Offering something of value in exchange for sexual activity is a crime in Connecticut, even when the person receiving the offer is an adult voluntarily engaging in sex work. Patronizing a prostitute, commonly known as solicitation, is a Class A misdemeanor that could lead to up to a year in prison and a $2000 fine.
Calling a Norwich solicitation lawyer should be a priority when facing these allegations. An attorney can often get a solicitation charge dismissed or convince a prosecutor not to proceed with the case. In other situations, an attorney could persuade prosecutors to dismiss or reduce a charge to avoid creating a criminal record.
Online Solicitation Frequently Leads to Charges
Today, many sex workers screen potential customers and arrange dates online. Law enforcement sometimes monitors sex workers’ website traffic for evidence of illegal activity. When someone faces solicitation charges because of an online agreement, a Norwich solicitation attorney could review the warrants authorizing law enforcement to intercept the communications. A lawyer could bring a motion to suppress the illegally obtained evidence if there are legal issues with the officers’ warrants or procedures.
If the defendant is accused of soliciting a minor, they could face felony charges under Connecticut General Statutes §53a-90a, Enticement of a Minor. The defendant must know the person is a minor to be guilty of this crime. If the minor claimed to be an adult, a lawyer could use this to defend against the charges. However, if an adult, such as an undercover police officer, claims to be a child, the defendant could be convicted of enticing a minor.
Patronizing a Prostitute in Norwich
Many businesses provide venues for prostitution activity. These businesses are often the focus of law enforcement sting operations. A Norwich attorney could represent someone arrested in a police operation at a site that allegedly promotes or allows prostitution. The police must have clear evidence of an offer to pay for sexual contact. In many cases, their proof of the offer is weak or non-existent.
An undercover police officer might cross a line and induce someone to offer money for sex, raising potential entrapment defenses. In other cases, a local solicitation attorney could argue that the circumstances or language of the alleged offer were ambiguous.
Potential Resolutions for Solicitation Charges
Many people who face solicitation charges have never been in legal trouble before. Their primary concern might be resolving the situation without a criminal record.
When an accused is a first offender, prosecutors might allow them to plea to a non-criminal charge and agree to seek therapy, engage in community service, or pay a fine. If the prosecutor has insufficient evidence of an offer to pay for sexual contact, they might nolle prosse the charge, meaning they decline to prosecute with the option to refile if the defendant gets in trouble again within a specified time.
Applying to Connecticut’s Accelerated Rehabilitation Program is another option for a first offender. An accused must apply to the program; if accepted, they must complete all the requirements. If they do so, the prosecutor will dismiss the solicitation charge, and the individual’s criminal record will remain clear. The Norwich lawyers at Ruane Attorneys could further explain these options to those facing solicitation charges.
Trust a Norwich Attorney to Resolve a Solicitation Charge
A solicitation conviction has significant consequences even if you avoid a jail sentence. You will have a criminal record, disqualifying you from many employment, housing, educational, and service opportunities. A solicitation conviction could also negatively impact your reputation in the community.
Let a Norwich solicitation lawyer review the circumstances of the arrest and develop a defense tailored to the situation. Often, legal counsel can work to resolve the charges without a criminal plea or conviction. Call Ruane Attorneys as soon as possible to get started on your defense.