Prostitution, though known as the world’s “oldest profession,” is still a crime in almost all parts of the United States. In Arizona, all of the following are illegal: prostitution, pandering (pimping), or running a house of prostitution. If you have been accused of prostitution or one of the listed crimes associated with it, you need a knowledgeable, highly-skilled criminal defense attorney to defend you. Remember, you can be arrested once money or something of value changes hands with an understanding that a sex act will take place. It is not necessary that you have performed a sexual act in order for you to be found guilty of prostitution.
At Blischak Law, we take the principle that you are “innocent until proven guilty” very seriously. Once you engage our services, we will work hard to protect your legal rights and your reputation. Our sex crimes attorneys are savvy negotiators as well as aggressive litigators; by seeking our help you give yourself the best chance of coming away from the traumatic experience unscathed or with the most minimal punishment possible.
Prostitution-Related Crimes in Arizona
As noted, there are a number of crimes in Arizona connected to the crime of prostitution. Let’s define them before we continue:
- Prostitution is the act of knowingly engaging, or offering to engage in, sexual acts in exchange for money or something else of value.
- Pandering or pimping involves acting as a go-between between a prostitute and a customer by offering the former to the latter and arranging the transaction. Pimps are well-known for taking the bulk of the money that changes hands in order to provide “protection” to the prostitute.
- Solicitation of prostitution (offering money or something of value to another person in exchange for that individual’s participation in a sexual act, otherwise known as being a “John”) is only against the law in some parts of Arizona.
- Running a brothel or “house of prostitution” means managing any structure or location that is used for the purposes of prostitution.
- Sex trafficking, a form of modern-day slavery, is a much more serious offense, involving force and fraud to “sell” victims who have no say in their involvement in the sexual acts, or, typically, in any other part of their lives.
Why Having an Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney Is Essential
If you are dealing with charges of prostitution or related sex crimes in Arizona, it is crucial to have an attorney who fully understands the complexities of Arizona law regarding sex crimes. This is because the state of Arizona has made solicitation a local issue and therefore laws regarding such crimes vary from city to city. The fines, jail time, and court-ordered treatment programs differ In Phoenix, Scottsdale, Yuma, and Flagstaff. In Yuma, for example, it is not illegal for a person to solicit a prostitute of the same gender.
Penalties for Prostitution in Arizona
While the penalties for prostitution in Arizona differ from city to city, they are always progressive, meaning that while the first time you are arrested for offering to engage in sex acts for money you may be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor, the charges for further criminal acts of the same kind will increase sequentially. As an example, if you are arrested for the fourth time for prostitution in some parts of Arizona, you will be charged with a class 5 felony. Penalties will also increase, so that a first conviction of prostitution may result in a minimum of 15 consecutive days in jail without eligibility for probation or suspension until your whole sentence has been served, and four or more offenses may keep you incarcerated for 180 consecutive days.
Defenses Against Prostitution
Our attorneys are well-schooled in methods of defending you from criminal charges of prostitution. If may be provable that you are a victim of sex trafficking involving threats or coercion. Another possibility is that you may have been wrongfully accused by someone with malicious intent. There may be a reasonable doubt that an act of prostitution has actually taken place or was about to take place. You may have been misidentified or you may have been entrapped by an officer of the law.
Representing Clients Facing Prostitution-Related Charges in Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale, and Scottsdale
At Blischak Law we have experience not only in criminal defense, but in prosecution. Our lead attorney, John W. Blischak, functioned very successfully both in the FBI and as a prosecutor in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office before establishing his own criminal defense practice. His years on the other side of the table have honed his ability to strategize defense by anticipating prosecutorial arguments. In addition, both of our criminal defense attorneys have excellent social and persuasive skills as well as legal prowess. These talents will stand them (and you) in good stead in the courtroom. Contact Blischak law today to schedule a free consultation.