Branford Prostitution Lawyer
Connecticut law forbids performing a sexual act for money. For some criminal defendants, the accusation of sex crimes alone can foster feelings of shame and embarrassment. If you are facing charges for sex work, a Branford prostitution lawyer can work with you to research your case and negotiate with prosecutors. Contact a distinguished prostitution attorney to begin developing a litigation strategy that produces the best possible outcome.
Types of Prostitution Crimes
The first step a criminal defendant should take is to understand the components of the crime being charged. In Connecticut, there are several types of prostitution crimes such as soliciting prostitution, promoting sex work and prostitution itself.
Prostitution is considered the engagement, offer, and agreement of an individual age sixteen or older in a sexual act for a price. This is considered a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and $2000 in penalties.
Soliciting prostitution is a crime charged against the individual that patronizes a prostitute by paying or offering to pay for a sexual act. The payment could be made directly to the prostitute or a third party. This is considered a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and $2,000 in penalties.
How is Sex Work Categorized as an Offense?
Promoting sex work is divided into different degrees:
- First-degree promotion of prostitution occurs when an individual forces another person to perform a sexual act for a fee, intimidates another to perform a sexual act for a fee, or profits from another’s sexual act (if the prostitute is under age eighteen). This is considered a Class B felony, carrying a punishment of up to 20 years imprisonment and $15000 in penalties.
- Second-degree promoting sex crimes occurs when an individual manages a house of prostitution or brothel, involving two or more prostitutes. This is considered a Class C felony, carrying a punishment of up to 10 years imprisonment and $10,000 in penalties.
- Third degree promoting prostitution occurs when an individual knowingly promotes or profits from another’s prostitution. This is considered a Class D felony, carrying a punishment of up to five years imprisonment and $5,000 in penalties.
Possible Defenses Against Prostitution Charges
Whether a defense is available depends largely upon the criminal act and circumstances surrounding the charge. While the following defenses are certainly not available in every case, they provide a starting point for contemplating a sex crime defendant’s litigation strategy. A Branford prostitution lawyer can present the options and can clarify the meanings of coercion, duress, lack of requisite mental status and mistake of fact.
Coercion occurs when an individual compels or forces another to commit an act that the actor has a legal right not to commit. For prostitutes ages sixteen or seventeen, the law has created a presumption that the prostitute was coerced, based on their youth. Duress is evident when an individual engages in an act based upon the use of physical force or threat of force by another. Such force influences the individual to act in such a manner that they would not have engaged in the act but for the force or appearance of force.
Many crimes require a showing of an overt act and a mental state of mind. If a crime requires that the defendant act with the intention to do something, negating the “intent” element of the crime could aid in the defense of the action (but note that this is usually not an available defense in cases involving strict liability offenses).
What is Mistake of Fact?
A mistake of fact defense must be distinguished from a mistake of law. A mistake of law is rarely a defense to a criminal charge because one is generally required to be aware of the law before engaging in an act. On the other hand, a “mistake of fact” could assist a criminal defendant’s case. For instance, if a person did not intend to engage in a sexual act or receive financial compensation for the act that could be a defense, depending on the situation.
Contacting an Attorney
If you have questions or concerns about your legal defense regarding your charges, contact a Branford prostitution lawyer now. A dedicated criminal defense attorney can mitigate on your behalf and help solidify your defense by helping you secure strong witnesses and evidence.