If you have been charged with a crime of prostitution in Dayton, Ohio you may be facing an uncertain future. A conviction for prostitution can affect your life for years to come and have far-reaching consequences. The skilled Dayton prostitution defense lawyers at Suhre & Associates, LLC can help you minimize the consequences of your arrest.
When you hire us, you will have a former police officer and former prosecuting attorney on your legal team to help defend you against any charges. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn how we can help you.
How Our Dayton Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help If You’re Arrested for Prostitution
When you are charged with prostitution, the state will go to painstaking lengths to convict you. Suhre & Associates attorneys are experienced and qualified advocates.
We represent clients and are familiar with all courts in Montgomery County and western Ohio. Indeed, our elite attorneys have over 75 years combined experience.
When you hire us, you can count on us to:
- Thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the events and your arrest
- Work with top experts and investigators to strengthen your defense or disprove the state’s allegations against you
- Review the state’s case against you to determine weaknesses
- Negotiate to get charges dropped or reach a favorable plea bargain
- Represent you in court in front of a judge or jury, if necessary
Do not let a sex crime derail your life and ambitions. If you have been charged with a sex crime, including prostitution or solicitation for prostitution, you should seek help from an experienced Dayton criminal defense lawyer. Call Suhre & Associates, LLC today for a free consultation with a criminal law attorney.
Overview of Prostitution in Ohio
Unlike other sex crimes, prostitution is often consensual. The parties make an agreement to the terms of the act and the value of services or goods. The state prohibits payments for certain services, including sex, oral sex, and sexual touching.
Prostitution rings are often taken down in undercover sting operations at illicit massage parlors or gentleman’s clubs. Dayton Police prostitution stings have been regularly featured in local news reports.
In Ohio, buying or selling services for sex is a crime. Prostitution and solicitation for prostitution are different but related crimes. Prostitution is the actual act of performing sexual acts for compensation.
Solicitation for prostitution can be committed in two ways:
- offering sexual acts for money, goods, or return services.
- offering to pay someone for sexual acts (money, goods, or return services).
You do not have to offer to pay a prostitute in order to be charged with prostitution. You can be charged with solicitation for offering money to any individual for sexual acts. However, this crime is most often charged when solicitation involves a prostitute.
Ohio’s main prostitution laws include:
- Compelling prostitution Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2907.21
- Promoting prostitution Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2907.22
- Enticement or solicitation to patronize a prostitute; procurement of a prostitute for another Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2907.23
- Soliciting – after positive HIV test – driver’s license suspension Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2907.24
- Loitering to engage in solicitation – solicitation after positive HIV test Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2907.241
- Prostitution – after positive HIV test Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2907.25
Additionally, Ohio has specific laws against child prostitution, solicitation, and loitering for the purpose of prostitution if you have tested positive for HIV. These allow law enforcement to arrest you even if you have not actually solicited or engaged in prostitution.
Ohio has some unique and controversial prostitution laws. It is one of 21 states that allow minors to be charged with prostitution. It is also the only state where a 16 or 17-year-old has the burden of proving they were forced, coerced, or tricked into providing sex for money in order for law enforcement to charge another adult with sex trafficking of a juvenile.
What are the Penalties for Prostitution in Dayton, Ohio?
Penalties for prostitution crimes depend on several factors:
- The act itself (whether prostitution was solicited or actually occurred)
- The age of the victim (the alleged perpetrator’s knowledge of the victim’s age does not matter)
- The offender’s previous criminal history
In most cases, solicitation for prostitution is a third-degree misdemeanor.
Punishment for a third-degree misdemeanor in Ohio may include:
- Jail term of not more than sixty days (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2929.24)
- Fine of not more than $500 (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §2929.28)
- Both a jail term and a fine
If you use a vehicle to commit (or attempt to commit) solicitation of prostitution, your driver’s license may be suspended. You may also be required to submit to mandatory testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases at your own expense.
There are several criminal acts involving prostitution that are a third degree felony. If you engage in prostitution with the knowledge that you are AIDS-positive, you may be charged with a third degree felony. If individuals actually commit prostitution, they may be charged with compelling prostitution, a third-degree felony.
Punishment for a third-degree felony in Ohio may include:
- Prison term between one and five years (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2929.14)
- Fine of not more than $10,000 (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §2929.18)
- Both a jail term and a fine.
If you’ve been charged with prostitution in Dayton, you need an agressive Dayton prostitution defense lawyer to protect your rights. Call Suhre & Associates, LLC today for a free consultation to learn how we can defend you from criminal charges.
Collateral Consequences for Prostitution
Long after fines are paid and time is served, having a criminal conviction for a sex-related crime can affect every aspect of your life.
Some of the collateral consequences for sex crimes in Ohio may include, but are not limited to:
- Being required to register as a sex offender, which can affect your ability to find work and obtain housing.
- Ineligibility to register as a foster caregiver (Ohio Revised Code § 2151.86).
- If convicted of certain sexual offenses as a nonresident alien, being subject to deportation (Ohio Revised Code § 2943.031).
- Ineligibility to be employed as a law enforcement officer in Ohio (Ohio Revised Code § 109.77)
- If convicted of a felony sex offense, being prohibited from enlisting in the armed forces/military (10 U.S. Code § 504(a)).
- If convicted of a felony sex offense, loss of public housing benefits (42 U.S. Code § 1437d).
Sex crimes can also negatively impact professional licensing opportunities, personal lives, and relationships. Criminal convictions can impact child custody decisions and court approvals for the adoption of stepchildren.
These potentially life-altering penalties are why its essential to call an experienced Ohio criminal defense lawyer if you’ve been charged with prostitution in Dayton. Contact Suhre & Associates, LLC today for a free consultation
What Does it Mean to Compel Prostitution Under ORC 2907.21?
Under Ohio law, it is illegal to do the following:
- Compel another individual to engage in sexual activity for hire (often referred to as pimping)
- Facilitate (induce, procure, encourage) a minor to engage in sexual activity for hire
- Pay or agree to pay a minor so that the minor will engage in sexual activity (either directly or through the minor’s agent)
- Pay a minor for having engaged in sexual activity (either directly or through the minor’s agent)
- Allow a minor to engage in sexual activity for hire.
Compelling prostitution is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
If the person compelled to participate is 16 to 18 years of age, the crime is a second-degree felony punishable up to eight years in prison, a fine of up to $15,000, or both.
If the person compelled to participate is 15 years of age or younger, this is a first-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $20,000, or both.
What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Accused of Prostitution?
Prostitution cases often come down to one person’s word against another person’s words. If you are approached by law enforcement, arrested, or charged, do not speak to the police. Law enforcement may twist or use your words against you during the prosecution of your case.
Some of the defenses that your lawyer may use in a prostitution case include:
- Ambiguity – An ambiguity defense can be used if an offer or agreement was ambiguous or vague.
- Misunderstanding – If you were trying to help someone out of a bad situation, or thought the other person was romantically interested in you, you can use the defense of misunderstanding.
- Lack of intent – A lack of intent defense may be used along with a misunderstanding defense.
- Lack of sexual activity – You may be able to establish no sexual activity occurred between you and another party.
- Entrapment – An entrapment defense can be used when you are the target of an undercover sting.
No matter how tempting it is to talk to law enforcement, do not speak to them without a lawyer. If you speak to the police, you may make it more difficult to raise certain defenses. For example, a defense that an agreement was ambiguous or vague is not possible if you explained the agreement to the police.
Even if it means you are arrested and spend a short period of time in jail, you should not talk to the police and you should contact a criminal defense lawyer in Dayton as soon as possible.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with Our Dayton Prostitution Lawyers
If you have been charged with prostitution or solicitation of prostitution in Montgomery County or anywhere in southwestern Ohio, contact the experienced Dayton prostitution defense lawyers at Suhre & Associates, LLC to discuss your case.
We will make every effort to minimize the effects of your criminal charges, including finding applicable defenses or mitigating factors.
Call our law office today at 513-613-2510. We are available 24/7 to take your call and provide the legal assistance you need.