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Our firm has over 25 years of combined legal practice. Our Philadelphia criminal attorneys have been recognized by the top lawyer ranking services.
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We take on fewer clients than other firms. Each client works 1:1 on with one of our senior attorneys.
In Montgomery County and the rest of Pennsylvania, prostitution is illegal. If a person is found guilty of this crime, they can receive jail or even prison time. There are varying levels of prostitution, which is defined as sexual activity that is performed for business purposes. In other words, a person who has sex or performs some other type of sex act for money is considered a prostitute. Additionally, it isn’t just a prostitute who can be prosecuted. People who solicit prostitutes for sex or who enter a house of prostitution can be prosecuted as well.
What is Prostitution in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania?
Prostitution is a broad term that generally relates to the act of having sex for business purposes. However, the law also makes it illegal to promote prostitution as well. A person who serves as a pimp or madam, a person who operates a brothel or house of prostitution and anyone who hires people to work as prostitutes fall under this category. A person who promotes prostitution typically receives a portion of the earnings of a prostitute.
Generally, a person can be found guilty of prostitution if they fall under the following categories:
• The individual is an inmate of a brothel or some other house of prostitution and engages in sexual intercourse and other sex acts for business purposes and to earn money
• The individual loiters in or within view of a public place that is generally used for prostitution and engaging in sexual activity
How is Prostitution Charged in Montgomery County?
There are varying degrees of the offense of prostitution in Montgomery County and Pennsylvania, in general. For actually serving as a prostitute, the offenses and charges are as follows:
• If it is the person’s first or second offense, the prostitution is charged as a misdemeanor in the third degree
• If it is the person’s third offense, the prostitution is charged as a misdemeanor in the second degree
• If it is the person’s fourth offense, the prostitution is charged as a misdemeanor in the first degree
• If the person engages in the prostitution knowing that they are HIV positive or has AIDS, the crime is charged as a felony in the third degree
There are also varying degrees of the offense of prostitution if the defendant has been found to be promoting prostitution or patronizing prostitutes. A person promoting prostitution can be charged with a misdemeanor in the second degree up to a felony in the third degree, depending on the specific factors of the offense.
Possible Defenses to Prostitution Charges in Montgomery County
There are two key defenses that the defense attorney can use in a prostitution case. One is that the sexual activity was not being used for business purposes. The other is to claim a situation of entrapment by police or other law enforcement officials.
Penalties and Sentences for Prostitution in Montgomery County
The exact penalties and sentence a person receives when convicted of prostitution depend on whether they have prior offenses for the same crime. If someone has committed their first or second prostitution offense, they are charged with a misdemeanor in the third degree, which carries a sentence of up to one year in prison. If the individual commits a third offense, they are charged with a misdemeanor in the second degree, which includes a sentence of up to two years in prison. For a fourth offense, the person is charged with a misdemeanor in the first degree and receives a prison sentence of up to five years.
However, if the person is found guilty of promoting prostitution, the charge is more severe and can be up to a felony in the third degree. Additionally, if the person promoted the prostitution of children, ran a brothel or promoted prostitution of someone they knew had HIV or AIDs, they would be charged with a felony in the third degree, which carries a prison term of up to seven years.
Prostitution is a serious offense that requires an attorney. A person who has been charged should retain a criminal defense attorney immediately.
Walking through the doors at a Montgomery County Magisterial District Court can cause anxiety. It doesn’t matter what offense you have been charged with, be it running a stopping sign, driving with an expired or suspended license, or shoplifting from a local retailer. This is especially true if this is your first interaction with the criminal justice system.
The last thing you want to do is to face the criminal justice system on your own. It is imperative that you have experienced attorneys by your side. They will be able to help you understand the charges that are being presented, answer your questions, and represent you in your criminal case or your traffic case. Amato Sanita Law Offices have handled hundreds of cases in Pennsylvania’s Magisterial Courts. We care for our clients and aggressively defend them.
You will likely appear before Magisterial District Judge, Karen Eisner Zucker, if you have received a notification to appear in Montgomery County Magisterial District Court 38 – 2 – 04 located in Narberth. Or you may appear before the same judge if you have received a traffic citation, preliminary hearing, preliminary arraignment, are involved in a non-jury trial, or have received a bench warrant in this court.
If you have been requested to appear for traffic and non-traffic citations, you may appear in the Magisterial District Court in Bala Cynwyd. This court is a minor court. Preliminary arraignments, landlord/tenant disputes, civil cases that have damage claims up to $12,000, and preliminary hearings for criminal cases are handled in Montgomery County Magisterial District Courts.
All summary defenses are decided in Montgomery County Magisterial District Courts. This is the lowest level offense in the state of Pennsylvania. Included in these are:
• Disorderly conduct
• Driving with a suspended license
• First defense shoplifting (items under $150)
• Underage drinking
Magisterial judges, the ones who are responsible for presiding over Magisterial District Courts in Pennsylvania, have the authority to perform marriages and administer oaths.
Criminal cases in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania start in one of the 30 Magisterial District Courts that are located in Montgomery County. A preliminary arraignment and a preliminary hearing are typically what starts misdemeanor and felony cases. The subsequent step for felonies and misdemeanors is the case being addressed by the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas.
You may think that being charged with a traffic offense or a minor criminal offense is something that you can handle on your own. The truth is that in Montgomery County, you will benefit from having an experienced defense attorney. The attorney you select may vary, depending on the circumstances of your case.
Even something that is perceived as a minor offense, for example, a summary offense, can lead to great problems for you and those who you love. When a person is convicted of a summary offense, there exists the possibility of them facing up to 90 days in jail along with a fine of up to $300. If you have a prior conviction, you may spend up to 180 days in jail.
It might appear that pleading guilty to a summary offense is the easiest thing to do. It allows you to put the experience behind you and move on. What many people fail to realize is that the outcome of this case can have a long-lasting impact on their future.
Depending on how the case plays out, you could land in jail. This could put your employment at risk and disrupt your life. You may have a criminal record that will have long-lasting implications for you. Your chances of having a positive outcome in court may increase if you retain a criminal defense attorney who has experience in defending their client against summary offense charges. You want a lawyer who has worked in the Pennsylvania Magisterial District Court and knows their way around it.
There is a chance that based on circumstances the charges may be dismissed or the charges against you may be lessened. For example, if you are charged with driving with a suspended license, your attorney may examine the case and try to prove that you were driving because of an emergency or that you had not received proper notification of the suspension.