Solicitation of Prostitution Attorney in Kingston, New York

Being charged with solicitation of prostitution—also known as patronizing a person for prostitution in New York—can be an embarrassing and stressful experience. In addition, you could face severe punishment if convicted of the offense in New York. That's why it's in your best interest to contact a skilled criminal defense lawyer for the support you need.   

I'm Thomas J. Melanson, a former prosecutor who now focuses on criminal defense. I am familiar with New York’s legal system and will work hard on your behalf to protect your rights throughout every stage of trial proceedings and sentencing.  

I represent people facing solicitation of prostitution charges throughout Hudson Valley, including Kingston, New York, as well as New Paltz, Catskill, Hudson, Saugerties, Highland, and Poughkeepsie. Let’s start building your defense today.  

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New York Laws on Solicitation of Prostitution 

In New York, you can face patronizing a person for prostitution for: 

  • Paying a fee to another individual in exchange for sexual activity (there must be a prior agreement between the parties); or 

  • Asking an individual to have sex or engage in any form of sexual activity in return for a fee.  

Contrary to popular belief, the fee does not necessarily need to be money for solicitation of prostitution charges to apply. A fee can be anything of value (e.g., property, promotion, etc.).  

To secure a conviction for solicitation of prostitution, the prosecution must prove you paid for sexual activity. Even if money or anything of value was never exchanged for sexual activity, you could still be convicted if the prosecution can prove that it was your intent.  

Is Solicitation Considered a Felony? 

In New York, solicitation of prostitution can be considered either a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the severity of the offense and the circumstances surrounding it. The state recognizes three varying degrees of severity of this crime: 

  1. Class A misdemeanor 

  1. Class E felony 

  1. Class D felony  

The most serious charge—Patronizing a Person for Prostitution in the First Degree—is considered a class D felony. This charge applies when the prostitute is under 11 years of age or under 13 while the defendant is at least 18 years of age.  

What Are the Possible Penalties?  

The consequences of patronizing prostitution in New York can be severe. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may face jail time, hefty fines, and even probation or community service.  

Additionally, if you are charged with patronizing prostitution and convicted, your name will appear on the state’s sex offender registry for up to 10 years. This means that anyone with access to this registry will be able to see your name and other personal information associated with your conviction. 

The penalties for the offense will vary depending upon the circumstances surrounding the case, such as any prior criminal history or mitigating factors, which is why you want to discuss your particular situation with an experienced defense attorney in your area.  

Possible Defenses to Solicitation of Prostitution Charges 

Possible defenses that may be applicable in your case include: 

  • Entrapment. This occurs when law enforcement officers or their agents induce an individual to commit a crime they would not otherwise commit. If this can be proven in the context of your case, it can be an effective defense strategy.  

  • Mistake of fact. This type of defense applies when the defendant had an honest and reasonable belief that no illegal activity was taking place at the time the crime was committed.  

  • Lack of sufficient evidence. If there is not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime as charged, then this may be a valid defense against solicitation of prostitution charges.  

  • Duress or coercion. If it can be shown that you were coerced or threatened into soliciting a prostitute, then this could potentially be used as a successful defense strategy in court.  

  • No agreement. Finally, one more possible legal defense strategy involves claiming that no agreement was made between yourself and any third party regarding payment for sexual services at any point during the incident in question.  

Consider contacting a knowledgeable attorney to help you build an appropriate defense strategy based on the specific details of your case. Reach out to my office in Kingston, New York, today to schedule a consultation.   

Solicitation of Prostitution Attorney in Kingston, New York

If you have been accused of solicitation of prostitution in New York, it is crucial that you contact an experienced attorney immediately. As the leading lawyer at Melanson Law Office P.C., I can help protect your rights and evaluate all aspects of your case so that you receive the best possible outcome. Call or message my office today to request a meeting and discuss your case.