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Is paying for sex a crime?

Sex between consenting adults does not typically draw notice from city or state governments. If the exchange of money or other goods of value plays a part in such interactions, however, you may face charges for prostitution and solicitation. 

While state law prohibits prostitution, or the act of engaging in sexual conduct under a payment arrangement, the law does not specifically address solicitation. Municipal laws in cities throughout the Phoenix Metro area criminalize the act of paying for sexual acts or intercourse. 

City ordinances prohibit paying for sex 

According to the Phoenix city code, you cannot ask for or hire another person to perform sexual acts or intercourse. This may include, for instance, offering to provide monetary payment to someone else for engaging in sexual conduct with you. It also includes you accepting another person’s offer to have intercourse with you in exchange for you providing him or her with money or other valuable goods. The authorities may prosecute this alleged offense as a Class 1 misdemeanor. 

Potential penalties for solicitation 

The penalties you may face if you receive a conviction or plead guilty to solicitation charges vary based on factors such as your record of similar prior offenses and the city in which your arrest took place. For the first conviction in Phoenix, you may face a minimum of 15 consecutive days in jail and a fine. Additionally, the court may order you to participate in and complete an education or treatment program. 

If you have prior convictions for solicitation on your record, you may face a lengthened jail sentence, and the court may order you to pay a fee to the human trafficking prevention fund.