Montgomery County Prostitution Lawyers
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.