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New Haven Solicitation Lawyer

Crimes related to prostitution are a controversial subject in New Haven. While many people believe that consenting adults should be permitted to make their own choices regarding sexual relations, others find the practice immoral or think it attracts other unwanted criminal activity.

Regardless of the reasons, solicitation, prostitution, and related actions are treated as serious criminal offenses under Connecticut law. Potential penalties include heavy fines, substantial jail time, and a criminal record visible to employers and lenders as well as family and friends.

If you are facing charges involving patronizing a prostitute, it is wise to consult a New Haven solicitation lawyer who could explain the charges as well as your options for defense. Let an intelligent criminal lawyer advocate for you.

Laws on Solicitation in New Haven

Prostitution is defined in Section 53a-82 of the Connecticut code as offering, agreeing to, or engaging in sexual conduct with someone in exchange for some form of payment

Activity frequently referred to as “solicitation” is the act of paying for, agreeing to, or offering to pay for sexual conduct. Connecticut statutes refer to solicitation in this context as “patronizing a prostitute,” and there are two versions of this crime. The basic offense of patronizing a prostitute is committed when someone:

  • Pays a fee to another person as compensation for sexual conduct engaged in by that person or a third party, when that payment has been arranged in advance
  • Pays or agrees to pay another person for sexual conduct in the future by that person or a third party, or
  • Asks another person to engage in sexual conduct in exchange for payment (Conn. Gen. Stat. §53a-83)

The second solicitation offense, patronizing a prostitute from a motor vehicle, is similar to the basic offense but occurs when the person paying or offering to pay for sexual conduct is “occupying a motor vehicle.” (Conn. Gen. Stat. §53a-83a)

Penalties for Solicitation Offenses

In many cases, patronizing a prostitute is treated as a serious misdemeanor, but at times it may be penalized as a felony. So long as the parties involved are consenting adults, solicitation of a prostitute is considered a class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

However, if a person engaging in sexual conduct is under the age of 18 or the victim of human trafficking, the act of soliciting a prostitute will be treated as a class D felony. The maximum penalties for this offense include up to five years of imprisonment and a fine as high as $5,000, in addition to the other consequences of having a felony criminal record. A New Haven solicitation lawyer could mitigate the penalties a person may face.

Defending Against Solicitation Charges

Often, arrests for charges connected with patronizing a prostitute occur as part of law enforcement sting operations where police are trying to reach those who are organizing or promoting prostitution operations. In the process, many people may be arrested who have committed no crime whatsoever.

An analysis of police reports often will reveal a lack of evidence which can be exploited in favor of those arrested. In addition, there could be procedural and rights violations which can provide grounds for dismissal.

Working with a New Haven Solicitation Attorney

Offenses connected with prostitution are unique among criminal laws. A New Haven solicitation lawyer who understands the elements of the law and available defensive strategies can help you fight any charges you may be facing and help work toward the best possible disposition of your case. Call our office now or contact us online to take steps to protect your rights and your future.