As in most states, Minnesota lawmakers are serious about prostitution and being charged in any capacity can carry tough sentences and fines. According to statistics, the FBI has identified the Twin Cities as one of the nation’s 13 largest centers for child prostitution which means that lawmakers look for ways to crack down on all forms of prostitution.
Types of Prohibited Acts
According to FindLaw, there is a variety of what is prohibited in Minnesota including:
- Sex Trafficking
- Hiring a Minor Prostitute
- Housing Unrelated Minors for Prostitution
- Hiring Adult Prostitutes
- Engaging in Prostitution
These prohibited acts vary in degrees of punishment. For instance, sex trafficking is determined by first degree and second degree. First degree sex trafficking typically covers any prostitution activity with a minor under the age of 18 and sex trafficking in the second degree is any type of sex trafficking over the age of 18.
Myths and Misconceptions
There are actually a few myths dealing with prostitution that you may not be aware of. For instance, some are under the assumption that an officer of the law has to tell you if they are and this is most likely due to what many have seen in the movies. Another common misconception is that someone engaging in prostitution or solicitation has to be paid in order to be arrested. In actuality, your actions or words are enough if the prosecution can prove that three things happened: You were contacted by a client looking for sexual activity, you agreed to a meeting for this activity, and that money was indeed brought to the encounter even if it was not exchanged yet.
People sometimes picture prostitutes walking on a street corner and vehicles stopping by to find out the price for sexual activity but prostitution of today encompasses the Internet, escort services, and more – as well as what is known as streetwalkers. The former is more likely in this day and age than picking up someone beside the road because prostitution is becoming more advanced just like everything else.
Penalties and Fines
While some people believe that prostitution isn’t that serious, the penalties and fines are anything but. In fact, a misdemeanor is the least of the charges and even that carries a maximum penalty of up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. When you get into charges of first degree trafficking, the sentencing can be up to 20 years in prison and a $50K fine which is increased to a $60K fine and up to 25 years in prison if the the individual was harmed, was held in captivity or forced labor over a certain amount of time (180 days), or if there was more than one individual as part of the sex trafficking charge.
Get the Best Defense Possible
As you can see, prostitution can warrant serious charges and fines whether you are soliciting for sex, you are a client, or you engaged in some form of prostitution on behalf of another person – both adults and minors.
If you or someone you love has been accused of prostitution, you need to best defense possible so that you may be able to get a lesser charge or in some cases, the charges dropped. It is important to get your defense started as soon as possible so contact us if you are dealing with charges solicitation or prostitution because this is a crime that, even in cases of just an accusation, can affect your life forever.
It doesn’t matter if you are charged with solicitation or first degree sex trafficking – Speas Law Firm has over 20 years of experience with dealing with criminal defense throughout Minneapolis, St. Paul, the Twin Cities metro, and all throughout Minnesota in a fair and compassionate manner.
Disclaimer: The content of this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please contact Jennifer Speas to discuss the specifics of your case.