Prostitution Charges in New York City
Prostitution in New York City has changed dramatically in the last 25 years; some New York City residents will remember what Times Square looked like in the 80’s and early 90’s. These days, the public perception of prostitution is no longer a scantily clad woman in fishnets standing on a street corner in a seedy part of town, but now conjures up images of diamond rankings on escort sites and Upper West Side madams. We can all remember Eliot Spitzer and Ana Gristina and the relentless media coverage given to these high class prostitution rings. The reality is that prostitution has largely moved from the street corners to the internet. Websites, like craigslist, provide a forum to buy or sell virtually anything, including sex.
New York Penal Law section 230.00 is the crime of Prostitution at its most basic level. A person is guilty of violating this statute when that person engages, agrees, or offers to engage in sexual conduct with another person in return for a fee. Prostitution is not a gender specific, or role specific, crime. The statute is written so that both the buyer and seller of sex, whether male or female, can be equally charged and convicted based on the transaction (or even just the agreement to the transaction). Other charges related to prostitution may contain aggravating factors such as the age of individual selling sex, or the proximity to a school, or if a person is forced to engage in prostitution. However, the crime of Prostitution simply concerns two consenting adults who agree to engage in sexual intercourse for some negotiated fee.
Prostitution is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail. A conviction to this offense will not require the defendant to register as a sex offender; however, the stigma of either being labeled a prostitute or a “John” can have devastating and lasting personal effects. While prospective employers, educational institutions, or licensing agencies may understand youthful indiscretions and even a minor conviction, the nature of Prostitution causes people to immediately view the offender in a far more negative light. Unlike some other offenses, Prostitution is considered an offense to morality as well as the Penal Law, which people feel justified in judging more harshly.
If you have been charged with Prostitution or Patronizing a Prostitute, hiring the best New York City criminal defense attorney is a necessity. The collateral consequences of being convicted can effectively ruin a person’s life, even though the actual crime itself is a low level offense. Every avenue of your defense must be explored to ensure that you are not stuck with the black mark of Prostitution. Naturally, in Prostitution cases, the chief witness against you will either be the prostitute or the patron with which you made the agreement. Destroying the credibility of that witness is the first step towards winning your case.
The New York City Prostitution attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman know how to investigate Prostitution cases and prepare strong defenses. We will work tirelessly to ensure that every possible helpful piece of information has been discovered and will be used to bolster your case or show that the prosecution’s witnesses cannot be trusted. Call us today at (212) 581-1001 for a free case evaluation.