Accusations of soliciting or hiring a prostitute may cause stress and embarrassment, but an understanding criminal defense lawyer could help you confront these charges head-on. Solicitation and prostitution laws are not always straight forward, so you may benefit from the advice of an attorney experienced in these areas. Contact a dedicated Summerville solicitation lawyer today.
Understanding Summerville Solicitation Laws
In Summerville, South Carolina Code of Laws §16-15-90 prohibits acts related to solicitation, such as:
- Aiding or abetting prostitution
- Procuring or soliciting prostitution
- Being inside of a building or vehicle for purposes of prostitution
- Allowing another person inside of a building or vehicle for purposes of prostitution
The same statute prohibits prostitution itself. Since some sections of this law are rather broad, police do not necessarily have to catch a person exchanging money or engaging in a particular sex act. Alleged attempts to hire a sex worker or even being found in a home or building where prostitution takes place may result in solicitation charges.
A person accused of these crimes could benefit from understanding why they were charged and what legal options are available. A Summerville solicitation attorney could review a person’s case and provide valuable advice from arrest through trial.
Potential Penalties for Solicitation
Under state law, most violations related to illegal sex work carry the same penalty. The potential penalties depend on whether a person has prior convictions for solicitation or prostitution crimes:
- The court may impose a fine of $200 and up to 30 days in jail for a person’s first conviction
- The second offense may lead to a fine of $1,000 and up to six months imprisonment
- Three or more convictions require the court to enter a minimum sentence of one year in jail
Even a first-time solicitation conviction will appear on a person’s criminal record, potentially causing embarrassment and limiting housing or employment options. A Summerville solicitation lawyer may be able to help the accused fight for a more positive outcome.
Illegal Solicitation of a Minor
An adult accused of soliciting, coercing, or inducing a person under the age of 18 to engage in sexual acts may face especially significant penalties. Under S.C. Code §16-15-342, criminal solicitation of a minor is a felony offense, and the court may impose a $5,000 fine and up to ten years imprisonment if a person is found guilty.
Convictions for patronizing a prostitute who is a minor is an especially serious crime under S.C Code §16-15-425. The court must impose a minimum sentence of two years imprisonment when a person is found guilty of violating this law. A solicitation lawyer in Summerville may be able to counsel a defendant on the best way to handle these allegations.
A Summerville Solicitation Attorney Could Provide Powerful Help
Dealing with a solicitation charge is not easy, but there is no reason to face these charges alone. Having a powerful advocate on your side may help you secure a favorable outcome. A Summerville solicitation lawyer could speak with prosecutors and address the court on your behalf. Contact a lawyer now for a consultation.