Contrary to popular belief, prostitution is not actually a “victimless crime.” The idea that this criminal act is performed only between two consenting adults and that no one is harmed as a result is a pervasive myth. Many of the individuals who engage in prostitution forced to do so against their will, do so as a result of their circumstances or are legally unable to consent. There are also those who are caught up in these situations by mistake or poor judgment and must deal with significant legal consequences and even public shaming as a result. But if you are arrested in culmination with a prostitution sting, the ramifications could be very serious. Here are four things you should know if you are arrested in a prostitution sting.
- You could be convicted even if no sexual act took place: You might assume that if you never went through with the act outlined in your agreement, you’ll be in the clear. But the law states that you can still be charged and convicted even if the act doesn’t take place. Keep in mind that during a nationwide sting that resulted in 1,000 arrests, nearly two-fifths of those stemmed from online prostitution ads. However, prosecutors don’t have to actually prove that the sexual acts actually took place in order to convict. They just have to prove that an offer has been made and accepted to exchange money or another item of value for sexual contact. As long as they have evidence that this occurred, you can’t defend yourself with the fact that the act itself never happened.
- You might be charged with a felony or be forced to register as a sex offender: As we referenced earlier, the act of prostitution may involve those who are legally unable to consent. And if your case involves such individuals — i.e., minors — you could face even more substantial punishment. If you promote or engage in prostitution and a person under the age of legal consent is involved, you may face a felony charge and may even be required to register as a sex offender. These charges will be even worse if you have other prostitution charges on your record. This type of punishment could mean huge fees, prison time, and difficulties in securing housing and employment for the rest of your life. That’s why it’s essential for those facing any type of prostitution charges to contact a reputable sex crime defense attorney in Clackamas County.
- You can invoke your right to stay silent: If you are arrested for sex crimes like these, it’s imperative that you exercise your right to remain silent until your prostitution lawyers are present. You can choose to respectfully refrain from answering any questions; once you verbalize that you will remain silent until your attorney has arrived, the police cannot interrogate you any longer. This is the best way to ensure that your rights are protected and that your sex crime defense attorney in Clackamas County is able to defend you in court.
- There may be ways to dismiss or reduce the charges: This may not be true in every case, particularly when evidence is gathered to the letter of the law. However, law enforcement officers involved in prostitution stings don’t always play by the rules every time. Your sex crime defense attorney in Clackamas County may be able to argue that the evidence against you was gathered illegally or that police misconduct makes certain evidence inadmissible in a court of law. There is, of course, no guarantee that your lawyer will be able to get your charges reduced or dropped entirely, particularly if prosecutors have a very strong case against you. However, contacting a lawyer is the best way to make sure someone is fighting for your rights every step of the way.
As we’ve mentioned, contacting a sex crime defense attorney in Clackamas County provides you with the best opportunity for true justice. Because prostitution laws are so complex, it’s vital to have a knowledgeable legal team by your side. For more information, contact our firm today.