What is prostitution?
Prostitution is defined as vaginal intercourse, sexual conduct, or other sexual acts that are paid for. Money typically changes hands in those scenarios. It may occur between strangers or people who are familiar. There have been incidents where the participants previously knew each other, but they are very rare.
There are many reasons why people choose to become involved in prostitution. Money is the primary factor for individuals who offer their services or are advertised for prostitution. They may prey on people who are unhappy, insecure or inebriated. A person could also seek out prostitutes to fulfill a want or desire that they may have at that time.
Is prostitution a sex crime in Maryland?
Prostitution is currently classified as a misdemeanor in the state of Maryland. A person can be charged with that crime if they were directly involved in the act. Individuals may also be charged if they actually or attempted to obtain or solicit people to participate in such events, let a person into a building for the purposes of prostitution, owned or operated a building that was used for assignation or allowed acts of prostitution to occur in dwellings that they managed or owned at the time. Assignation is meeting or the setting up of an appointment for prostitution.
The sexual acts in question can be anal or vaginal penetration, fellatio, cunnilingus or any other type of penetration or action that could be used for sexual gratification, arousal or abuse of the other party who was involved. Ejaculation does not necessarily need to happen for an activity to be considered as a sexual act. Penetration by a body part or an item for medical reasons are not viewed as sexual acts according to Maryland laws.
People who participate in acts of prostitution must know or have reason to believe that those actions could be illegal. It may also be quite obvious that the facility was advertising or designated for soliciting or allowing people to become involved in acts of prostitution. If someone lacks the mental capacity to understand the meaning or consequences of those acts, they may be less likely to be convicted of engaging in prostitution.
A person could directly solicit, assign or offer acts of prostitution, or they may be represented by another individual. That person is known as a pimp. They usually receive some or all of the earnings for those acts. Although pimping isn’t officially used as a legal term in Maryland, a person could be found guilty of a misdemeanor if they launder money, disguise or hide the source of funds that were earned from prostitution, make money from acts of prostitution or advertise such acts.
What are the penalties for prostitution?
People who have been found guilty of prostitution may be fined up to $500. They could also be ordered to serve no more than one year in jail for that particular crime. Penalties may increase if they are in conjunction with additional convictions. A judge may also sentence more jail time and/or a fine for each subsequent prostitution conviction.
If the victim or prostitute who was involved in the crime was a minor, the person who was charged with prostitution may also be required to register as a sex offender. This must be done with the respective local law enforcement office within three days from the person’s release from jail. People who are convicted of prostitution and mandated to register as a sex offender will have to register again every six months for up to fifteen years.
Sex offender information is a matter of public record. Anyone who wants to can view those details online. Registered sex offenders may have difficulty finding housing or suitable employment. They could be barred from certain occupations, such as working at a child care center or a public or private school. Sex offenders may be prohibited from entering day care facilities or schools as well.
What can I do if I’ve been accused of soliciting a prostitute?
Multiple methods may be used to solicit prostitution. Print materials, photographs, video complications and Internet message boards and advertisements are commonly utilized. They may explicitly or implicitly describe the types of services that are available for purchase.
Solicitation is a misdemeanor. It is punishable by a jail term of up to a year and/or a fine of no more than $500. Penalties may be tacked on if the charge was in addition to other offenses.
If you’ve been accused of solicitation of prostitution, you have the right to defend yourself. You can represent yourself in court or enlist the aid of legal counsel. Each side will be allowed to provide witnesses, testimony and evidence to support their claims. All information that is supplied will be taken into consideration before a verdict will be issued.
What actions can be taken if I’ve been charged with prostitution?
A person can be charged with prostitution at any time. There is no statute of limitation in the state of Maryland for these types of activities. This is unlike other similar misdemeanors, which usually require a victim to press charges within a certain number of months or years after the incident happened.
Even though prostitution is a relatively minor offense, it can still carry a very negative stigma. People who have been accused of the crime or soliciting prostitution may be viewed differently by their friends, relatives, neighbors and coworkers. It can damage personal relationships, even if the person was found innocent.
If you’ve been charged with prostitution, give us a call today. You can arrange a free consultation that works around your schedule. Our trained professionals will listen to what you have to say and recommend possible actions that can be taken. We can even represent you in court if you so choose.
It will take some time to rebuild credibility and trust. However, if you’re willing to put forth the time and effort, you should see the results pay off before you know it. You could consider the incident as a learning experience, something that you discuss with others who are willing to listen. It’s very possible that you can turn the negative into a positive and become a role model for others who look up to you.