The act of offering or providing sexual services in exchange for any form of compensation is criminalized under the Arizona Revised Statutes and the Phoenix City Code. The consequences of a conviction can be severe and may increase dramatically for repeat offenses. When the stakes are this high, it is crucial that you take every step to protect yourself and your way of life.
An experienced attorney at the Grand Canyon Law Group can help effectively contest allegations of prostitution and fight for your rights throughout the legal process. To increase your chances of a positive outcome, retain a New River prostitution lawyer as soon as possible.
According to Arizona Revised Statutes §13-3211(5), “prostitution” entails someone agreeing to, offering to, or engaging in sexual conduct with another person in exchange for money or “any other valuable consideration.” Essentially, it is unlawful for anyone to seek or accept anything of value in exchange for sexual services, regardless of whether the sexual services were ever actually provided.
A.R.S. §13-3214 and Phoenix City Code §23-52 both designate prostitution as a class 1 misdemeanor offense. A first conviction may be punishable by a minimum 15-day jail sentence up to the maximum six-month term allowed for similar misdemeanors, as well as a maximum $2,500 fine. As our skilled local attorneys can explain, enhanced penalties may be applicable if someone is convicted of prostitution more than once.
Specifically, a second conviction for this offense carries a mandatory minimum 30-day sentence, and a third conviction has a 45-day minimum jail term attached to it. For fourth and subsequent convictions, prostitution becomes a class 5 felony punishable by anywhere from 180 days to four years of imprisonment, in addition to the standard $2,500 maximum fine.
Importantly, every core element of prostitution defined under state law must be present for someone arrested to be convicted of that offense. A seasoned lawyer in New River could fight to get the charges dropped by establishing that there was no direct link between the exchange of money or something else valuable and a sexual encounter between two people. Legal counsel could also argue that no such exchange occurred in the first place.
In other situations, it may be possible to fight prostitution charges by making an entrapment argument. This involves proving that the police officer(s) who made the arrest entrapped the defendant into committing a crime they would never have committed without law enforcement interference.
Additionally, victims of sex trafficking cannot be held criminally liable for prostitution under state or local law. A New River prostitution lawyer at our firm could discuss what strategies might best suit a particular case during a private initial consultation.
Being arrested on suspicion of prostitution can have lingering effects on every part of your life, especially if you have prior convictions for this offense on your record. Fortunately, assistance is available from the former prosecutors, now dedicated defense attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group. We have years of experience successfully handling these kinds of cases, and we are committed to protecting you and your rights.
Support from the right New River prostitution lawyer could make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Learn more by giving us a call today.