Bronx Solicitation Lawyer
Solicitation is far from a one-dimensional offense. While it is certainly illegal to actually purchase sex, it is also illegal to even propose such an arrangement. Depending upon the age of the other party to the agreement as well as several other factors, a solicitation conviction can have a severe impact upon your life.
If you are facing these charges, you may want a seasoned criminal defense attorney’s help in constructing and presenting a thorough legal defense. A Bronx solicitation lawyer could advise you of your rights and contest the prosecution’s evidence and arguments in court on your behalf.
The Legal Definition of Solicitation
According to New York Penal Law §230.02, the State refers to the act of solicitation as “patronizing,” which in turn is specifically defined as any purchasing of sexual conduct in exchange for a fee. Any person who merely has an understanding to participate in such an exchange may also be charged with this same offense.
In addition, New York Penal Law punishes people who attempt to purchase sex through the use of a third party. In this way, the State of New York has made any attempted purchasing of sex illegal, regardless of with whom the defendant interacts.
Differing Levels of Severity
The core version of solicitation is defined under NYPL §230.04 as a class A misdemeanor. According to this section, a conviction for patronizing a person for prostitution in the third degree can result in no more than one year in jail and the creation of a criminal record. However, it is far more likely that a court would sentence a party found guilty of this offense to probation
Certain aggravating factors may result in more severe charges. For example, prosecutors may charge a defendant with second-degree patronizing if the person who provided or was intended to provide sexual services is under the age of 15. According to NYPL §230.05, a conviction here is a class E felony, which means that the maximum available penalty rises to four years of probation.
Finally, the most serious version of solicitation is known as patronizing in the first degree. According to NYPL §230.06, this charge applies any time the subject of the sale is under the age of 11, or if the purchaser is over the age of 18 and the subject is less than 13 years old. Convictions here are class D felonies, for which the maximum available penalty is seven years of probation.
Repeated convictions for any level of patronizing a person for prostitution increases the severity of these possible penalties even further. Anyone for whom an allegation of patronizing would not be their first conviction for such an offense may greatly benefit from the services of an experienced solicitation lawyer in The Bronx.
What the Collateral Consequences for a Solicitation Conviction?
There is no doubt that the risk of jail time and fines are a primary concern for those facing solicitation charges. It is important to remember, however, that these cases also bring collateral consequences that are not written into statute. These penalties may not be formally handed down by the judge at sentencing, but they are a serious factor in a criminal case.
One common consequence is the loss of employment. Many employers could terminate a worker based on a solicitation conviction. Depending on their line of work, a defendant’s professional license could also be at risk. A conviction for solicitation could also limit a person’s access to housing, employment, or educational opportunities in the future. A skilled attorney in the Bronx could help someone facing solicitation charges by working hard to minimize these potential consequences.
What are Common Defenses to Solicitation Charges?
The amount of evidence the state collects in solicitation cases varies. If the charge results from a sting operation, the evidence could be substantial. However, other cases could be filed with little in the way of proof. In many situations, the strongest defense in a solicitation case could rely on highlighting the weaknesses of this evidence. It is up to the state to prove that money changed hands or was promised in exchange for sex. If they fail to prove this, a conviction would not occur.
Entrapment is another potential defense in these cases. Entrapment involves a government actor pressuring a person to commit a crime they would not have committed otherwise. For example, if the police use pressure to force or threaten the target of their investigation to commit solicitation when they would not have otherwise, an entrapment defense could be successful at trial. A lawyer in the Bronx could help someone build a strong defense in their solicitation case.
Talk to a Bronx Solicitation Attorney About Legal Options
Allegations of solicitation, or patronizing as it is known in the State of New York, can throw an otherwise orderly life into chaos. A conviction for any level of patronizing could result in the creation of a criminal record and may even label you as a felon.
A Bronx solicitation lawyer could help if you are facing any type of patronizing accusation, working on your behalf to refute or mitigate elements of the prosecution’s case against you. Call today to learn more about your options or to schedule a confidential consultation.