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Defending Against Prostitution and Solicitation Charges – Illinois Sexual Crimes Defense Attorneys

Prostitution and other sexual-based crimes still fire the imagination and provide fodder for television shows, but the frequency with which it is addressed in popular media does not make it any less frightening when the charges are being brought against you or a loved one. In the State of Illinois, prostitution and solicitation still are aggressively targeted with cooperation between law enforcement officers and the creation of special task forces. Charges related to prostitution and solicitation do carry serious legal consequences. Prostitution involves knowingly offering, agreeing to, or performing any act of sexual touching, fondling, or penetration with the goal of sexual arousal or satisfaction in exchange for something of value. Solicitation is the act of asking somebody who is not your spouse to perform a sexual act in exchange for something of value. Under Illinois law, the charge of solicitation is treated more harshly than the charge of prostitution. Any charge of a crime of a sexual nature carries with it a social stigma and long-term professional and personal negative consequences. It is critical to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Zealously Defending against Prostitution or Solicitation Charges

For more than seventeen years, Chicago attorney David L. Freidberg has fought to defend those accused of a sexually-based crime. After his many years in practice, Mr. Freidberg knows that things are not always as they appear. Charges of prostitution or solicitation often involve circumstantial evidence of an agreement for parties to engage in sexual activity in exchange for some form of payment. This is very difficult to prove. After years of experience, Mr. Freidberg knows how to attack the evidence being offered by the prosecution in order to destroy the case. Often, our attorneys can get the charges dismissed before trial or negotiate a plea that will minimize long-term impact from the incident. It is very important for our attorneys to become involved in the process as early as possible in order to discover evidence that can be used to exonerate our clients. Our attorneys will not judge you – we are here to learn your story and offer the best possible defense.

Prostitution or Solicitation – What are the Charges

There are many different crimes that are associated with solicitation and prostitution, but here are a few of the most commonly charged:

  • Prostitution - Under Illinois law, prostitution means that a person knowingly engages in a sexual act intended to result in arousal or gratification in exchange for payment of some sort, although the payment may be any offering of value, not just money. A charge of prostitution for a first-time offender usually is a Class A misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $2,500.00 and up to a year in jail. This may be upgraded to a Class 4 felony if the act of prostitution was committed within 1,000 feet of a school. Moreover, if the accused has been convicted of prostitution in the past, then the charge may be a Class 4 felony and the penalties are more severe. Although the State of Illinois does take prostitution very seriously, lawmakers and judges are aware of the often tragic backstories that lead somebody into the circumstances where a person might be charged with prostitution. Therefore, there are opportunities for leniency and alternative sentencing options. See 720 ILCS 5/11-14.
  • Solicitation - Solicitation is treated with less leniency. There is an implication in the act of solicitation that the person seeking to pay for a sexual encounter may be taking advantage of another person. Regardless of the fact that this often is not true, soliciting a sexual act for some form of payment from someone who is not the solicitor’s spouse may be charged as a Class A misdemeanor. This charge can be upgraded to a Class 4 felony if the other person involved in the act is under the age of 18 or intellectually disabled to a profound degree. See 720 ILCS 5/11-14.1.
  • Patronizing a prostitute – This charge involves engaging in a sexual act with a prostitute or entering a location known as a place where prostitution occurs regularly while the intention of engaging in sexual penetration. This is charge as a Class 4 felony, which may be upgraded to a Class 3 felony if the person being charged has been convicted of a similar charge in the past or the act occurred within 1,000 feet of a school. See 720 ILCS 5/11-18.
  • Promotion of Prostitution - Another charge that may arise out of a sexual encounter for payment is the charge of promoting prostitution. This charge is leveled against someone who profits from the act of prostitution by forcing a person into prostitution, facilitating the act of prostitution in some manner, or contributing to the act of prostitution in any other way. This charge is a felony offense, which is subject to being upgraded to a more serious charge with heightened penalties if the act of prostitution is committed within 1,000 feet of a school, if the person offering the act is less than 18 years of age, or if the person is intellectually disabled to a profound degree. See 720 ILCS 5/11-14.3.
Defending against a Charge of Prostitution or Solicitation

In order to be charged with prostitution or solicitation, there must be actual evidence that the parties were going to engage in sexual activity in exchange for something of value. This is distinct from merely engaging in sexual activity. There are many ways to challenge the type of proof that prosecutors offer to support their case. In addition, there are many cases where over-aggressive law enforcement personnel trampled over a person’s constitutional rights in trying to catch that person engaging in solicitation or prostitution. Quite often law enforcement will set up a sting using under cover officers to coerce a solicitation. Careful investigation may reveal that the evidence to be presented in the case was collected illegally. If this is the case, that evidence can be suppressed. Investigating issues surrounding entrapment, discriminatory practices, and invasion of privacy may also provide valuable defense tactics, depending upon the specifics of the case.

David L. Freidberg Provides a Zealous Defense for Those Charged with a Crime of Solicitation or Prostitution

Chicago attorney David L. Freidberg has spent more than 20 years of his legal practice fighting for the rights of his clients. This dedication is particularly important when the charges involve acts of a sexual nature. These crimes have extremely long-ranging impact on personal relationships, professional opportunities, and social status. They involve a prurient look into the private life of a person and harsh judgment without all the facts. Mr. Freidberg is committed to providing a defense that carefully examines each aspect of the charges and the supporting evidence. Our attorneys know that some or all of this evidence could have been obtained in violation of our client’s rights. We will scrutinize each aspect of the investigation and construct a strong defense. Cases like these often involve suppression of evidence motions and hearings, which, if successful, may lead to a complete dismissal of the charges. Our attorneys will work with you to come up with the best legal strategy to ensure the most favorable outcome possible during a free and confidential consultation. Please contact us at (312) 560-7100 as soon as possible to schedule this so that we can begin working to defend your rights.