Montgomery County Prostitution Lawyer
The law strictly prohibits the act of having sex in exchange for anything of value. Despite this, the laws in the state can result in significant confusion for people facing these allegations. It may not be immediately clear whether police had the right to make an arrest or whether a prosecutor will have the evidence necessary to secure a conviction.
If you are facing criminal charges related to prostitution, a Montgomery County prostitution lawyer may be able to help. A seasoned defense attorney could explain the state’s prostitution laws and what the prosecutor needs to prove. They could also listen to your side of the story to evaluate which defense strategy may work best for you.
What is Considered Prostitution?
State law is clear in its prohibition on the act of prostitution, but what does it mean to commit this act? Maryland Code, Criminal Law, § 11-303 says that no person may engage in prostitution, which MD Code, Criminal Law, § 11-301 defines as performing any sexual act or sexual contact for hire. In addition, the same statutes prohibit making an appointment to engage in prostitution.
As a result, police may feel justified to make an arrest if two people merely make an arrangement to exchange sex for money or any other property, even if the exchange never occurs. In addition, any form of sexual contact, not just intercourse, falls under the definition of prostitution.
Convictions for prostitution can bring serious penalties. State law defines this offense as a misdemeanor where a court can impose a fine of up to $500, sentence a person to up to one year in jail, or both. A Montgomery County attorney could provide more information about the state’s laws regarding prostituting and what the consequences of a conviction may be.
Formulating Defenses Against Charges of Prostitution
Due to the severe consequences a prostitution conviction can bring, it is essential to promote a potent defense in court. Thankfully, the state’s laws provide an affirmative defense against these allegations. Adopting an affirmative defense means that a person admits that they committed an act of prostitution but that they had a legally valid reason for doing so.
For example, MD Code, Criminal Law, § 11-303 provides the affirmative defense of duress. This means that a person may argue that they only participated in an act of prostitution because of the threat of force or as the consequence of being a victim of human trafficking. A MoCo prostitution lawyer could help to determine if the use of this defense may be possible.
In other cases, it is necessary to create reasonable doubt in the prosecutor’s case. This could involve disputing the legality of police work that led to an arrest or arguing that there was never an agreement for an exchange of sex for money or other property.
Seek Guidance from a Montgomery County Prostitution Attorney
Charges alleging prostitution are always serious matters. A conviction will create a criminal record and could require you to pay a heavy fine or spend time in jail. When facing these allegations, it is important to understand the law and to be able to make powerful arguments in court. Working with a Montgomery County prostitution lawyer could give you an advantage in both these areas. Reach out now to discuss your case.