New Jersey Prostitution & Solicitation Defense Lawyer - N.J.S.A. 2C:34-10
Being arrested on a prostitution or solicitation charge in New Jersey can be a humiliating experience. Aside from the social stigma associated with sex crimes, a prostitution or solicitation conviction can become a permanent part of your criminal record with lifelong consequences. With so much at stake, it’s essential for you to talk to an experienced prostitution defense lawyer who can investigate what happened and provide sound legal advice that could result in reduced or dismissed charges. New Jersey laws are tough on sex crimes. If you or a loved one has been arrested for solicitation or prostitution in Monmouth County or the surrounding areas, the Law Office of Jason A. Volet can help. As a former prosecutor-turned-criminal defense attorney, Volet has inside knowledge of how both sides of the law view prostitution and solicitation cases. He understands how the criminal courts in New Jersey work, and he has been defending people accused of crimes in New Jersey for years. Our legal team can help you devise a smart defense strategy aimed at resolving your case quickly and minimizing public exposure. There are several defenses that can be used when a person is arrested on a prostitution or solicitation charge. But it’s important to speak with a lawyer immediately so that your rights are protected. You have nothing to lose by contacting our office for a free consultation, but you have plenty to save – your reputation and your freedom. All consultations are confidential.
What Is Considered Prostitution and Solicitation in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, charges of prostitution or solicitation are covered by the same law (NJ Rev Stat § 2C:34-10). That means that whether you are offering to perform a sexual act or accepting an offer of sexual services, you are technically committing the same crime. By New Jersey law, a person can be charged with prostitution if he or she:
- Engages in sexual activity with someone in exchange for something of economic value, or;
- Offers or accepts an offer for sexual acts resulting in some form of payment.
A person also commits an offense if he or she promotes prostitution by:
- Knowingly maintaining or permitting a dwelling to be used for the purpose of prostitution
- Forcing someone to become a prostitute
- Soliciting a person to patronize a prostitute
- Hiring a prostitute for someone else
- Transporting a person for the purpose of prostitution
- Compelling a spouse to become a prostitute
- Hiring a prostitute under 18 even if he or she mistakenly believes the person is older
- Promoting prostitution of his or her child, ward, or any minor for which he or she is responsible
Loitering for the purpose of recruiting potential patrons is also illegal in New Jersey.
What Are Potential Prostitution Defenses in New Jersey?
The first thing you should know if you are charged with a sex crime is to say nothing to law enforcement investigators about the incident. Anything you say can be used against you in court. Instead, simply ask to speak to a lawyer. Also remember that the burden of proof is always on the prosecutors. That means that they need a lot of strong evidence to make a compelling case against you. There are defenses that can be successful in getting prostitution or solicitation charges dropped or reduced, such as:
- Entrapment: Law enforcement commonly uses sting operations to try to catch people soliciting a prostitute. But officer errors or misconduct can lead to an innocent person’s arrest, and an experienced prostitute defense lawyer can comb through police reports and witness testimony to identify weaknesses to prove entrapment.
- Insufficient evidence: If there are no recordings or other tangible proof to corroborate that a prostitution offer was made or accepted, it may be difficult to prove that the incident happened the way that officers claim.
- Mistake: The law is full of technicalities that laypeople don’t know. If they were joking around or never promised an exchange of money or property, they may not be guilty of a crime.
- Forced to act: Human trafficking is all too common. If you were forced to engage in an act due to someone else’s coercion, you may have a valid defense.
Although New Jersey law is strict on sex crimes, the state does have a presumption of non-incarceration for first-time offenders of prostitution and solicitation charges. That means that most people without a prior record can avoid jail. First-time offenders may also be eligible for diversionary programs that can erase their criminal record once complete. The law is far less lenient with crimes involving minors, which is why it is critical to speak to an attorney right away.
Penalties for a N.J. Prostitution or Solicitation Conviction
The consequences for a conviction for prostitution or solicitation in New Jersey can include thousands of dollars in fines, jail time, driver’s license suspension, and being assigned to the sex offender registry. The punishment depends on how often you have been convicted and the charge itself:
- First offense: Treated as a disorderly persons charge, a municipal court judge could impose up to a $1,000 fine and 6 months in jail.
- Second and subsequent offenses: Now a fourth-degree crime, each conviction could result in a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to 18 months in prison.
- Involvement of minors: Considered a third-degree offense, a conviction can result in a prison term of 3 to 5 years and fines.
Contact a Monmouth County Prostitution Defense Lawyer Today
The legal team at the Law Office of Jason A. Volet knows that prostitution and solicitation charges are no laughing matter in New Jersey. In addition to embarrassment, people convicted of these offenses can face painful personal and professional consequences. Our prostitution defense lawyer approaches each case without judgment. New Jersey criminal defense attorney Jason A. Volet has handled more than 2,000 cases in NJ courts during his career. Thanks to his time as a prosecutor, he knows what the other side thinks and how they will tackle a prostitution case. To get started building your defense, call or fill out our online contact form. We represent clients in Freehold, Neptue, Marlboro, Middletown, Wall Township, Manalapan, Howell, Rumson, Red Bank, Ocean Township, Colts Neck, Holmdel, Asbury Park, and throughout Monmouth County.