A prostitution arrests or an arrest for soliciting a prostitute can result in probation and mandatory jails time, even as a first offense. To make matters worse, prostitution arrest can have devastating impacts on interpersonal relationships, employment, immigration and professional licenses. If you or a loved one have been charged with prostitution or solicitation, it is important that you speak to an experienced prostitution lawyer before making any decisions or discussing your case with anyone. At Feldman | Royle, we offer a free and confidential consultation.
As it is throughout most of the United States, prostitution is illegal in Arizona. That said the exact definition and mandatory minimum punishment can vary from city to city throughout the state.
Pursuant to ARS 13 3214, the prostitution definition prohibits certain acts. The exact definition can be found in ARS 13-3211(5). This statute prohibits:
ARS 13-3211(5), therefore covers not only the actions of a prostitute, but also the customer who is alleged to have solicited (or attempted to solicit) the prostitute.
Arizona solicitation laws are encompassed within the prostitution definition and codified in ARS 13 3214 and ARS 13 3211. Additionally, under ARS 13-1002, the solicitation meaning is further defined as:
Another person to engage in prostitution.
As stated above, not only are the actions of a prostitute prohibited under Arizona law but so are the actions of those accused of having solicited the services of a prostitute.
There are a number of offenses which are generally listed under the heading of pimping and pandering. They cover different acts and appear under different labels. Included in this group are:
There is obviously some duplication here, and the facts of your case may appear to fit the definition of more than one offense.
The classification and penalty for engaging in prostitution or a related offense varies significantly with the offense. These crimes include misdemeanors and felonies and normally involve minimum jail time.
The offense itself – paying for or receiving money or something else of value in exchange for sexual conduct – is generally a class 1 misdemeanor. If you have three or more prior convictions for prostitution, you will be charged with a class 5 felony.
In addition to the harsh penalties for a solicitation conviction, there are several other collateral consequences which may also impact those convicted.
Arizona sex offender laws pursuant to ARS 13 3821, require those convicted of certain sex crimes to register as a sex offender and be placed on the Arizona sex offender register.
Neither a charge nor a conviction for under ARS 13 3214 or solicitation require placement on the Arizona sex offender registry, so long as the other party is an adult. That said, a conviction for luring a minor or child prostitution will require that a defendant be placed on the Arizona sex offender registry.
Prostitution arrests are widely regarded as a crime of moral turpitude (CIMT) and can have irreversible impacts on a person’s ability to obtain US citizenship. Speaking to both an experienced criminal defense attorney as well as an immigration attorney before making any decisions regarding plea negotiations or statements to state or federal officials is of the utmost importance.
Under ARS 13 1405, the Arizona age of consent is 18 years old. This means that a person under the age of 18 cannot legally consent to sexual contact with an adult.
This concept is an important distinction as child prostitution or luring a minor are separate crimes with much harsher punishments under Arizona law.
There are various defenses to a charge, and the applicability of one or more of these defenses will depend upon the specifics of your case. That said, those looking to learn how to beat a solicitation charge should review the common solicitation defenses below.
As is the case with most sex crimes, a stigma and assumption of guilt can often accompany an arrest. However, it is important to remember that it is not your obligation to prove your innocence – in fact the State has the burden to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The most common ways that police arrest those suspected of soliciting is to patrol and observe high prostitution areas or to set up a prostitution sting. In the case of a prostitution sting, an undercover officer will pose as a prostitute and entice suspects to purchase services.
If you are charged with prostitution or a related crime, there are many questions to be resolved. Remember that the prosecution must establish its case against you beyond a reasonable doubt. As a lawyer works your case, issues may arise as to the sufficiency of the evidence against you which could lead to a dismissal of the charges against you.
At Feldman | Royle, we can provide you with the answers you need. Call us to speak to an experienced sex crimes lawyer and get an honest evaluation of your case. Your initial consultation is free.
No. Prostitution is illegal in Arizona, as it is almost everywhere in the United States. It involves, in one aspect of another, the act of, or the solicitation of customers for, engaging in sex for money.
Statutory rape pursuant to ARS 13 1405 occurs when someone engages in sexual intercourse or oral sexual conduct with a person under the age of 18. Sexual assault, or rape, under ARS 13 1406, occurs when someone engages in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with another person without the consent of the other person, regardless of their age.
Under Arizona law, a conviction for prostitution or soliciting requires a mandatory minimum of 15 days in jail, even for a first offense.
The bottom line is that there is no definitive way to tell if it’s a prostitution sting. That said, undercover law enforcement will normally get straight to negotiations as they should not engage in any sex acts. Commonly, undercover cops will work quickly to encourage a suspect to state clearly their intentions to pay a certain sum of money for a specific sex act.
Soliciting is the act of asking or attempting to ask someone to engage in sex activities for money.
In most prostitution cases, meaning the simple act of exchanging sex for money, the charge is a misdemeanor. If you have three or more prior prostitution convictions, you can be charged with a class 5 felony.
Solicitation of a minor is child prostitution and is treated much more harshly than prostitution among adults. For example, the basic act of providing sex for money or paying for sex, among adults, is ordinarily a class 1 misdemeanor. Causing a child to engage in prostitution, on the other hand, is a class 2 felony.
Entrapment, whether the issue is a sting or not, is an affirmative defense. That means the defendant has the burden of proof, and under ARS 13-206, must prove the elements of the defense by clear and convincing evidence.