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Last Updated on: 17th August 2023, 05:57 pm
Sex Crimes: Forcible Touching
While many people may be familiar with certain types of sex crimes, there’s one that is often overlooked. Known as forcible touching, a conviction for this type of crime carries serious consequences that will linger for years. Understanding the nature of this crime and what to do if an allegation of forcible touching is made is something every person should know. Here are some basics that will help you become more aware of what forcible touching is, and why you need legal counsel to protect your rights.
What is the Legal Definition of Forcible Touching?
The legal definition for forcible touching was first addressed when the act was formally added to New York’s Sexual Assault Reform Act on February 1, 2001. The addition was prompted by events that occurred on June 13 of the previous year. At that time, non-consensual touching occurred in Central Park after a parade. This led to change in the New York Penal Law that provide the definition that’s still in use today.
Forcible touching is defined as intimate touching that is intentional, done without consent, and takes place for reasons like the gratification of the perpetrator or the abusing or debasement of the victim. It also covers touching that is done under some sort of threat or other form of coercion.
This definition does not include touching that is found to be consensual and involves two or more consenting adults. Accidental or unintentional touching is also outside the scope of forcible touching. The role of the Court is to hear the facts of the case and determine if there was intent on the part of the perpetrator or if the touching was the result of events outside the control of the accused party.
What are the Laws That Have to Do With Forcible Touching?
There are areas of the New York Penal Law that have to do with forcible touching. Each provision helps to define the nature of this sex crime and lay out the essentials for determining if the event involved accidental touching or was in fact intentional.
New York Penal Law 130 provides much of the basis for pursuing action against this type of crime. Specifically, NYPL 130.52 will be important in terms of determining if what occurred was a crime. The text of this section confirms that forcible touching has occurred when it was done intentionally and out of a desire to subjugate or intimidate the victim in some manner. It also defines forcible touching as an action that occurs for the purpose of providing the perpetrator with some degree of sexual satisfaction, with no regard to the wishes of the victim.
The laws further define the touching as taking place on any area of the body that is considered to be intimate. That would include the genitalia, the buttocks, or the breasts or chest. Even areas like the neck or shoulders may be considered intimate areas.
What Does Consent Have to Do With Forcible Touching?
A key element in determining whether forcible touching took place has to do with consent. Further, the consent has to be given without any type of coercion. That consent must be clear, with no room left for doubt. In other words, unless the recipient of the touching has provided an unequivocal yes to the activity, the touching is likely to fall under the definition of forcible consent.
Along with establishing intent, consent is one of the primary factors in determining if forcible touching did take place. The Court is likely to require that both of these points be addressed in full by both the prosecution and the defense.
Who Can Be a Victim of Forcible Touching?
Many people assume that females alone may be considered victims of forcible touching. That’s not the case. People of all genders may be victims.
Males, females, and those who do not identify with the traditional binary gender roles may find themselves in situations where unwelcome touching takes place. When those events happen, determining if there was any nefarious intent on the part of the perpetrator is key to deciding if a crime took place.
Examples of Forcible Touching
All incidents of forcible touching are intentional. This type of activity can occur in a number of settings. Here are some examples that are among the more common.
Intentional and non-consensual touching in a crowded space, such as on public transportation or in an elevator, can occur. Clubs and other entertainment venues may also make it easier for perpetrators to initiate touching like using the hands to grope the buttocks or run the hands over the chest. It may also be possible to use the hands to quickly grope the genitals. In these scenarios, the hope of the perpetrator is that the victim will assume the touching is accidental, due to the lack of available space.
Forcible touching may also occur in the workplace. This may involve using authority over a subordinate to initiate the touching. This may involve the implied or the expressed threat that reporting the activity would lead to a job loss or other repercussions in the workplace.
The forcible touching may also occur in a private residence. The perpetrator could be a relative or friend who commits the act and then uses coercion to prevent the victim from telling anyone about what happened.
What the Court Could Decide
Forcible touching is a Class A misdemeanor under current New York laws. Unlike some other misdemeanors, there are no provisions for extending a non-criminal plea with this type of sex crime. That’s true even if the convicted party is a first-time offender.
If convicted, the Court could determine that the perpetrator will serve up to one year in jail. There may also be fines involved. Probation for up to one year is also a possibility. The Court may also order the convicted party to perform community service for a specified period of time. If the victim is under the age of 18, the convicted party will be required to register as a sexual offender.
Do not take an accusation of forcible touching lightly. If such a charge is leveled, seek legal counsel immediately. Given how a conviction can affect your life now and in the years to come, it makes sense to establish that your actions were not intentional and that you had no wish to coerce or otherwise dominate the victim.
Sex Crimes: Second Degree Sexual Abuse
When the words “sexual abuse” are spoken or mentioned, the connotation is often despicable and disgusting. Whether used in a New York sexual abuse criminal case by an attorney, prosecutor, or judge, these words will only magnify the brutality of your situation. When a person mentions sexual abuse in the New York Penal Code, the case will involve criminal conduct, and it will be considered a Second Degree Sexual Abuse offense. Regardless of your situation, being the alleged perpetrator or victim of a sexual abuse misdemeanor in the New York Penal Code 130.60 can be frightening. In case you are convicted of Penal Law 130.60, the judge may be a bit sympathetic. However, you may still get sentenced for a year in jail.
Definition of the Act and Crime: Penal Code 130.60
While there are essential definitions of sexual abuse, you can be convicted of sexual abuse in two ways. You can be found guilty of Penal Law 130.60(1) in case you happen to subject another individual to sexual contact through touching their sexual parts intimately or touch another person’s buttocks, breasts, penis, or vagina, and if you have done so to get some sexual fulfillment. If you’re a man and you ejaculate on the victims’ clothes even without any physical contact, this is a satisfying criminal element.
An additional prerequisite of Penal Code 130.60(1) is the victim should be unqualified to consent due to various reasons, apart from being below seventeen years of age. Penal Law 130.60(2) somewhat differs if you commit such a crime in case the person is below the age of fourteen years.
Second Degree Isn’t Sexual Intercourse
According to Health Communities, sexual intercourse is when the male sexual organ (penis) penetrates the female sexual organ (vagina). Additionally, second-degree sexual abuse doesn’t involve anal or oral sex. A second degree only involves touching private or sexual areas of another person intimately without their consent or permission.
Punishment and Fines: New York Penal Code 130.60
While your attorney won’t call your New York sexual offense a misdemeanor offense, the reality is that a second-degree sexual abuse conviction won’t only resort in a year in jail, subjection to community service, and probation. Still, you will also land on the sex offender registry as stipulated by the New York Sex Offender Registry Act or (SORA). Regardless of whether you’re locked up or not, from the time you step out of the courtroom until your death, your record will not only be accessible by law enforcers but the public as well.
If you are accused of a second-degree sex abuse offense in New York, there’s little that can be done about the engulfing fear. Keep in mind that your record will never be forgotten, regardless of whether you were just accused. The DA has a big responsibility of proving sexual abuse cases beyond a reasonable doubt. An investigation, detention, and trial for the Penal Code 130.60 can be harrowing. However, as bad as your situation may seem, your strategy can change to mitigation. Giving up faith in yourself and your family isn’t a form of defense.
Hire a Second Degree Sexual Abuse Lawyer
Being convicted for second-degree sexual abuse can lead to the stigma of being labeled as a sex offender. Therefore, it’s important that you seek legal counsel to ensure that all your options are weighed to defend you against such a charge.
If you’re accused of committing a second-degree sexual abuse misdemeanor, you must seek the assistance of a competent and reputable law firm that has successfully defended people like you who have been accused of misdemeanor sexual abuse crimes. To successfully defend yourself against such accusations, you will require a keen understanding of legal protocols, the applicable law, and legal posturing.
Remain calm and, above all, be smart. If you don’t have a substitute for knowledge, experience, and advocacy, get in touch with a New York criminal lawyer at Spodek Law Group (SLG) today to defend you and protect your rights. At our law offices, we have defended several clients accused of misdemeanor sex crimes in New York. You can reach us at 888-348-8028 or visit our website and schedule a no-obligation and free consultation to evaluate your second-degree sexual abuse misdemeanor.
Sex Crimes: Sexual Misconduct
If you are charged with sexual misconduct in New York, then the best option to consider is to seek the assistance of an attorney who can represent you when you go to court. There are some types of sexual misconduct that could result in longer jail sentences and other components of your sentence. These are often misdemeanors. However, a felony misconduct charge could result in at least a year in jail and fines as well as registering as a sex offender depending on the nature of the crime.
After learning about the details of your sexual misconduct charges, your attorney can work with you to determine the best defense that could be presented in court and what you could expect regarding your sentence. You want to listen to the advice given by your attorney instead of trying to handle the issues on your own.
There are several sections to consider regarding sexual misconduct charges and the penalties associated with each one. One of the types is when you have sex with another person without that person’s permission. It’s also illegal to have sex with another person if you are of a certain age and the other party is a certain age. Most of the time, if you’re 21 and engage in a sexual act with someone who is under the age of 17, then you can be charged with sexual misconduct. Another charge that you could face involves sexual acts with an animal or someone who is deceased.
After being charged with any kind of sexual misconduct, you will face a judge to learn of the consequence that you’re going to need to complete. Even after you have completed your sentence for the state, you will still need to register as a sex offender in most situations. This means that you won’t be able to be in certain areas or around certain people while alone. It could also have ramifications pertaining to seeking employment or obtaining housing. These details can impact relationships that you might have as well. Sometimes, you might be ordered to seek treatment for the misconduct that you performed. This is usually ordered if you don’t have a criminal history and there is a valid reason behind the act. Other consequences for misdemeanors include community service or probation. If you’re charged with a felony, then you could face several months or years in jail.
There are numerous details that could impact your case, which is why you need to seek the assistance of an attorney instead of trying to handle the case on your own. Your attorney will discuss all of the evidence that has been presented against you in order to determine the best way to present a defense that could reduce or dismiss your charges. The charges could be true against you or could be the result of someone wanting to retaliate for an act that you committed. There are could be circumstances that are misunderstood after engaging in a sexual act that need to be presented in court. Your attorney will want to know if you have an alibi for the time the crime was committed and how well you know the other party involved in the sexual misconduct. Any medical evidence will also be examined in order to show your guilt or innocence regarding the act. At times, the questions that you might have to answer could be personal and emotional, which is why this type of charge should not be taken lightly and should be dealt with in a manner that is as professional as possible.
After being charged with sexual misconduct, the outcome of the charges could be devastating on several levels including mentally and physically. You might feel as though you’re unable to be around the people you love or be involved in certain situations because of the label that you have. If you know that you’re innocent of the charges against you, then you need to provide as much evidence as possible for your attorney so that you have the best possibility of not spending time in jail and not facing significant consequences. It is the prosecution’s responsibility to prove that you committed the act, which could be difficult if you have proof that you didn’t.
Sex Crimes: Date Rape
In the state of New York, rape crimes are considered some of the most heinous. Many instances of rape involve a victim and attacker who are acquaintances, romantic partners or exes or even friends. This is known as date rape. It is a crime that carries very serious ramifications that can include a prison sentence, probation, a hefty fine and other penalties. In addition, a person who is convicted of date rape will be required to register as a sex offender as per the New York Sex Offender Registration Act. A conviction for rape can result in difficulty finding a job, renting an apartment and even securing a student loan.
Because of the severity of the crime of date rape, a person who is accused of such a crime should immediately get in touch with a skilled New York criminal defense attorney who has experience in rape cases. Anyone who is arrested and charged with date rape should also invoke their right to remain silent and not speak with law enforcement officers as whatever they say can be used against them later in court. The best thing to do is to immediately request to speak with an attorney.
Defining a Date Rape Offense
Date rape is just another term for a type of rape crime. It occurs when the two individuals know each other. For example, a woman may be friendly with a man she knows from a favorite local hangout and decides to spend time alone with him. They go to his apartment and he makes advances that she rejects. The man doesn’t take no for an answer and instead, persists in his sexual interaction and forces her to have intercourse. This would be an act of date rape.
The crime is considered a class B felony in the state of New York. It comes with significant penalties if a person is convicted. Those penalties include a lengthy prison sentence and a fine that can range as high as $25,000.
Generally speaking, the term “date rape” is not a legal one but is used to distinguish from other types of rape, such as stranger rape. Often, the crime of date rape may occur as a result of the victim being placed into an unconscious state by alcohol or drugs or a combination of the two. In many instances of date rape, the victim may be at a bar or party, consuming an alcoholic beverage and then someone else slips a drug into their drink and it is unseen by the victim. Two particular drugs are commonly known as “date rape drugs,” specifically, gamma hydroxy butyrate or GHB and Rohypnol, which is also commonly referred to as “Roofies.”
The Role of Consent
One of the key elements in any charge of rape is consent. If physical force is used or there was alcohol or drugs, or a combination of the two, involved, this will be significant evidence in the case. A personally cannot legally consent to sexual intercourse if they are caused to become unconscious because of alcohol or drugs. When a date rape crime is committed and there were drugs involved, the abuser often faces additional charges that also carry significant consequences.
Additionally, even if there are no drugs or alcohol involved in the crime, if an attacker uses physical force against the victim, it can serve as evidence of date rape. If the victim told the attacker to stop, even if they only did so once, this does not equate to consenting to the sexual intercourse. If the sex was forced upon them, it is considered rape.
Prosecution of Date Rape Cases
Due to many date rape crimes in New York and elsewhere having the element of alcohol or drugs involved, it can often be difficult to prosecute these cases. Unfortunately, in many date rape cases, the victim may not be able to absolutely remember what happened and their memory may instead be very fuzzy. In some cases, they might have been unconscious from the time the attack took place until the next morning when the attacker was already long gone. This may result in not being able to get a conviction. At the same time, in some instances, the victim may even believe someone else has raped them due to their impaired memory. Sadly, in some cases, an accuser may even falsely accuse a person of date rape for personal reasons. However, no matter what the situation, law enforcement officers can rely on drug testing and rape kits to get to the bottom of things and determine what drugs, if there were any, were used against the victim.
No matter what, anyone who has been arrested on date rape charges should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent them in their case. A lawyer who is well versed in the area of rape can expertly assess the situation, study the evidence, conduct their own investigation and build a strong defense to help their client’s case. This can ultimately result in the charges against the individual either being reduced or even dropped altogether depending on the circumstances.
Speaking to Law Enforcement
A person who has been arrested and charged with date rape should avoid answering any questions asked by law enforcement and instead, request a defense attorney immediately. It is best to consult with an experienced attorney before even entertaining the notion of answering any questions. While the accuser will automatically appeal to law enforcement officers because they are supposed victims, that may not always be the case. In some situations, a person may have made a false allegation of date rape against an innocent person for any number of reasons. No matter what the scenario, however, a conviction of date rape can dramatically alter a person’s life forever, even if they have been wrongfully accused.
Sex Crimes: Escort Services, Prostitution and Unlicensed Massage
News headlines these days are filled with stories about federal law enforcement agencies becoming involved in prostitution cases that are traditionally handled by local police departments, and this has a lot to do with the widespread use of internet communications. In October 2019, for example, visitors to the independentgirls.com website, which used to be based in South Florida, were surprised to see a notice alerting them that the FBI and the U.S. Attorney had seized the site in conjunction with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.
In the aforementioned case, the website administrator, who has ties to New York, was arrested on various counts of facilitating prostitution, an activity commonly known as “pimping,” as well as conducting a sexual relationship with a minor. Four years ago, a woman from New York was arrested in Palm Beach County after investigators found a discussion thread on independentgirls.com alluding to a spa operation that offered prostitution services.
High-profile cases involving “online escort services” such as Eros.com and Backpage.com have made even more prominent news headlines; particularly the latter since it originated on weekly newspapers distributed across the nation before making quite a splash on the internet. When online escort services are taken down by local, state, or federal agencies, a cascading or domino effect tends to follow, whereby many individuals end up getting charged for their roles as providers of sexual services, pimps, money collectors, clients, facilitators, and promoters.
As the so-called “oldest profession in the world,” prostitution is a multidimensional criminal offense in all jurisdictions save for a few counties in the state of Nevada. Many people incorrectly believe that prostitution charges only apply to providers and their clients, but this is not the case. In fact, individuals who think operating a spa that involves mutual touching of a quasi sexual nature may only bring about unlicensed massage charges could be surprised with various charges ranging from pandering to pimping and from collecting prostitution proceeds to money laundering.
Why Prostitution Matters to the Feds
There are quite a few federal statutes that deal with prostitution, the most important being the Mann Act, which can be found under Section 2421 of Title 18. This section of the law deals with interstate transportation related to prostitution, and the most serious offense in this regard would be human trafficking. Prosecutors may construe transportation in many ways. Let’s say the operator of an online escort service or a massage parlor in New Jersey entices an adult New York resident to cross the Hudson River and become a provider; even if the provider willingly accepts the business offer, prosecutors could allege that interstate transportation and trafficking took place, particularly if the operator pays for cab fare.
Needless to say, minors being involved in the prostitution trade bring another set of problems and potentially serious charges. A massage parlor operator could found herself in trouble if a 17-year-old female is arrested for prostitution at her establishment.
It should be noted that the transactional nature of prostitution activities do not always need to be settled with an exchange of cash. A mechanic who proposes a young woman to have sex in lieu of paying for car repairs could be charged for soliciting. If this transactional couple is somehow arrested, both could end up getting charged with prostitution offenses. Let’s not forget about exotic dancers who work at adult cabaret establishments; similar to adult-film actresses, they often find themselves in situations that law enforcement agents could interpret as being prostitution.
Defending Against Prostitution Charges
By virtue of being multidimensional, the outcomes of prostitution charges can range from fines to probation and from community service to prison terms. When federal prosecutors start angling for human trafficking violations, things could get difficult for defendants since the sentencing guidelines call for prison terms starting at five years.
With the right legal defense strategy, charges related to prostitution can be dismissed or reduced depending on the circumstances of each case. Police departments and federal agencies may not always operate ethically when investigating these cases, and overzealous prosecutors are bound to make mistakes. In dragnet cases that involve providers and clients as well as operators of escort services, defendants with lesser charges may be able to enter plea deals to avoid prison sentence. Each case is different, and there is always a chance of prevailing at trial if the facts are strong enough.
Sex Crimes: Know Your Rights. . . Know the Law
The NYPD is made up of hardworking, brave men and women who take on all sorts of crimes, including Prostitution and Escort Services. What they do is complicated, but they do it to keep the people safe.
In essence, the NYPD works for the people since every single New Yorker collectively pays a tax to employ their services, but just because they work for the people, doesn’t mean the people won’t have to deal with some unpleasantness. There are some individuals who don’t respect every law or are willing to bend the law from time to time. Sometimes, there is some ill-intent and sometimes there is not.
If you ever happen to be in trouble with the law, it is important that you do not incriminate yourself and that you know your rights. The following will help you understand how to go about protecting yourself using these rights.
Getting arrested is definitely a jarring experience. The weight of the law crashes on you in the blink of an eye. You aren’t sure what might happen next or if there is anything you can say to escape this arrest. What you want to do is relax, and avoid talking. You don’t want to talk yourself out of what is happening because without proper counsel, you’ll probably end up digging yourself deeper into trouble.
Some folks are sometimes arrested by undercover agents or police officers. If you ever suspect that you are in the presence of a police officer who is undercover, keep in mind that an undercover police officer is not allowed to remove his or her underwear. This is a sign telling you that you might be dealing with a law officer.
Sometimes, these officers do go further, and if they do, it is important that you save as much evidence as possible from this violation. Remember tattoos, birthmarks, scars, or other features that prove that the law officer took things too far.
What About Lap Dances
It is important to point out what is okay and what isn’t okay regarding lap dances. This particular service is quite popular and common, so knowing the law can protect you. For the most part, lap dances are acceptable, but there are some limitations, like how the person giving the lap dance cannot rub the genitals excessively because that would be considered prostitution.
Furthermore, if the lap dance leads to anything else other than the dance or if it leads to exposure, then the law would consider that a violation and may want to press charges against those involved. It should be pointed out that there are some cases where the law decided that being paid for an autoerotic dance where you allow someone to touch your breast or buttocks is okay. Still, the judge will likely examine the case to make sure it wasn’t sexual misconduct, even it seems innocent enough.
What you have to recognize is that this kind of behavior is a little risky, which is part of the reason why one must exercise absolute attention to detail.
House of Prostitution
A house of prostitution is clearly an illegal house. If you are caught managing this type of establishment, then you are definitely going to be arrested. Now, the severity of the crime is going to depend on the prostitutes’ ages. Keep in mind that the crime’s severity rises if you were prostituting 19 year olds or younger. Do not think that not knowing the ages of the prostitutes is a defense because the law won’t see it that way.
Unlike managing a house of prostitution, if you are merely patronizing a prostitute, then you can say that you did not know the prostitute’s age. If you can prove that you didn’t have any grounds for believing the prostitute was younger than the age presented to you, then you might have a defense. There are varying degrees of charges here, like the 1st, 2nd, and the 3rd Degree.
One thing you must always remember is that you don’t have to allow the police officer to search your vehicle if you are arrested. Now, no one is saying you should forcefully stop the police officer from searching your vehicle, but if they do, then they are compromising their own investigation. Your lawyer is going to obtain a Mapp Hearing that is where the lawyer challenges the way items from your vehicle were obtained. In most cases, a warrant is required if anyone is going to be searching your vehicle.
If you are arrested by an undercover police officer, your lawyer may use the Wade Hearing in your favor. This is a hearing that challenges the validity of your identification.
Working the Talk
No matter how much you prepare, you might make the mistake of talking to the officer. If you do talk, then the lawyer is going to obtain the Huntley Hearing. This gives your attorney a chance to challenge what you said and deem it inadmissible.
It is important to note that the information here is not meant to be used to avoid prosecution. What you have here is information meant to help you learn how to behave so that you don’t get yourself into trouble. Your specific case has to be reviewed by a professional if you are in trouble.
Go ahead and give us a call, or visit our website so that you can learn more about how to proceed.
Sex Crimes: Prostitution Charges
What Is Prostitution?
Prostitution is often referred to as the oldest profession in the book. There are many terms that can be used to describe prostitution, such as streetwalkers, call girls or escorts. The term that is used does not matter. It is illegal in every state except for Nevada.
Prostitution is defined as the act of exchanging sex or sexual favors for money.
Why It Is Important for You to Hire an Attorney?
It can be scary to get charged with prostitution. You may be thinking about all of the negative effects that the charges can have on your life. Prostitution is a serious crime and is punished harshly.
Many places have set up sting operations in under to catch people. That is why many people end up getting charged with a crime that they did not commit. You will need to hire an attorney as soon as you find out that you have been charged with a crime.
There are several benefits that you can reap by hiring an attorney. Your lawyer will be able to aggressively defend you against the charges that you are facing. They will also be able to explain the charges. Additionally, they can negotiate with the law enforcement officials and prosecutors.
What Are the Penalties for Prostitution?
The severity of the crime will determine the type of punishment that you can face. Prostitution is typically a Class B Misdemeanor in the state of New York. If you are charged with a Class B Misdemeanor, then you can spend up to three months in prison. You can also be ordered to pay a $500 fine.
However, if you are caught prostituting near a school, then you can be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor. The punishment for a Class A Misdemeanor is one-year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Jail and fines are not the only punishments that you can face if you are charged with a prostitution charge. The charges that you have can ruin your career. For example, if you are a nurse, then you can get your license revoked. Furthermore, this crime can end up on your record, which can make it hard for you to get a job.
Keep in mind that if subsequent charges can carry heftier penalties. Additionally, people who are charged with federal prostitution trafficking can spend five to 10 years in prison.
Solicitation of Prostitution
People who pay for the services of a prostitute are often referred to as Johns. These people can be charged with solicitation of prostitution. When someone solicits prostitution, they make an agreement to pay a person for sex or sexual favors. One’s actions alone may be enough to show that there was an agreement.
Solicitation begins as soon as someone agrees to pay for sex and takes action to pursue it. It is possible to be charged with a crime even if no sexual action occurred. For example, if someone agrees to the sexual act and takes money out of the ATM to pay for it, then they may still face charges.
Contact a criminal Defense Attorney Today
There is a social stigma that comes along with being charged with prostitution. You may also be worried about the possibility of going to jail or having to pay a high fine. The federal government has stated that someone is innocent until they have been convicted of the crime. There are several defenses that can be used.
Entrapment is one of the defenses that can be used. An example of this is when a police officer induces or urges someone to commit a sexual act. A lawyer can argue that a person would have not committed the crime if the officer had not urged them to.
A lack of evidence is another defense that can be used. Sufficient evidence is needed to prove that one has committed any crime. If there is not enough evidence, then you will likely get off without any punishment.
Your criminal defense attorney will tell you what types of defenses are best to use. They will be able to help you put your strongest case forward. They will also be able to tell you whether it is a good idea for you to take a plea bargain.
Sex Crimes: Patronizing a Prostitute
Prostitution remains illegal in the state of New York, and there are many charges someone seeking the services of a prostitute may face. Prostitution encompasses more than interactions with a streetwalker. Escort services and massage parlors often serve as fronts for prostitution. Regardless of the circumstances, anyone who pays for or attempts to pay for a sexual act may face charges of “Patronizing a Prostitute” under New York State law.
Legal matters and statutes related to prostitution appear under New York Penal Law section 230.00. Anyone with concerns about charges associated with Patronizing a Prostitute should review the statute pertaining to the charge. Of course, reading state law isn’t enough when facing criminal charges. Seeking representation from a skilled criminal defense attorney, one with extensive experience representing clients facing prostitution-related charges, becomes necessary when hoping to mount a viable defense against the charges.
Solicitation and Payments
Solicitation refers to making a direct offer to pay someone for sexual services. Many people not versed with the law assume they must hand over money for the services for the charges to become valid. That is not the case. The act of solicitation is enough to face charges. Not actually making a payment is irrelevant per the law. Similarly, a person need not perform a sexual act for Patronizing a Prostitute charges to have validity. Again, the act of offering payment is a violation of the law and enough to warrant arrest.
Patronizing a Prostitute: Felony vs. Misdemeanor
Sections 230.04, 230.05, and 230.06 describe whether someone faces misdemeanor or felony charges. Ultimately, the basis for the charges centers on the age of the prostitute. The more serious the offense, the greater the penalty. Specifically, the statute defines the crimes as follows:
Charges at the level of a class A misdemeanor, patronizing a prostitute in the third degree, involve someone over the age of 21 patronizing someone who is under the age of 17. Charges at the level of a class E felony, patronizing a prostitute in the second degree, involve someone over the age of 18 patronizing an individual who is under the age of 15. Charges at the level of a class D felony, patronizing a prostitute in the first degree, involve a person 18 years of age or older patronizing an individual who is less than 13 years old; or involve someone patronizing an individual who is under the age of 11. The age of the person patronizing the minor under 11 years is irrelevant.
The Penalties for Patronizing a Prostitute
Once again, the penalties levied at someone found guilty or pleading guilty or no-contest to patronizing a prostitute depend on the severity of the crime. Is it a class A misdemeanor or a class E or D felony?
Anyone convicted of a class A misdemeanor faces a maximum of one year in jail or three years of probation. A fine of up to $1,000 could be imposed, as well.
A conviction of patronizing a prostitute in the second degree comes with the potential sentence of four years in prison. As for patronizing a prostitute in the first degree, a conviction presents a possible maximum sentence of seven years. Prior felony convictions do factor into increased sentencings.
Defenses to Patronizing a Prostitute
Defenses to patronizing a prostitute vary depending on the circumstances of the case. Insufficient evidence and entrapment rank as two possible defenses. The admissibility of evidence could be questioned by a competent defense attorney, as well.
The public does need to be aware law enforcement officials continually run sting operations to arrest “johns.” Vice squad officers have significant experience running these stings, meaning mistakes could be rare. When facing an uphill battle in court, a defense attorney may be able to plea bargain the charges. Also, the attorney might request leniency in sentencing, which could lead to a reduction in the penalty.
Discuss Matters with an Attorney
Facing charges for patronizing a prostitute, whether on the misdemeanor or felony level, is serious. A conviction leads to a criminal record, one that stays with you for life. Meeting with an attorney to discuss the charges and a viable defense should be a top priority.