In the Bronx and other communities in the state of New York, prostitution is defined as choosing to engage in acts of a sexual nature in return for some type of fee. Another component of the criminal offense has to do with offering to perform sexual acts in return for receiving a fee or soliciting another person to provide sexual services for an agreed upon fee. As with many types of criminal actions, a conviction for prostitution or soliciting the services of a prostitute can change a life forever. Here are some facts about the legal ramifications, the penalties, and what can happen long after the case is settled.
Where are the Laws Regarding Prostitution Found in New York Criminal Law?
The laws and statutes related to prostitution in the Bronx are found in two separate articles of the New York penal code. This type of activity is directly addressed in Article 230 and is also referenced in Article 240 among other types of offenses. The provisions found in both articles can be relevant based on when, where, and how the prostitution charges came about.
What Constitutes Prostitution?
Prostitution occurs when there is an offer to provide sexual favors in exchange for a fee. The favors may be active or passive and include any type of sexual activity. While money is the most common form of fee, offering favors in return for other types of goods or services may also be considered prostitution.
Laws within the Bronx and other areas of the state involve both the person who is offering the favors and the individual who receives them. While the charges may differ slightly, both can result in serious fines and possibly time spent in jail.
Who Can Be Accused of Prostitution?
Persons of all genders may offer sexual services to others in exchange for some type of compensation. Individuals of any gender may also be involved as clients and receive those services. The key factor is not the gender of either individual, but the extension and the acceptance of an offer to receive sexual favors in exchange for some type of fee.
How Does Loitering Fit in With a Charge of Prostitution or Solicitation of a Prostitute?
Article 240 of the New York penal code has to do with what is known as offenses against public order. As these laws relate to prostitution, some of the provisions have to do with loitering. This is an activity involving the decision to remain in a specific geographic location for the purpose of stopping people as they walk or drive by and offering to provide them with access to sexual services. Article 240.37 specifically focuses on loitering for the purposes of engaging in a prostitution offense and is classed as a misdemeanor.
The Penalties Associated With Prostitution
An act of prostitution that involves only individuals who are over the age of consent is typically considered a Class B misdemeanor. If convicted, the prostitute could pay up to a $500.00 fine and the possibility of a maximum period of three months in jail. The client agreeing to receive the services could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor and receive up to one full year in prison, be fined up to $1,000.00, or a combination of the two.
When an individual under the age of 14 is offered compensation in return for performing sexual acts, the person making the offer faces the potential for prison time of between two and five years. This would be in addition to any fine currently allowed by law for this Class E felony.
Acts of prostitution that are coerced or compelled are considered Class B felonies and could result in anywhere between 3 and 25 years in prison. A fine of up to $5,000.0 for each offense could also be imposed. This includes activity that falls under the legal definition of sex trafficking.
What Can Be the Result of a Conviction?
Serving time in jail and paying a fine is only the start of what can happen following a conviction for prostitution or seeking the services of a prostitute. The criminal activity becomes a permanent part of the individual’s legal record. Those records can be accessed by potential employers and other institutions that conduct background checks when considering extending memberships to clubs and other organizations.
In many cases, relationships with family and friends will be strained. The past conviction may also limit the opportunities for developing relationships with people in the years to come.
When an employee contract contains morals clauses, being convicted of offering or receiving sexual favors in return for compensation can be grounds for termination. This can create additional financial hardship that is difficult to overcome.
If a charge of prostitution or patronizing a prostitute is leveled, there is no time to waste. The accused party should seek legal counsel as quickly as possible. Doing so makes it possible to determine if the grounds for the charges have any basis in fact, how those events relate to the laws currently in place, and what type of penalty the individual is facing. Rest assured that the lawyer will review all the facts and employ every legal precedent available to protect the interests of the client.