Brooklyn Prostitution Lawyers: A Helpful Guide
Getting charged with prostitution or patronizing a prostitute in Brooklyn can be really scary. You might be feeling anxious, overwhelmed, and unsure of what to do next. This conversational article is here to help walk you through the basics of New York prostitution laws and what your options are if you’ve been charged in Brooklyn.
First, let’s define what “prostitution” and “patronizing a prostitute” mean legally in New York.
- Prostitution is when someone engages in sexual activity with another person in exchange for a fee. Both the seller and buyer can be charged.
- Patronizing a prostitute means paying or agreeing to pay someone for a sexual act.
Some key points about the law:
- It applies to both the buyer and seller
- You don’t have to actually complete the sexual act – just agreeing to pay for it is enough
- Charges can be misdemeanors or felonies depending on specifics
Now, what happens if you get arrested in Brooklyn? Here’s a quick overview:
- You’ll be taken to the police station and booked. They’ll take your fingerprints and mugshot.
- The police will read you your Miranda rights. This allows you to remain silent and to ask for a lawyer.
- You’ll be held until arraignment when you go before a judge. This is usually within 24 hours.
- At arraignment, you’ll hear the formal charges against you. The judge decides whether to set bail or release you.
- Your next court date will be scheduled – this starts the criminal case process.
Finding the Right Brooklyn Prostitution Lawyer
Hiring a good lawyer is crucial for getting the best possible outcome. Here are some tips:
- Find someone experienced specifically with prostitution cases in Brooklyn. Look for 5+ years handling these cases.
- Make sure they have a track record of winning prostitution cases and getting charges reduced or dismissed in Brooklyn courts.
- Personality fit is important too – choose someone you feel comfortable telling your full story to.
- Avoid lawyers who overpromise or say they can definitely get your case dismissed. No guarantees.
- Google them and check reviews from past clients to ensure a good reputation.
A great Brooklyn prostitution lawyer will thoroughly examine your case details, look for any police mistakes, and build the strongest defense. This could potentially get the charges significantly reduced or even dismissed.
Possible Defenses Your Lawyer May Use
There are several defenses that your lawyer might use to fight the charges, including:
- Entrapment – This means the police improperly induced you to commit a crime you otherwise wouldn’t have. For example, an undercover cop insisting you pay for sex after you showed hesitation.
- False accusations – The prostitute may have lied about you agreeing to pay for sex for unknown reasons. Your lawyer can try to prove they are lying.
- Misidentification – You can argue the police arrested the wrong person and it wasn’t actually you.
- Lack of evidence – The prosecution may lack sufficient evidence to prove you engaged in prostitution beyond a reasonable doubt.
A skilled lawyer will examine the arrest details and evidence to determine which defenses make the most sense for your specific case.
Possible Penalties If Convicted
Potential penalties for a prostitution or patronizing conviction include:
- Up to 1 year in jail for a misdemeanor
- 1 to 7 years in prison for a felony
- Fines up to $5,000
- A permanent criminal record
- Having your name and photo published on “john” websites
- Complete any required counseling programs
- Comply with all court orders such as probation
The penalties get harsher if there are aggravating factors like the prostitute being underage. Talk to your lawyer about the exact penalties you’re facing.
A prostitution conviction can negatively impact your immigration status if you are not a U.S. citizen. It can potentially lead to denial of your green card or visa application. Consult with an immigration attorney to understand the risks.
Will This Go on My Record?
If it’s your first prostitution offense, your lawyer may be able to get the charges dismissed or reduced to a non-criminal violation. This means it wouldn’t go on your criminal record.
However, even a sealed or dismissed case may still show up on some background checks. Be prepared to explain it to employers, landlords, etc.
Take a Deep Breath – You Have Options
Being arrested for prostitution or patronizing feels scary and overwhelming. But with an experienced Brooklyn criminal defense lawyer on your side, you have a much better chance of a positive outcome.
Don’t hesitate to call a lawyer to review your case details and start building your defense. This difficult time will pass – you have support and there are solutions. Stay strong!
FAQs About Brooklyn Prostitution Laws
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about prostitution laws and arrests in Brooklyn:
Q: Is prostitution a felony or misdemeanor in Brooklyn?
It can be either depending on the circumstances. First offenses without aggravating factors are usually misdemeanors. But repeat offenses or cases involving minors can be felonies.
Q: What are the penalties for patronizing a prostitute in Brooklyn?
For a first offense patronizing misdemeanor, possible penalties are up to 1 year in jail and fines up to $1,000. Felony patronizing charges bring 1 to 7 years in prison.
Q: Can I avoid jail time if convicted?
It depends on your exact charges, criminal history, and other factors. But first-time offenders often get no jail time or just a few days/weeks. Your lawyer’s job is to fight for the lightest sentence possible.
Q: Should I take a plea bargain?
That’s a decision to carefully consider with your lawyer’s advice. Plea deals can give lighter sentencing, but result in a permanent conviction. Your lawyer will lay out your options.
Q: How much will a prostitution lawyer cost in Brooklyn?
Costs vary, but expect to pay $2,000 – $5,000+ for a lawyer to fully handle a misdemeanor. Felonies cost more. Ask about payment plans.
Q: Will a prostitution conviction affect my job, education, or licenses?
It’s possible. Some employers, schools, and state licensing boards ask about and penalize for criminal records. Your lawyer can advise on possible impacts.
Q: What happens if I miss my court date?
Missing court leads to a bench warrant for your arrest. Fines also increase. Don’t miss court dates – your lawyer can update the court if you have an emergency.
Q: Should I take this to trial or settle?
Every case is different. Your attorney will assess the evidence, possible defenses, your goals, and make a recommendation on the best route forward. There are pros and cons to trials vs settlements.
Q: How long will my case take to resolve?
Simple misdemeanor cases often resolve in 2-3 months. But it varies case by case – felonies and cases going to trial take longer. Your lawyer will keep you updated on timelines.
Q: Will this go on my criminal record?
It depends. First offenses sometimes can be pled down to violations which don’t go on your criminal record. But convictions do. Sealed or expunged cases may still show up on some background checks too.
I hope this guide gave you a helpful overview of prostitution laws and what to expect if you’ve been charged in Brooklyn. Remember, you have options – don’t panic. Take a deep breath and focus on finding the right lawyer for your case.
An experienced Brooklyn prostitution attorney will thoroughly examine your case details, advise you on possible defenses, and fight to get your charges reduced or dismissed. There are solutions ahead of you. You have support in this difficult time.
If you or a loved one has been charged with prostitution or patronizing a prostitute in Brooklyn, don’t hesitate to call a lawyer for help. They can start building your defense strategy right away. Stay strong – you’ve got this!