subject to serious criminal penalties. If you face a prostitution charge, your reputation, finances, and freedom are all at risk.
Many types of conduct may result in a prostitution charge, so these types of cases require the experience of a seasoned defense attorney to build a strategy tailored to the specific circumstances. Contact an experienced North Charleston prostitution lawyer to fight on your behalf.
What is the Definition of Prostitution?
Under South Carolina Code 16-15-90, prostitution charges may result from eleven separate acts. The most common offenses from this list include:
- Engaging in prostitution, or the act of sex in exchange for money
- Knowingly aiding or abetting prostitution
- Exposing a private area of the body for the purposes of prostitution
- Entering into a place for the purpose of engaging in prostitution
- Procuring or soliciting prostitution
Unlike many other crimes under state law, even the attempt to engage in the conduct listed above constitutes prostitution. The defendant does not have to successfully complete the act in order to be charged with the offense. A consultation with an experienced local attorney could help further clarify the legal nuances of any particular prostitution case.
Impact of a Prostitution Conviction
The consequences of a prostitution conviction are serious and can impact a person’s life for years to come. The severity of the punishment is based upon the number of prior convictions for prostitution in a defendant’s record.
A first offense for prostitution may result in a prison sentence of not more than thirty days, a fine of not more than $200, or both.
Second-time prostitution offenders may receive a maximum jail term of not more than sixty days, a fine not to exceed $1,000, or both.
Third and Subsequent Offenses
A third conviction or any subsequent conviction for prostitution will result in a minimum jail term of at least one year, a fine of $3,000, or both. As an individual accumulates more convictions for prostitution, the penalties sharply increase. It is crucial to defend every prostitution charge to prevent the possibility of greater penalties.
Other Consequences of Prostitution Charges
Prostitution charges also carry significant stigma in the community. A conviction for this type of crime can make it difficult to gain employment or receive special licenses. It is crucial that those charged with prostitution in North Charleston seek the help of a skilled lawyer to defend their case.
How Can I Defend Against Prostitution Charges?
A prosecutor is required to prove all of the charges against a defendant “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This high standard of proof often makes it difficult for the state to prove its case in court. As a result, a savvy legal professional may be able to utilize many strategies to help reduce the charges or dismiss them altogether. Some examples of common defenses include:
- Filing a suppression motion to exclude unconstitutionally collected evidence
- Challenging the factual situation presented by the prosecutor
- Presenting reasonable doubt to the jury
- Demonstrating that the prosecutor has not proven all of the elements of the offense
- Providing witness testimony contrary to the state’s case
In preparing a defense, a diligent lawyer could gather facts, consult with the defendant, interview other witnesses in the North Charleston area, and apply the law to the particular prostitution case at hand. A well-tailored defense provides the best chance at a positive result.
Work with a Committed North Charleston Prostitution Attorney
Every defendant deserves a personalized defense crafted by capable legal counsel. If you face prostitution charges, bring a knowledgeable lawyer into your corner. Schedule a consultation today to discuss how an experienced North Charleston prostitution attorney could defend your case and protect your constitutional rights.