Selling sexual services is illegal in Connecticut. Although law enforcement tends to focus on buyers, sex workers are also subject to arrest and prosecution. You could also face prosecution for allegedly agreeing to exchange sexual services for anything of value, even if sexual contact never occurs.
If you face prostitution charges, contact the legal team at Ruane Attorneys right away. A Norwich prostitution lawyer at our firm could help you resolve the charges and minimize the impact on your life.
Defining the Crime of Prostitution
Agreeing to provide sexual services for a fee, whether money or something else of value, is a Class A misdemeanor according to Connecticut General Statutes §53a-82. Penalties upon conviction could be up to one year in jail and a $2000 fine. A person could be arrested for prostitution even if no sexual contact occurs—an agreement to provide sex for a fee is illegal even if the meetup never happens.
Many voluntary sex workers advertise online or have websites to screen and book potential customers. If the worker sends an email, text, or other communication that could be interpreted as offering sexual services for sale, they could be arrested for prostitution.
A Norwich attorney can investigate the circumstances surrounding a prostitution arrest and determine whether law enforcement violated the defendant’s rights during the investigation. If so, a court must suppress the evidence, and a prosecutor will likely dismiss the charge.
Crackdowns on Profiting from Prostitution in Norwich
Many businesses where prostitution occurs are involved in human trafficking. Law enforcement devotes substantial resources to apprehending people who profit from trafficking and prostitution. Massage parlors, escort services, adult entertainment venues, and other businesses sometimes offer prostitution services. When police raid these establishments or conduct undercover operations, the workers often face charges.
A lawyer at our firm could establish that a worker was coerced or under duress, both of which are defenses to prostitution charges. Other circumstances could relieve an arrested person from prosecution. For example, a person cannot be convicted of prostitution if they are under 16. Additionally, any victim of human trafficking is entitled to federal protection and is unlikely to face prosecution for prostitution.
Resolving Prostitution Charges
In many cases, prosecutors will dismiss prostitution charges without penalty or enter a “nolle prosse.” A nolle prosse is a decision not to prosecute, although the prosecutor reserves the right to reopen the case. If the prosecutor does not agree to either of these actions, our Norwich attorneys could investigate other means of resolving the prostitution charge.
People who face prostitution charges might have problems like addiction, homelessness, or poverty, which leads them to engage in prostitution. Prosecutors often agree to support a diversion program rather than criminal prosecution in these cases. The accused must participate in a program offering relevant social services support, and the prosecutor dismisses the charges upon completion.
Courts usually do not permit participation if an accused has already completed a diversion program in connection with another charge. In that case, a prostitution lawyer must negotiate with the prosecutor to reach a favorable plea agreement or prepare to win an acquittal at a trial.
Contact a Norwich Attorney if You Face Prostitution Charges
Prostitution charges can result from a wide variety of scenarios, many of which can be resolved with help from an attorney. Judges and prosecutors are often amenable to settling these charges in a non-punitive way.
A Norwich prostitution lawyer can work to secure a positive case result and protect your rights throughout the legal process. Call Ruane Attorneys today, and let us get to work defending you.