Prostitution, sometimes referred to as the oldest profession, is an exchange of sexual acts for money, goods, services or something else of value. In Mississippi, it is illegal to pay for any kind of sexual act. Whether you were offering sex for money or trying to buy sex for money, if caught, you could be facing criminal charges. A prostitution charge can be very damaging to one’s career and personal life, so while you might only be facing misdemeanor charges, it’s always critical to take these charges seriously and contact an attorney as soon as possible. A prostitution conviction carries not only a record and reputation with it, but also a stigma that can be difficult to shake, even among close family members, friends and coworkers.
An Exchange of Money or Value
Traditionally, prostitution is a trade of sexual acts for money, but just about anything of value can be used as ‘currency’ in a prostitution case. Any form of compensation, whether monetary or otherwise, can be viewed as an element of a prostitution charge. Any item or items of value, legal or illegal, can be viewed as currency in a prostitution case. In some cases, drugs are traded for sex. Services, goods and just about anything with a monetary value can be traded for sex and seen in the eyes of the law as an element of a prostitution charge.
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Penalties Associated With Prostitution
In most cases, a prostitution charge is a misdemeanor, which means you could face up to one year in jail and fines. That being said, if you have additional charges or other more complicated elements in your case, you could be facing additional misdemeanor or felony charges. If drugs were involved, you’re definitely looking at additional charges. Depending upon the quantity of drugs involved, you could be facing felony charges. Whether you’re facing misdemeanor prostitution charges or additional felony drug or violent crime charges, the sooner you speak with a criminal defense lawyer about your case, the betters.
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Undercover Prostitution Stings
Undercover prostitution stings are frequently utilized to arrest people for prostitution. Many people view these stings and undercover jobs as a form of entrapment of people who might otherwise not commit a crime. If you were arrested by an undercover police officer in some kind of prostitution sting, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. If you were in any way enticed or induced to engage in prostitution, let your attorney know.
What if Sex Didn’t Take Place?
It’s possible to be charged with prostitution, even if the sexual act didn’t take place. This is especially common where law enforcement undercover stings are involved. If there is an exchange of money for sex, or an agreement, it’s possible to be charged with prostitution, even if sex or the sexual act in question hasn’t yet occurred. If an undercover sting was utilized in your case, your lawyer will need to examine the details of your case and your arrest to determine if you were in some way unlawfully entrapped. Did an undercover law enforcement officer induce you into prostitution? It will be critical for your lawyer to analyze all arrest-related data and details to determine if you were lawfully arrested and charged or if you case can be thrown out entirely.
What if Minors Are Involved?
If minors are involved, the seriousness of the crime and potential related charges will be greatly increased. If there are possible ties to human trafficking or a larger organization of sex work, expect to face additional charges. It’s also possible for people associated with the prostitution of minors to be charged with sex crimes that can label them as sexual predators for life, if convicted.
When to Contact a Jackson Criminal Defense Lawyer
After any kind of arrest, it’s important to speak with a criminal defense attorney about your case. Remember, anything you say to law enforcement officials can and will be used against you in a court of law. Politely decline to answer any questions until your lawyer is present. This doesn’t make you look guilty, and it’s the single most effective way to ensure you have the best possible outcome in your case.
If you’re facing prostitution charges in Jackson or in any of the surrounding Metro Area communities, contact the skilled and proven criminal defense team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 265-7766 for an immediate case consultation. Even a misdemeanor prostitution charge can seriously damage your reputation and ability to get on with your life long-term, so the sooner you speak with an attorney, the better chance you have at a favorable outcome in your case.