There are a number of sex-related criminal offenses recognized by Pennsylvania law. One subsect of these offenses are those crimes related to prostitution. Those who are accused of prostitution or solicitation can find themselves embarrassed, but there is often much more at stake than just their feelings. And if convicted, an individual could face a wide variety of life-impacting consequences, such as fines, prison time and other penalties.
Under Pennsylvania law, an individual is guilty of prostitution if he or she engages in sexual acts for the purposes of business or if he or she loiters in a public place in hopes of being hired to perform a sexual act. Those who are convicted for a first or second offense will be guilty of a third degree misdemeanor. The severity of the offense increases with each subsequent offense, ending with a third degree felony charge if the accused individual knowingly transmits HIV or AIDS through the commission of prostitution.
But simple prostitution is not the only prostitution-related offense. For example, an individual could face a felony charge if they are accused of promoting prostitution. Promoting prostitution may be alleged when a person owns, controls or manages a prostitution business or a residence where prostitution occurs. This offense may also occur when someone induces or encourages someone to either enter or remain in prostitution. The same holds true for trying to convince someone to solicit a prostitute.
These offenses are treated seriously by prosecutors, meaning that they can aggressively pursue these cases, seeking stiff penalties. For that reason, those who are accused of one of these offenses needs to ensure that he or she puts forth the best criminal defense possible under the circumstances. Whether they decide to negotiate a plea deal or take the matter to trial, these individuals can oftentimes benefit from competent legal representation.