Getting accused of solicitation of prostitution in Minnesota can lead to serious criminal charges. A conviction can result in harsh penalties, such as significant prison time, hefty fines, and sex offender registration. It can cause embarrassment, harm your reputation, and result in long-term consequences.
Working with a criminal defense attorney with a track record of winning solicitation cases can be helpful if you are facing such allegations. Your attorney can look at all the available information about your case to identify the best defense for your unique situation.
Do You Need a Lawyer if You’ve Been Accused of Solicitation of Prostitution?
Your future depends on the outcome of your solicitation of prostitution case. As such, you should work with a Minnesota solicitation of a prostitution defense attorney to aggressively fight your charges and improve your chances of winning.
Getting an attorney involved shortly after getting arrested or accused of solicitation of prostitution in Minnesota gives your attorney enough time to investigate your case and build a solid defense. A defense attorney could help you in the following ways:
Look into the Arrest
Your attorney will start building a defense against your criminal charges by examining the details of the arrest itself. Do not hesitate to give your attorney all the details of your arrest, even if you feel the police officers have strong evidence against you. The officers might have erred or violated your rights while arresting you.
A defense attorney can examine the details of your arrest, conduct further investigations, and find any potential mistakes. Your lawyer can then devise strategies to fight the charges you are facing. The attorney can also bring a motion to suppress evidence that the prosecution might have obtained in violation of your constitutional rights.
Provide Legal Guidance
A defense attorney who has spent several years resolving solicitation of prostitution cases knows how to handle your charges. The attorney understands the statutes and precedents that can help fight your charges more aggressively.
Your attorney can discuss the blunders that can compromise your case. The attorney will, for instance, tell you to avoid sharing details of your case with third parties or on social media. Discussing the facts of your case with third parties or on social media can provide the prosecution with additional evidence to support its case against you.
Represent Your Best Interests During Questioning
Police officers, private investigators, and even journalists might contact you for questioning when facing solicitation of prostitution charges. Answering questions or discussing the details of your case without legal representation could result in an admission of fault or disclosing information the prosecution could use against you.
It is always wise to contact your attorney before answering any questions or discussing your case with anyone. Having your attorney present during questioning is your constitutional right. It’s not a sign that you are guilty.
Help You Navigate the Entire Court Process
The criminal justice system can be confusing for someone with no legal background. Each state has different legislation and court procedures. Your attorney can help you understand the entire court process, from interrogation by the police to the actual court proceeding.
Your attorney will walk you through every detail of your case and advise you on how to conduct yourself before the judge or jury. The attorney will also explain whether you will take an oath and where you will sit in the courtroom.
Take Care of All Your Case Paperwork
You must complete and file several forms and applications associated with your case. Errors in filling out the forms or missing forms can significantly hurt the outcome of your case. That’s why you should let a defense attorney with a keen eye for details take charge of all your case paperwork.
A knowledgeable attorney knows the forms and documents required in your case. The attorney will complete them correctly, go through them carefully to remove any errors, and submit them on time.
Dedicate Enough Resources and Manpower Towards Handling Your Case
A seasoned defense attorney has sufficient resources and staff members to ensure the smooth running of your case. The work of a solicitation of prostitution defense attorney is not limited to arguing your case before the judge or jury. It also involves compiling evidence, identifying witnesses to testify in your favor, working with expert witnesses, cross-examining the prosecution’s witnesses, and developing winning strategies.
Handling these tasks on your own can be costly and time-consuming. Working with an attorney allows you to save time, minimize costs, and focus on your everyday life without worrying about your case. An attorney has the right resources and staff members to handle your case effectively.
Help You Assess All the Available Options
Criminal defendants often have an opportunity to decide how their cases will proceed. An attorney can help you evaluate all the available options, including the level of charges and plea offers.
Your attorney can also negotiate with the prosecution to reduce your charges and penalties. You can let the case proceed to trial or enter a plea agreement with the prosecution. Your attorney will explain the repercussions of each option.
What Is Solicitation of Prostitution?
This offense happens when you pay, offer to pay, or agree to pay another person for sexual contact or sexual penetration. Simply put, you can get arrested and charged with solicitation of prostitution even if you offered or agreed to pay for sexual services but did not engage in the sexual act itself.
Like all other criminal cases, the prosecution has the burden of proof in a solicitation of prostitution case. The prosecution must prove the existence of intent and offer. Negotiating the price of sexual services is enough to demonstrate that an offer existed. Withdrawing cash from an ATM immediately after negotiating the price with the alleged prostitute is sufficient to show that you intended to follow through with the crime.
The charges can get more serious if the alleged solicitation offense involves a minor. Minnesota categorizes in-person or electronic solicitation of a minor as a felony offense. Penalties for such an offense vary with the age of the minor. The younger the minor, the harsher the penalties.
What Are the Penalties for Solicitation in Minnesota?
The penalties for soliciting a prostitute in Minnesota depend on multiple factors. These factors include the age of the alleged prostitute and previous convictions of the alleged offender.
Gross Misdemeanor Level Offenses
Minnesota categorizes most cases of solicitation of prostitution as gross misdemeanors. A conviction of this offense level carries up to 90 days in prison or up to $1,500 in fines, or both. The court may replace the fine with community work service if it establishes that paying the fine would pose unnecessary hardship to you or your family.
Solicitation of prostitution becomes a felony if you have a prior conviction of the same offense within the last ten years. In this case, a conviction will carry up to five-year imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines or both.
As previously stated, soliciting a minor (a person under 18 years) can also result in a felony-level offense. The younger the minor, the more severe the penalties a conviction carries. The penalties for soliciting a minor are as follows:
- Soliciting a child below 14 years carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years or up to $40,000 in fines or both.
- Soliciting a child of 14 or 15 years carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years or up to $20,000 in fines or both.
- Soliciting a child under 18 years but at least 16 years carries a prison sentence of up to five years or up to $10,000 in fines or both.
Sex Offender Registration
You could be registered as a sex offender in Minnesota if you get convicted of solicitation of sex from an underage prostitute.
Collateral Consequences of Solicitation of Prostitution in Minnesota
In addition to the potential criminal penalties, you may also face other repercussions if you are accused of solicitation or prostitution. These possible consequences include:
Seizure of Motor Vehicle
The police might seize your motor vehicle if you used it for solicitation of prostitution.
Seizure of Personal Property
The police may also seize any personal property used in the solicitation of prostitution, such as money, cell-phone, or computer.
Entry of the Offense in Your Driving Record
The commissioner of public safety will enter the offense in your driving record. The record will be set as private data if you are a first-time offender. In this case, only law enforcement officers can access your record. The record will be classified as public data if you are a repeat offender.
Suspension or Revocation of a Professional License
Your professional license may get suspended or revoked if you get convicted of solicitation of prostitution in Minnesota. The license suspension or revocation will prevent you from performing your job if you are a licensed professional like a nurse, attorney, teacher, or social worker.
Trouble Securing Employment
A conviction of soliciting a prostitute in Minnesota or, in some cases, just getting accused of solicitation of prostitution, may reduce your chances of getting a job. It may also bar you from some jobs in the healthcare, insurance, and financial sectors.