How is Prostitution Defined in Virginia?
In the U.S., 80,000 prostitution-related arrests are made annually. In Virginia prostitution is a crime, as is solicitation for prostitution and pandering (pimping). The definition of prostitution, according to § 18.2-346 of the Virginia Law Code is any person who, for money or its equivalent, agrees to engage in sexual acts. Prostitution is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia.
How can you be convicted of solicitation? If the prosecution can prove that you offered money or something of value for sex and that you received a sexual act in exchange for the goods given, you could be found guilty. In the words of the Virginia Law Code, "Any person who offers money or its equivalent to another for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts. This crime is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Prostitution, Solicitation & Pandering Penalties
Besides facing criminal repercussions, if convicted of a prostitution charge, you could face far-reaching personal repercussions. Being convicted of a prostitution-related offense can result in shame, embarrassment and family problems.
If you are convicted of prostitution, you could face up to one year in jail and a fine up to $2,500. If you are convicted of solicitation you could also spend up to one year in jail and be forced to pay up to $2,500. You might also have to carry out community service, be tested for AIDS and receive counseling.
Pandering (also known as "pimping") is the most serious prostitution-related charge. Pandering is receiving money for procuring a prostitute or receiving the earnings of a prostitute. In Virginia this is a Class 4 felony that can result in 10 years in prison and an up to $100,000 fine.
To learn more, check out the following Virginia Law Code statutes:
- § 18.2-346- being a prostitute or prostitution laws
- § 18.2-355- taking, detaining or consenting to prostitution
- § 18.2-29- criminal solicitation
- § 18.2-357- receiving money from the earnings of a prostitute
- § 18.2-356- receiving money for procuring a person
- § 18.2-350- confining a convicted prostate
- § 18.2-348- aiding prostitution or illicit sexual intercourse
- § 18.2-347- keeping, residing in or frequenting a bawdy place
Are You a Victim of Entrapment?
Most of the time, individuals are arrested for solicitation in sting operations. It is becoming more common for undercover officers to pose as prostitutes in order to solicit men. If an undercover officer can get someone to utter the words "sex and money" usually an arrest will take place immediately.
Law enforcement officers have been more aggressive in staking out massage parlors, bawdy houses, and escort agencies. If you feel like you were entrapped by law enforcement, our firm will research the details surrounding your case to see if we can get your charges reduced or dismissed entirely.
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