The anti-solicitation laws in South Carolina are broad. Despite this, there is no section in the state’s criminal code labeled “solicitation.” Instead, the criminal code categorizes the solicitation of a prostitute as being an example of prostitution. Subsequently, the potential penalties for a conviction are the same. It is imperative for you to avoid these penalties at all costs by retaining an experienced criminal attorney. At the very least, a conviction for solicitation will create a criminal record that will follow you to employment, school, or applications for housing. In more severe examples, a conviction can even result in a jail sentence.
A Columbia solicitation lawyer could help you fight back against allegations involving the solicitation of a prostitute. This applies regardless of whether the allegations involve the direct hiring of another for sex, providing a location for prostitution to occur, or a variety of other illegal activities.
There is no direct statute labeled “solicitation” in the state’s criminal code. However, it should be understood that it is just as illegal to pay a person for sex as it is to accept payment in exchange for sexual favors. As a result, people who face accusations of solicitation will find themselves charged under South Carolina Code § 16-15-90, the state’s prostitution statute.
The code says that it is illegal to solicit for the purpose of prostitution. In addition, the law forbids entering into any place for the purpose of soliciting prostitution or taking any step in procuring a location for it. The law also prohibits the mere attempt to solicit a prostitute. Because of this, many people find that they are facing criminal charges even if sex did not occur. A Columbia solicitation attorney could provide more information about illegal activities related to solicitation.
The mere appearance that a person is in a location to engage in prostitution, or made any overtures about exchanging anything of value for sex, could justify police making an arrest. Because of this wide net, prostitution investigations often ensnare unwitting people who had nothing to do with the event.
In some cases, there is no concrete evidence that a person expected sex in exchange for money or property. It may be possible to argue that a relationship was a mutual sexual encounter or that the exchange of property was a normal gift. In other cases, a defense could center around a person’s knowledge, or lack thereof, that a location into which they were entering was a place known for prostitution.
A solicitation lawyer in Columbia could examine every case on an individual basis to build a defense that best fits each person’s needs. This is vital when considering that a conviction for even a first offense could result in the payment of a costly fine and time in jail.
Every allegation involving the solicitation of a prostitute is a serious matter. Conviction will create a criminal record and could require you to pay a fine or spend time in jail. Making matters worse, the state uses a broad criminal statute to punish people even remotely connected to instances of prostitution. Just attempting to make contact with a person for the purpose of sex in exchange for something could lead to an arrest.
A Columbia solicitation lawyer could help you fight back against these allegations and protect your rights. Whether you are looking to make a fair plea deal or want to fight the charges at trial, one of our experienced lawyers might be able to help.