You might have never thought that you would have to look for Staten Island prostitution lawyers, but you may have now found yourself in exactly this type of situation. The truth is that many people who are arrested for prostitution-related charges are good, law-abiding citizens who might have never been arrested for anything in the past.
If you are facing prostitution-related charges, however, it is important to understand the gravity of the situation. This is not something that you’re going to want to ignore or try to handle on your own. It also is not something that you will want to trust a regular criminal lawyer with; instead, you will want an attorney who has experience in handling these types of sensitive charges.
Causes of Being Arrested for Prostitution
It can be easier to be arrested for prostitution than you think. For one thing, if you are working as a prostitute, you have to worry about being turned in by ordinary citizens who might be suspicious about what you are up to. You also have to worry about sting operations in which law enforcement officers go out and solicit prostitutes in an effort to arrest them.
There are many ways that you can get in trouble for soliciting prostitution as well. Again, sting operations are frequently set up in an effort to arrest those who are looking to solicit prostitutes. Additionally, you have to worry about being caught while soliciting a prostitute, either because a regular citizen turns you in or because an undercover officer might witness the behavior.
Sometimes, there are much more in-depth operations in place. In some cases, law enforcement spends months putting together sting operations in an effort to catch sex rings or to do an overall crackdown on prostitution in the city. If you get caught in the crosshairs of one of these types of operations, you could wind up being arrested in the process, even if it’s your first time working as a prostitute or soliciting one.
Penalties for a Prostitution Conviction in Staten Island
In New York, prostitution is a class B misdemeanor. If you are convicted of prostitution in the state, you could face up to three months in jail and/or a fine of up to $500. In addition to having to pay pricey fines and potentially risking your freedom, you also have to worry about the long-time stigma that can go along with having a charge of this nature on your criminal record.
If you are convicted of patronizing a prostitute, which is a class A misdemeanor, you could face up to a year in prison and/or up to a $1,000 fine. If the prostitute was younger than 14 years of age, you could be convicted of a class E felony and could face two to five years in prison.
There are various other criminal charges that you could be facing related to prostitution. Allowing prostitution to go on in your home, business or any other place that you have control of can come with a fine and a potential jail sentence, for example, as can working as a “pimp.”
What to Do if You’re Arrested for Prostitution in Staten Island
Whether you are being accused of working as a prostitute or hiring one, you should take the situation very seriously. Not only do you have to worry about the social stigma that goes along with this type of conviction, but there are also severe consequences that you could be facing as well.
Hiring a lawyer is a good first step. First of all, your attorney will be familiar with New York laws regarding prostitution and can talk to you a little more about your case and your potential defense options. Plus, you will have a knowledgeable individual working by your side who can help you through this difficult process.
Depending on the specifics of your case, there are various defenses that might be used. For example, if you are accused of soliciting a prostitute who was under 14 years old at the time, your lawyer could argue that you were not aware of the person’s age.
Another potential argument for the solicitation of prostitution is entrapment. For example, if you were arrested as a part of an investigation, your lawyer might argue that you were actively encouraged by a member of law enforcement to participate in an act that you weren’t seeking out on your own in the first place.
Lawyers have various methods of defending their clients, but the best defense is going to depend on the specifics of your case. If you are looking for assistance with your legal situation, contact us today. Then, we can schedule a consultation to sit down and talk to you about your case, and our experienced attorneys can provide you with the best possible defense.