Many people believe that the state’s prostitution laws only punish those who offer sex in exchange for money. However, law enforcement can also arrest those on the other side of this transaction. If a police officer believes you intend to pay something of value in exchange for any form of sexual activity, you could face charges under state prostitution statutes or Tempe municipal codes.
Whether the case arises out of state or municipal law, the penalties for a conviction can be harsh. You need legal representation from a tenacious attorney to protect your rights and reputation. Speak with a Tempe solicitation lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group to build a defense against these serious allegations.
There is no statute under state law with the title of “solicitation.” Instead, law enforcement officials and prosecutors can use the state’s prostitution statute to pursue criminal charges. According to Arizona Revised Statute § 13-3214, it is illegal to have sex with another person in exchange for money. In addition, the statute also prohibits:
A solicitation arrest can result from various scenarios. Regardless of the circumstances that led to an arrest, a conviction can have severe consequences. Although the law defines prostitution as a class 1 misdemeanor, it also states that judges trying these cases must sentence a convicted person to no less than 15 years in jail. It is crucial for those accused of solicitation in Tempe to take the charges seriously and work with an experienced lawyer on their defense.
While state law does not provide a specific prohibition on the solicitation of prostitutes, local police and prosecutors may choose to make arrests and pursue charges under a local ordinance. Tempe City Ordinance § 22-1 states that it is illegal for any person to solicit or hire another person to commit an act of prostitution. Furthermore, it is also unlawful for a person to enter any room, hotel, or other location to engage in sexual activity with a prostitute.
These differences can have a profound impact on a case. For example, courts hearing charges under a local ordinance cannot impose a mandatory minimum sentence upon conviction like in state cases. A skilled local attorney could argue that state law does not apply to the alleged solicitation and force a prosecutor to file charges under a local ordinance. This could help to reduce the potential penalties for a conviction.
If you are facing accusations related to the solicitation of a prostitute, it is critical that you understand what a prosecutor must prove to obtain a conviction, what penalties you face, and how a state charge differs from an alleged violation of a local ordinance. The simple fact is that any attempt to solicit a prostitute is illegal. However, there may be many available defense strategies depending on the circumstances of your arrest.
At Grand Canyon Law Group, our former prosecutors, now dedicated defense attorneys, know how to handle your case the right way. A Tempe solicitation lawyer can dispute whether an encounter occurred, argue that a meet-up was for a consensual encounter, or even challenge the classification of charges to decrease the potential penalties. Contact us today to set up a private consultation about your case.