Throughout Arizona, solicitation of a prostitute is a broad charge that encompasses many actions. Not only is it illegal to engage in a sexual act for payment by way of money or promise of products, it also is illegal to offer or agree to a paid sexual act. This means that a person who simply asks a person to have sex with them for money can be charged with a crime, even if the sexual act never takes place.
It’s important to note, however, that there is no state law banning the solicitation of a prostitute. Rather, most communities in the state have created their own ordinances to deal with this specific issue. This means that a solicitation of a prostitute charge can carry various penalties, depending on the municipality in which the criminal act occurred.
Understanding the city ordinances against solicitation
Most cities have existing city ordinances prohibiting the solicitation of a prostitute. It’s important to note that solicitation of a prostitute can be defined a variety of ways, including asking if a person is interested in engaging in a sexual act for payment or coordinating an arrangement that will lead to a criminal sexual act. The Tempe city ordinance, for example, specifically prohibits requesting, encouraging or soliciting prostitution, and it also considers the use of any buildings within the city border for solicitation of prostitution or paid sexual acts to be a form of solicitation.
Penaties associated with solicitation of a prostitute charge in Arizona
The penalties associated with a solicitation of prostitution charge in Tempe can vary based on the individual’s criminal history and on whether they have had prior solicitation convictions. In general, a person facing their first offense with this specific charge may have to spend up to 15 days in jail, while someone facing their second offense can be sentenced to up to 30 days in jail. A third offense carries a longer jail sentence of up to 60 days, and a fourth offense can lead to a felony charge that results in up to 180 days in jail.
What to do if you have been charged with solicitation of a prostitute in Arizona
Anyone who has been charged with solicitation of a prostitute in any central Arizona city should hire a local criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A Tempe criminal defense attorney will have a better understanding of the local ordinance code and can provide superior results.
Whether an individual agrees to pay another person for a sexual act online, or they make plans via text message to use a building inside of city limits for a paid sexual act, they are at risk of being charged with solicitation of a prostitute. This is a serious charge that can carry significant penalties and may lead to additional criminal charges. For more information on defense strategies for individuals facing this charge, contact our criminal defense law firm today.