If you have been arrested for solicitation of prostitution in the District of Columbia, it is vital you contact a DC solicitation lawyer in order to maximize the potential to have your case dismissed. The attorneys at Bruckheim & Patel have extensive experience handling solicitation of prostitution charges within the District of Columbia with a successful track record.

A conviction for solicitation of prostitution can carry serious consequences outside of the criminal penalties prescribed in the statute. The charge of solicitation carries with it a social stigma that can be embarrassing for individuals both personally and professionally. It can create havoc in marriages and relationships. Many fear their spouses or significant others will find out about the arrest. A conviction for a charge of solicitation in the District of Columbia could severely impact top security clearances and employment at various companies and federal agencies. It is imperative to discuss these significant concerns with your sex crimes lawyer immediately.

Elements of Offense

Solicitation of prostitution is a misdemeanor offense in the District of Columbia. DC Code § 22–2701 states that it is “unlawful for any person to engage in prostitution or to solicit for prostitution.” Soliciting for prostitution is defined as inviting, enticing, offering, persuading, or agreeing to engage in prostitution. Prostitution means a sexual act or contact with another person in return for giving or receiving a fee.

Penalties/Enhancements

The criminal penalties for solicitation are a fine of $500 or not more than 90 days imprisonment, or both, for the first offense. For a second offense, the penalty is a fine of $1,000 or not more than 180 days imprisonment, or both.

If a person is convicted of soliciting for prostitution and has two or more prior convictions for prostitution or soliciting for prostitution, they can be fined up to $12,500 or imprisoned of up to two years, or both. There are no minimum mandatory incarceration periods for the charge of solicitation of prostitution.

Sting Operations

There is often political and social pressure to punish individuals who are involved in solicitation. The government invests a large amount of resources and funding for sting operations within the District of Columbia. It is very important to have an experienced solicitation lawyer represent you that understands the system in DC. Sting operations can vary in form. Often, an officer posing as a prostitute will approach vehicles on street corners. The officer will then entice an individual by suggesting sexual acts in exchange for money. As soon as the unassuming driver makes an inquiry about the services, a signal is given for the arrest by the undercover officer.

More recently, it has become very common for police departments to set up sting operations by arranging for a meeting at a hotel room. Officers will post advertisements on websites, such as Backpage or Craigslist, with an attractive undercover agent pictured as a decoy. When a person arrives at the pre-arranged hotel room, the undercover officer will meet them and negotiate sexual arrangements in exchange for money. The undercover officer will send a signal to raid the hotel room and make the arrest.

Sting operations are carefully conducted by the police department to avoid the issue of entrapment. An illegal arrest or sting operation could result in the dismissal of your charges. Contact Bruckheim & Patel to speak with a DC sex crimes attorney for an individual evaluation and assessment of your case.

Diversion Programs

If you have been arrested for solicitation of prostitution in DC, and have minimal or no criminal record, there are options you can consider. Our skilled DC solicitation attorneys can negotiate with the prosecution to help keep your criminal record clean. Many diversion programs, such as a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) or a Deferred Sentencing Agreement (DSA) exist for first time offenders. If successfully completed, a person could ultimately not have a conviction on their record and could have the option to expunge/seal the underlying arrest so it is not visible to the public. At Bruckheim & Patel, our DC solicitation lawyers can skillfully negotiate a diversion agreement with the government which could lead to the dismissal of the charge.

To receive a free initial confidential consultation, contact our skilled and knowledgeable DC solicitation lawyers at Bruckheim & Patel at 202-930-3464.