Maryland Prostitution Lawyer
Law enforcement authorities often target prostitution in an effort to rid certain neighborhoods of criminal activity. Being arrested for prostitution, however, is an embarrassing situation that can reflect poorly on your personal life, your family, and your place of employment. A prostitution conviction also carries penalties that can include incarceration.
If you are accused of prostitution or a related crime in the state of Maryland, consulting with a Maryland prostitution lawyer may give you the advice and counsel that you need in this situation. Reach out to a seasoned criminal defense attorney today to find out how they could help you.
Defining Prostitution in Maryland
Md. Code § 11-301 defines prostitution as a sexual act, sexual contact, vaginal intercourse in exchange for money. Under Md. Code § 11-306, individuals may not knowingly engage in prostitution, set up or maintain a building, structure, or conveyance for prostitution, allow a building, structure, or conveyance to be used for or allow another to access it for prostitution, or procure or solicit or attempt to procure or solicit prostitution.
Maryland’s prostitution law also includes assignation, or the making of an appointment or engagement for prostitution or any act in furtherance of the appointment or engagement, as a prohibited action.
For individuals to act knowingly within the meaning of the prostitution law, they must either be:
- Aware that their conduct or circumstances will give rise to a crime, or
- Practically certain that a result giving rise to a crime will be caused by their conduct
To the extent that a crime requires knowledge of a specific fact, then reasonable certainty as to the existence of that fact constitutes knowledge.
Potential Penalties for Prostitution
Prostitution is a misdemeanor under Maryland law. A conviction for prostitution can result in a sentence of imprisonment of up to one year, a $500 fine, or both.
Furthermore, individuals who are convicted of prostitution or a prostitution-related criminal offense that involves a prostitute or victim who is a minor must register as a sex offender for a period of 15 years. Mandatory placement on the sex offender registry can have a very negative impact on where individuals are permitted to live and work. Therefore, it is critical for defendants to contact a Maryland prostitution lawyer right away.
There is no statute of limitations on a prostitution charge in Maryland, which is unusual. This means that the prosecutor can file a prostitution charge against individuals in Maryland, no matter how long it has been since the criminal offense allegedly occurred.
Other Maryland Prostitution-Related Crimes
One common Maryland prostitution-related crime is receiving money earned by another person from prostitution with the intent to promote, profit from, or conceal or disguise the source or control of money from prostitution, human trafficking, or the operations of a house of prostitution. This criminal offense is commonly known as “pimping.”
Another common prostitution-related crime is human trafficking. Under § 11-303, this criminal offense occurs if individuals commit various actions, such as taking, placing, or harboring another in any place for prostitution or persuading or enticing another to be taken or placed in any place for prostitution.
Potential Defenses Against Prostitution Charges
Duress is an affirmative defense to prostitution if individuals commit the act as a result of their status as victims of the acts of another who is charged with committing human trafficking.
Other potential defense to prostitution may be that the individuals lacked the “knowing” behavior necessary to prove that the crime has occurred. Another potential defense may be that the incident was consensual physical contact with no sexual component, such as a massage therapist and a client. Finally, there may be no evidence that “sex-for-hire” occurred; the fact that individuals spent money on another person does not necessarily mean that they paid that person money to have sex. A Maryland prostitution lawyer will know how to build a strong defense for a defendant.
Speak with a Maryland Prostitution Attorney
Facing prostitution or related charges in Maryland can be a difficult situation for anyone to handle. As a result of the potential consequences of a prostitution conviction, including incarceration, fines, and even mandated sex offender registration in some cases, you should consider contacting a Maryland prostitution lawyer for advice. Call today and set up a consultation.