New York City Patronizing a Prostitute Lawyer

Patronizing a Person for Prostitution means that a person has paid, or agreed to pay, a fee to another person for sexual contact. These defendants are commonly referred to as “Johns,”. There are three degrees of patronizing a sex worker under the New York Penal Law, and they have varying degrees of severity. The lowest level offense is Patronizing a Person for Prostitution in the Third Degree, in violation of NYPL § 230.04. All the prosecutor is required to prove is that the defendant solicited or otherwise agreed to pay a fee in exchange for sexual contact. This is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail.

Patronizing a Person for Prostitution in the Second Degree, pursuant to NYPL § 230.05, is more serious. It has the same basic requirements, that a person solicit or otherwise agree to pay a fee for the purposes of engaging in sexual contact, but in order to be convicted of this offense the prosecutor must also prove that the defendant is at least 18 years old and that the prostitute is less than 15 years old. This is a class E felony, punishable by up to four years in prison.

The most serious charge one can face for solicitation of a prostitute is Patronizing a Person for Prostitution in the First Degree, pursuant to NYPL § 230.06. There are two ways a person can be convicted under this particular statute: if the prosecutor can show that the prostitute was under 11 years old, or if the prostitute is under 13 years old and the defendant is at least 18 years old. This is a class D felony, punishable by up to seven years in prison. Depending on the charges against you, a New York City patronizing a prostitute lawyer could help you build the appropriate defense.

Potential Collateral Consequences of Patronizing a Prostitute

While the prospect of serving a significant period of time in jail is, and should be, ominous, frequently cases involving sex crimes result in the collateral consequences of a conviction being far more devastating than the time actually served. Having a criminal record already adds a significant degree of difficulty in obtaining a job or an education. Add to that potentially having a felony conviction and the burden gets heavier. If there is a sex crime on one’s record, employers and schools will often feel some sort of moral outrage at the defendant and may refuse to consider him or her for whatever position is being sought. If you have been charged with Patronizing a Person for Prostitution, you and your local attorney may need to focus not just on the outcome of your case, but also what that outcome may mean for your future.

Can Repeat Offenses Lead to More Severe Consequences in New York City?

While being arrested more than once for patronizing a sex worker in the third degree may result in increased fines and a higher potential for jail time, there are no specific guidelines under state law for increased criminal penalties in response to repeat misdemeanor offenses. However, the same cannot be said for felony offenses like second- and first-degree patronizing a prostitute.

Under New York Penal Law §70.06, a person convicted of a second felony offense within 10 years of their first conviction may be subject to enhanced mandatory minimum prison sentences—specifically, three years for a class E felony, and four years for a class D felony. Additionally, under New York Penal Law §70.10, a third or subsequent felony conviction within 10 years may be treated as a class A-1 felony for the purposes of sentencing. Importantly, if someone is charged with multiple counts of a felony at one time, that particular case would only count as one conviction in this context.

What if the Defendant Did Not Know a Prostitute Was Underage?

Importantly, it is considered an affirmative defense to second- or first-degree patronizing a prostitute charges if the accused person was unaware that the person they were soliciting was underage and they had no reason to suspect that they were a minor. This is notably different from how New York Penal Law treats sexual assault and rape allegations, in which case ignorance of a non-consenting individual’s age is not considered a valid defense.

Still, this affirmative defense does not automatically prevent prosecution for patronizing a sex worker in the third degree—it just downgrades the offense from a felony to a misdemeanor. A knowledgeable lawyer in New York City could determine what the potential outcomes may be for a specific patronizing a prostitute case.

What Penalties are Associated with Aggravated Patronizing a Minor for Prostitution?

If a person solicits another individual who is less than 17 years of age and engages in oral sexual conduct, anal sexual conduct, sexual intercourse, or aggravated sexual conduct, they may be charged with aggravated patronizing a minor for prostitution under New York Penal Law §230.11 through 230.13. There are three degrees of this defense differentiated by the age of the underage individual solicited, all of which are felony offenses.

A person over 21 who patronizes someone under 17 may be charged with the third degree of this offense, a class E felony, while a person under 18 who patronizes a child under 15 may face class D felony charges for second-degree aggravated patronizing a minor for prostitution. The most severe version of this offense is a class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison, and it involves someone over 18 patronizing someone under 13, or a person of any age patronizing someone under 11.

Consider Working with a New York City Patronizing a Prostitute Attorney

The experienced prostitution attorneys at our firm understand that the key to these types of cases is always the word of an individual who is already admitting to taking part in a crime. A strong cross-examination of the key prosecution witness could expose that person as not just a criminal, but as a poor witness as well. Call one of our New York City patronizing a prostitute lawyers today, and let us help you.

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