Laws and Penalties for Prostitution Charges
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Understanding Arizona Prostitution Charges and Defenses Under Arizona Revised Statute 13-3214
In this article, we will take a closer look at the different sex crime laws, penalties, and defenses related to prostitution charges in Arizona.
Prostitution is the exchange of sexual services for compensation, and it is illegal in most states, including Arizona.
Under Arizona Revised Statute 13-3214, both the person offering the services and the person receiving the services can be charged with a crime. In this article, we will take a closer look at the laws, penalties, and defenses related to prostitution charges in Arizona.
Laws and Penalties for Prostitution Charges
According to Arizona Revised Statute 13-3214, prostitution is defined as engaging in sexual conduct, agreeing to engage in sexual conduct, or offering to engage in sexual conduct with someone else in exchange for money or something of value. A person who violates this statute can be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.
It is also illegal to engage in prostitution while knowingly being HIV-positive. This is considered a class 6 felony and carries a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison.
If you have been charged with a prostitution offense in Phoenix or anywhere in Arizona, it is important to understand the potential consequences and legal options available to you. Phoenix Municipal Code § 23-52 states that prostitution within the city limits also includes actions such as showing intent to commit prostitution in a public place or motor vehicle through gestures or checking for police officers.
A conviction for a prostitution offense can result in a mandatory sentence to jail, which is why it is crucial to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Colburn Hintze Maletta is a reputable law firm that can help you secure a favorable outcome in your case. Representing yourself in court without the help of a lawyer can greatly decrease your chances of obtaining the result you desire.
Prostitution offenses are generally considered class 1 misdemeanors, but individuals with three or more prior convictions can be charged with a class 5 felony, as per ARS 13-3214. It is always wise to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to understand all your legal options and to make an informed decision.
Continue reading below to learn more about the different penalties for multiple offenses.
Penalties for a First Offense of Prostitution
Prostitution is a criminal offense in Arizona, and if you are convicted, you may face significant penalties. Both ARS 13-3214 and Phoenix Municipal Code 23-52 state that prostitution is a class 1 misdemeanor. Depending on whether it is a first or subsequent offense, the penalties may vary.
If you are convicted of a first offense of prostitution, you may face the following penalties:
- Mandatory minimum jail of 15 days up to a maximum of 6 months
- Potential fines of up to $2,500 under ARS 13-802
- Additional 84% surcharge on any fines imposed
- Potential for probation for up to 3 years after the mandatory minimum jail is completed.
Penalties for a Second Offense of Prostitution
If you have a prior conviction for prostitution and are subsequently convicted of a second prostitution offense, you may face the following penalties:
- Mandatory minimum jail sentence of 30 days up to a maximum of 6 months
- Fines of up to $2,500
- Additional 84% surcharge of any fines imposed
- Potential probation of up to 3 years after the minimum jail sentence is completed.
Penalties for a Third Offense of Prostitution
If you have two prior prostitution convictions and are convicted of a third prostitution offense, you may face the following penalties:
- Mandatory minimum jail sentence of sixty days up to six months
- Fines of up to $2,500
- Additional surcharge of 84%
- Potential probation of up to three years after the minimum sentence of jail is completed.
Penalties for a Fourth or Subsequent Offense of Prostitution
If you have three prior convictions for prostitution and are convicted of a fourth or subsequent offense, it is a class 1 misdemeanor under the Phoenix Municipal Code or a Class 5 felony under the Arizona Revised Statutes.
Your potential penalties for a fourth offense will depend on whether you are charged under the municipal code or the state law.
Penalties for a Fourth or Subsequent Offense under the Municipal Code
If you are convicted under the municipal code of a fourth or subsequent prostitution offense, you may face the following penalties:
- Mandatory jail time of six months
- Fines of $2,500
- Additional 84% surcharge
- Up to three years of probation with classes and counseling as conditions after the six-month jail sentence is completed.
Penalties for a Fourth or Subsequent Offense under the State Law
If you are prosecuted for a fourth offense of prostitution under state law, you may be charged with a Class 5 felony. A conviction for a fourth offense of prostitution as a Class 5 felony may result in the following penalties:
- Mandatory minimum of 180 days in jail or up to 2.5 years in prison
- Fine under ARS 13-801 of up to $150,000
- Probation after the minimum jail or prison sentence is completed
- Possible prison time ranging from 6 months to 2.5 years if a first felony conviction
- If one prior felony conviction, prison ranging from 1 year to 3.75 years in prison
- If two or more prior felony convictions, then prison ranges from 2.25 years to 5.75 years in prison.
It is important to note that in addition to the penalties outlined above, a prostitution conviction may have other consequences as well.
For example, you may be required to register as a sex offender, and you may also have difficulty finding employment or housing.
Additionally, if you are convicted of prostitution, your reputation may also be damaged, and it can be difficult to rebuild trust with family and friends. It is essential to seek the help of a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with prostitution.
Your attorney can help you understand the charges against you, the potential penalties, and the legal defenses that may be available to you.
They can also help you negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution, if appropriate, and represent you in court if your case goes to trial.
What are Possible Defenses to Prostitution Charges?
If you are facing prostitution charges, it is important to understand the charges against you, the potential penalties, and the legal defenses that may be available to you. With that said, there are several legal defenses that may be available to you. Some of the most common defenses include:
- Lack of intent: In order to be convicted of prostitution, the prosecution must prove that you intended to engage in sexual conduct in exchange for money or something else of value. If you can demonstrate that you did not have the intent to engage in prostitution, you may be able to have the charges against you dismissed.
- Entrapment: Entrapment occurs when law enforcement officers induce a person to commit a crime that they would not have committed otherwise. If you can demonstrate that law enforcement officers entrapped you into committing prostitution, you may be able to have the charges against you dismissed.
- Illegal Search and Seizure: If law enforcement officers conducted an illegal search or seizure, any evidence obtained as a result of the illegal search or seizure may be inadmissible in court. If the prosecution’s case relies heavily on this illegally obtained evidence, you may be able to have the charges against you dismissed.
- Insufficient Evidence: In order to be convicted of prostitution, the prosecution must prove that you engaged in sexual conduct in exchange for money or something else of value beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution does not have enough evidence to prove their case, you may be able to have the charges against you dismissed.
In conclusion, this kind of conviction is punishable by mandatory jail time, fines, and possible probation. However, with the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, you may be able to secure a favorable resolution to your case.
Talk to CHM Law Now About Prostitution Charges
At CHM Law, our dedicated legal team has decades of experience in defending and successfully beating those charged with prostitution. The first step to winning your freedom is to give us a call for a free consultation.
During our call, we’ll review your entire case from top to bottom to strategize a winning defense. Don’t delay, give us a call at (602) 825-2500.
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