Prostitution is Suffolk County and anywhere else in the state of New York involves a number of sexually related offenses. It refers to the act of engaging in or agreeing to engage in a sexual act with another person for money. In the United States, Nevada is the only state where prostitution is legal. In general, prostitution laws make it illegal not only to have sex for money but to act as a pimp or promote the act, solicit a prostitute, as well as other related acts that are considered illegal.
What are the Prostitution Laws in Suffolk County, New York?
The New York Penal Code does not define sexual conduct within its statute regarding prostitution. However, said conduct is described in state courts to include a wide variety of sexual acts that sometimes even include those involving clothed physical contact. Prostitution is considered to be a class B misdemeanor. The state of New York also makes it a criminal act to promote prostitution, patronize a prostitute, compel or permit prostitution or commit the act of sex trafficking.
What is the Specific Definition of Prostitution?
Prostitution is a crime that is committed when a person engages in sexual conduct with another person or agrees to engage in it with another person in exchange for a fee.
What are the Different Types of Prostitution Offenses in Suffolk County, New York?
There are a number of acts that can be committed that encompass prostitution offenses. The most notable and common include the following:
• Prostitution in a School Zone: If someone 19 or older commits prostitution near a school during school hours when there are children around who can see the act, the crime is treated more severely and carries greater penalties.
• Patronizing Prostitution: A man who attempts to get the “services” of a prostitute is often referred to as a “john.” The act of patronizing prostitution is committed when the following things occur: the individual pays a fee while knowing that it is in exchange for sexual conduct; the person pays or agrees to pay money while understanding that they or a third party will engage in sexual conduct with the prostitute; the individual solicits or requests that someone else engage in sexual conduct with a prostitute for a fee; the penalties are more severe if the defendant is older than age 18 and the prostitute is under the age of 14 or the prostitute is under the age of 11.
• Promoting Prostitution: There are also strict laws against promoting prostitution, which is also referred to as pimping or pandering. These laws are geared toward third parties who make money off of other people acting as prostitutes. This crime can also occur when the individual operates a house or other premises for the purposes of prostitution, such as a brothel.
• Compelling Prostitution: Compelling prostitution is a crime that is committed when a person who is 21 years old or older forces a person who is under 16 years of age into prostitution through force or intimidation.
• Permitting Prostitution: A person can be found guilty of this prostitution-related crime if they have possession and control of premises that are used for the purpose of prostitution and when the person “fails to make reasonable effort to halt or abate such use.”
What are the Sentences and Penalties for Prostitution in Suffolk County, New York?
Because prostitution is the type of crime that is considered a class B misdemeanor, it means an individual arrested for it can serve up to three months in jail and receive a fine of a maximum of $500. However, prostitution in a school zone is considered to be a class A misdemeanor, which means the penalties are a bit more severe. Generally, in that case, the individual would find themselves serving as long as one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Patronizing prostitution is also a class A misdemeanor with a punishment of up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. However, if the individual is found to have been patronizing prostitution from someone under the age of 14, it is considered a class E felony that can result in as much as four years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Patronizing a prostitute who is under the age of 11 is a class D felony, which means a term of prison of up to seven years and a fine that is a maximum of $5,000.
Possible Defenses for Prostitution in Suffolk County New York
According to New York laws, the gender of the buyer or seller in prostitution or patronizing prostitution doesn’t matter.
One defense the defense attorney can use if the individual is being tried for patronizing a prostitute under the age of 14 or 11 is that the defendant did not realize or have reason to believe that the prostitute was of that age. For example, the defense can argue that the prostitute wasn’t being advertised as being a certain age and that the “john” didn’t think she looked that age because she appears older.
If you have been arrested for prostitution or another prostitution-related charge, it’s important to have a skilled Suffolk County prostitution lawyer on your side. Contact the Spodek Law Group at your earliest convenience to discuss your case.