Richmond, Virginia Prostitution Lawyers
You Deserve a Powerful Defense – We Deliver
The consequences of a prostitution conviction often seem far more severe than the alleged crime. You could be heavily fined or locked up behind bars while your reputation suffers.
If you were accused of prostitution, you will want a strong defense. Call on the Richmond prostitution defense attorneys of Portner & Shure, P.A. We know that your freedom and reputation are at stake, which is why our attorneys will work with you to prepare an effective defense that covers all angles that the prosecution could take.
For a free consultation, call (855) 954-4141 or contact us online as soon as you can.
Issues with Sting Operations
Prostitution was once only a “street-level” crime. The advent of the internet has moved most acts of prostitution into online forums. To make an arrest in such circumstances, police departments need to rely more heavily on advanced sting operations and investigations. For a defendant, a sting operation leading to an arrest is harrowing, but it could be an unexpected benefit to their case. Sting operations are extremely complex, and one incorrect or unjustified decision could invalidate the entire operation and any criminal evidence it uncovered.
Different Prostitution-Related Offenses in Virginia
We can divide prostitution charges into three main categories:
- Prostitution: Pursuant to Virginia Code § 18.2-346, it is illegal to perform a sexual act in exchange for money. To be convicted of prostitution, the prosecution must prove that a person took a substantial step towards engaging in the act such as exchanging money.
- Solicitation: Pursuant to Virginia Code § 18.2-346, the Commonwealth of Virginia also outlaws the solicitation of prostitution. To be convicted of solicitation, the prosecution must prove that a person made an offer of money or something of value in exchange for a sexual act. Additionally, the prosecution must also prove that a person took a substantial step towards completing the offer.
- Visiting a bawdy place: Pursuant to Virginia Code § 18.2-347, the Commonwealth of Virginia also makes it illegal to visit a “bawdy” place, which is defined as a building or establishment where prostitution occurs. To be convicted of this, the law requires that the general reputation of the bawdy place be proven.
All of the aforementioned criminal violations can be penalized with a 1-year jail sentence and a $2,500 fine upon conviction. They are also all class 1 misdemeanors in Virginia.
Defenses to Use in a Prostitution Case
When a person is charged with prostitution, the Commonwealth’s Attorney has to prove all the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, which can be a steep slope for them to climb if we are on the other side of the courtroom, pushing them back down with creative and factual arguments. For example, merely meeting with a prostitute or visiting a bawdy place is insufficient evidence to obtain a conviction. An exchange of valuables must have occurred, but this is not easy for prosecutors to prove. They would rather bully you into admitting guilt than do the legwork to prove their case legitimately.
We Take Every Case Seriously – Contact Us Now
Your reputation, freedom, and finances are at stake when charged with a prostitution crime in Virginia. Start your defense right away with our Richmond prostitution lawyers. We know what is on the line, so we move faster than the prosecution might expect!
We are trusted by Virginia’s Spanish-, Chinese- (Mandarin and Cantonese), Vietnamese-, and Korean-speaking communities. Find out why so many people come to Portner & Shure first by calling (855) 954-4141 today.