Prostitution, otherwise known as the oldest profession in the world, is a known crime that is deemed unlawful. In legal terms, prostitution involves paid sexual acts between two parties. New York laws dictate that agreeing on this illegal act, or participation of any kind, can end up with a number of offenses. However, even though the Penal Code of New York does not have an exact definition for sexual interaction, this form of conduct has been agreed by state courts to include a variety of sexual acts.
New York City Prostitution Laws
Even though the Penal Code of New York does not state that sexual acts in the prostitution statute, sexual participation has been determined by state courts to include sexual acts of any kind, including physical contact over clothes. Prostitution is classified as a class B misdemeanor and means the promotion, patronizing, and compelling of prostitution, as well as sex trafficking.
These prostitution laws are laid out in Article 230 of the New York Penal Code. The statute defines prostitution as when a person offers or agrees to perform a sexual act with another person in exchange for some kind of fee. These laws apply to a person who is found guilty of doing the action defined above.
Due to prostitution being a class B misdemeanor, it is punishable of up to three months of jail time and a $500 fine. Prostitution found in a school zone is defined as a class A misdemeanor, and is punishable of up to one year of jail time, as well as a $1,000 fine. Patronizing the solicitation of prostitution is defined as a class A misdemeanor, however, patronizing a prostitute who is under the age of 14 is defined as a class E felony, which can be punishable of up to seven years of jail time and a fine of $5,000. Patronizing a prostitute who is under the age of 11 is defined as a class D felony, which is punishable of up to seven years of jail time and a $5,000 fine.
Sex offender registration is required for those convicted of patronizing children as prostitutes under the age of 17, required by the state of New York.
Although this may also apply to other professional career licenses, the commissioner of education has the right to remote teaching licenses of teachers who are registered as sexual offenders.
Patronizing Prostitution Laws
Those who commit a patronizing prostitution crime include:
– Payment for sexual conduct
– Paying or agreeing on sexual conduct for a sum of money
– Requesting or soliciting sexual activities for money
However, this crime is more punishable if:
– The prostitute is under the age of 14, or the defendant is 18 years old or older
– The prostitute is 11 years old, or younger
Promoting Prostitution Laws
There are specific rules prohibiting the promotion of prostitution. This is also known as pandering or pimping. These laws are aimed at punishing those your profit from the prostitution of other people and those who help with prostitution. These are third party offenders who knowingly help another person commit prostitution. These laws also apply to people who find customers for prostitutes, allow prostitution to occur on their premises, or any other person who helps the crime of prostitution to occur.
Any potential defense is best discussed with your lawyer. However, there are so common defenses that may apply to your case.
When defending your case, the gender of both the buyer and the seller do not play any role in the charges according to New York state law. This is true no matter what prostitution related crime the defendant is charged with.
An additional defense may be used in cases where the defendant is charged with soliciting sex from someone under the age of 14. If the defendant did not know the prostitute was underage and did not have reason to believe they were, they can use this as a defense. If the prostitute did not appear to be under 14, was not advertised as being that young, and did not tell the defendant that they were underage, this information can be used to get a lesser sentence.
Seeking Legal Help
The consequences of being arrested for a crime relating to prostitution can be severe. Whether it is for patronizing a prostitute, promoting prostitution, or prostitution itself, you could be looking at fines, jail time, and a criminal record. Your best course of action is to hire a Long Island prostitution lawyer to guide you through the proceedings and argue the case on your behalf. They can help you to maneuver through the legal system and get the best outcome for your case.