Although the Arizona Revised Statutes, which dictate state-wide law, do not contain a specific provision relating to solicitation of a prostitute, solicitation is a crime according to nearly every city code in the state. For example, under §23-52 of the Phoenix City Code, one who “offers to, agrees to” or “solicits or hires another person to commit an act of prostitution” is guilty of this misdemeanor. This definition is similar to that of other cities, and the penalties for this crime tend to be consistent from city to city. If you have been arrested or suspected of Solicitation of Prostitution in Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Chandler, Mesa, Glendale, Gilbert, or any city in Arizona, give us a cal for a free case consultation. We’ve helped clients who have been caught in various prostitution sting operations during large events like the Super Bowl, Waste Management Phoenix Open, or just regular law enforcement sting operations. If you feel like it was entrapment, please give us a call immediately.
Punishment for Solicitation of Prostitution
According to Phoenix City Code §23-52, the first conviction under this statute is a class one misdemeanor, and you will be subject to a sentence of at least fifteen days in jail, with the sentence possibly stretching up to six months. On top of that, the court may also levy a fine of up to $2,500 plus an 84% surcharge ($2,100) as part of the punishment.
The City Code of Phoenix also provides that those convicted on solicitation of a prostitute charges multiple times will face escalating penalties. Though the fine remains the same, a second conviction carries a minimum sentence of thirty days in jail; a third conviction carries a minimum of sixty days; and a fourth conviction carries a minimum of one hundred and eighty days. And while six months is the maximum jail term for first, second, and third convictions, a fourth conviction has no upper limit on jail time and also requires you to complete a court-ordered treatment or education program.
Jail time and fines can vary from city to city, and a conviction may also carry expensive additional surcharges. You may also find that certain localities publish the full name and picture of those convicted in the local paper. If you have been suspected of soliciting a prostitute, give us a call, we can help.
Defenses for Solicitation of Prostitution
As with other crimes, the Law Offices of David Cantor may be able to assert a number of defenses on your behalf, depending on the circumstances surrounding the arrest. One common defense is to simply state that the defendant was not serious and had no legitimate intent to carry out a sex act. This can arise, for example, when a group of rowdy college students jokingly yell, “Hey girl, how much?” to passersby. If a passerby happens to be an undercover officer or an actual prostitute, that can lead to charges. However, simply yelling and engaging in a subsequent conversation does not necessarily indicate a realistic intent to solicit sex for money.
When making a charge under a statute such as Phoenix Municipal Code §23-52, officers look to actions such as attempting to touch or expose the alleged prostitute’s private parts, repeatedly beckoning or engaging the prostitute or undercover officer in conversation, asking whether the prostitute or undercover officer is in fact a police officer, or trying to search for a badge or other identification. Based on the evidence the state presents against you, our team will rebut their version of the facts using our own evidence such as whether conversations made reference to specific amounts of money or specific sex acts and whether the defendant was in possession of large sums of cash or protection. We can also review any tapes recorded by undercover officers to ensure only accurate information is presented.
In addition to defenses specific to a charge of solicitation, our firm can assert more general criminal defenses such as those relating to constitutional rights violations. For example, our comprehensive defense efforts may involve a claim for a violation of your Miranda rights. Because Arizona requires that any statement you make against your own interest has to have been made voluntarily to be admitted in court, we can suppress evidence stemming from statements you were either forced or tricked into making. A Miranda rights violation can also occur if the arresting officer did not read you your rights prior to taking statements from you.
Other potential defenses include denial of the right to counsel, which arises when the police do not allow you to contact an attorney or do not heed your requests for an attorney within a reasonable amount of time and simply keep questioning you. Our firm may also be able to defend you based on forensic flaws we find in the police’s overall investigation. In addition, we may find shortcomings in police reports or procedures, such as inaccurate or misleading statements or improperly performed photo line-ups.
Solicitation of Prostitution in Arizona is a charge that can have serious consequences, so it’s vital to have a skilled, experienced firm on your side. With many former prosecutors employed at the firm, DM Cantor have insight and knowledge that can help you. The firm has the AV rating from Martindale Hubbell®, which is the highest rating for skill and ethics. Contact us today at 602-307-0808 for a Free Initial Consultation.