Prostitution and Solicitation Lawyer in Michigan
Solicitation and prostitution charges are often embarrassing issues that you want to resolve and avoid having on your record. Michigan is notorious for police “sting” operations, which you can be charged with the penalties of prostitution a number of different ways. There are many reasons why a person may seek additional comfort, attention, and companionship. However, with the exception of licensed brothels in Nevada, prostitution is still illegal in all fifty states, including Michigan. If you find yourself charged, hire our experienced prostitution and solicitation lawyer to aggressively defend you.
There are many different charges that are very similar in nature, but they offer the prosecutor a different set of elements to prove at a trial. In this section we will review the different charges for solicitation and prostitution, and then talk about what you can do to improve your situation. Next, we will address issues and charges related to prostitution. Facing serious charges can carry profound social stigma and may be daunting, but rest assured that you are being offered a new beginning, and the proverbial hammer of justice has yet to sound. Our sex crimes attorneys are here to help you in this season of your life, and we have the experience and knowledge to carry you to a favorable result.
The statute MCL 750.451 provides the penalties for most of the various solicitation and prostitution charges, and the elements of the crimes you could be charged are found in other statutes like MCL 750.167(1)(b). For a first-time solicitation conviction, a person who is 16 years or older could face a maximum penalty of 93 days in jail and $500 in fines. This exemplifies why it is essential to obtain experienced legal representation early in the legal process. Grabel & Associates specializes in criminal cases, and has been representing clients in all manner of sexually related crimes for more than 19 years. If you put an excellent comprehensive legal defense strategy in place early, it may be possible to have all charges dismissed.
Prostitution vs. Solicitation
Prostitution is the act of engaging in sexual acts with another person for money. Solicitation usually involves the acts leading up to a sexual act. For instance, inviting someone into your vehicle or discussing payment arrangements for specific acts. A person can be charged under MCL 750.167(1)(b) for being a disorderly person known as a “common prostitute”. The crime is a misdemeanor has a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $500 fine. There is a possibility that charges may be reduced to being a disorderly person in some circumstances. It is worth noting that the misdemeanor of being a disorderly person does not require a person convicted to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offenders Registration Act (SORA).
Solicitation by Accosting, Receiving, Admitting, or Inviting
Under MCL 750.449a, a person who engages or offers to engage another person for the purpose of prostitution by the payment of money or other forms of consideration is also guilty of a misdemeanor solicitation. The maximum penalty is 93 days in jail and a fine of $500. This is the charge that handles solicitation in a traditional sense, and is often used by police in sting operations. Thankfully, a conviction under MCL 750.449a(1) does not constitute a tier I, tier II, or tier III listed offense under the Sex Offenders Registration Act (SORA). Therefore, a person convicted of a first offense for prostitution under this statute will not be required to register as a sex offender.
However, if you are convicted under MCL 750.449a(2), because the person was under 18 years of age, then the offense becomes a tier I listed offense under SORA. Consequently, a person convicted of soliciting a person under the age of 18 would have to register as a sex offender. Interestingly, the Michigan legislature rewrote this law in 2014 to remove the gender roles of each person. The law used to read that any male person who offers to engage the services of a female for the purpose of prostitution by the payment of money or any form of consideration is guilty of a misdemeanor. The removal of the type of gender signals a change in attitude by the legislature, and leaves women who proposition men for prostitution vulnerable to prosecution. The focus of this law is on the negotiation of the services. The key elements are both the offer and the money that is discussed in forming an agreement for the services of a prostitute.
MCL 750.449 is similar to the form of solicitation discussed above, but is one of the variations that give police and prosecutors a different set of elements to prove in court. The same penalties under MCL 750.449 would apply, 93 days in jail and a $500 fine for a first-time offense. However, this charge is for receiving or admitting a person to a place, vehicle, home, or structure for the purposes of prostitution. Here, the mere invitation or admittance of allowing a person into your home or vehicle can be used as evidence against you if it is shown that the purpose of the admittance was for prostitution. If it can be shown that the purpose of the encounter was for a reason other than prostitution, such as a social encounter or casual visit, then the prosecutor will be unable to meet his burden of proof.
Similarly, MCL 750.448 is a different variation of solicitation that would cause the same penalties under MCL 750.451. This law is for soliciting, accosting, or inviting another in a public place, or from a building or vehicle by word, gesture, or any other means to commit prostitution. This offense specifies that a gesture is sufficient to complete the elements of the crime. Therefore, a person could motion to a woman to come towards him, and if it could be shown the purpose was to commit prostitution, then a charge of soliciting and accosting could be filed. The narrow nature of these elements underscores the importance of obtaining experienced legal representation. In these cases, the details are extremely important, and if you have someone inexperienced review your case, they may miss something important. This crime is also a misdemeanor for a first offense with a maximum penalty of 93 days in jail and a $500 fine.
The Michigan Supreme Court’s View of Prostitution
Prostitution is not only sexual intercourse for money, but also includes “sexual stimulation of a man’s penis by direct manual contact, in exchange for money.” Although many appellate decisions explicitly refer to prostitution with reference to sexual intercourse, the Supreme Court has made clear that most sexual acts fit within the prostitution statute. The Supreme Court has specifically stated that these references rarely constitute a judicial holding that “other paid sexual acts, such as fellatio, cunnilingus, anal intercourse, or masturbation are not prostitution.” Therefore, any sexual act in exchange for money or other consideration leaves a person open and vulnerable to charges.
Enhanced Sentences for Multiple Convictions
These are serious crimes that carry a certain social stigma, but the maximum sentence is only 93 days in jail for a first-time offense. However, the maximum sentence increases with each successive conviction. A second offense is still a misdemeanor, but has a one-year maximum sentence with a $1000 fine. A third conviction is a felony offense. The third felony offense for crimes of solicitation and prostitution has a two year maximum sentence and a $2000 fine. Next, we will look at some of the crimes related to prostitution and solicitation, and the heavier penalties they may carry.
Prostitution Related Crimes
Aiding and Abetting & Transporting for The Purpose of Prostitution
Under MCL 750.450, any person 16 years or older who aids, assists, or abets another person to commit any of the solicitation or prostitution crimes described above may be found guilty of a misdemeanor crime punishable by up to 93 days in jail and a $500 fine. However, if you are caught transporting a person for the purposes of prostitution, the penalties can be much more severe. Under MCL 750.459, a person shall not knowingly transport or aid in assisting any person for the purpose of prostitution or with the intent to induce, entice, or compel that person to become a prostitute. A person convicted under this statute will be guilty of a felony and face punishment up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $20,000. These are serious penalties for driving a person to a destination. It is possible that you may not have known why the person had requested to be dropped off at a particular location, and now you could be facing 20 years in prison for giving someone a ride. If you are facing charges of transporting a person for the purposes of prostitution, then it is imperative that you seek immediate legal assistance to avoid spending the next 20 years of your life in prison. Grabel & Associates accepts all criminal cases, and we will work to defend you aggressively and provide the best representation under the law.
Keeping A House of Prostitution
MCL 750.452 describes the felony crime of keeping a house of prostitution. A person who keeps, maintains, or aids and abets in keeping, maintaining, or operating a house of ill-fame, bawdy house, or a place resorted for the purpose of prostitution or lewdness may be convicted of keeping a house of prostitution. This felony has a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $5000 fine. A conviction can also greatly affect your future employment, social, and family life.
Additionally, leasing a house to another person knowing that the house is intended to be used for the purpose of prostitution is also a punishable offense. However, the key to a prosecutor proving his case on this charge will be demonstrating that you knew that the house would be used for prostitution. Consequently, proving that a landlord did not have knowledge of the activities that may have been taking place at his or her property is a viable defense strategy for defending a charge of leasing houses for the purposes of prostitution. The maximum penalty for this offense is six months in jail and a $750 fine.
Procuring A Person for a House of Prostitution
This crime has to do with the recruitment of people to work at a house of prostitution. The law under MCL 750.455 includes a broad definition that describes inducing, persuading, or encouraging a person to become a prostitute. There are many situations described in the law for what may constitute inducement or encouragement to become a prostitute, for instance, “taking a person for the purpose of sexual intercourse under the pretense of marriage.” This shows how broadly the statute is written, because any person who had sex under the pretense that a future marriage proposal could ensue, could potentially be charged under this statute. It is important to hire an attorney who will protect your rights and make sure the facts are construed in your favor. Any conviction charged under MCL 750.455 will be a felony with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Accepting or Receiving Money from a Prostitute
Under MCL 750.457 it is a crime to accept or receive money from the earnings of any person engaged in prostitution. This includes any person who benefits from support or maintenance, in whole or in part, from the proceeds of prostitution or a prostitute. This crime is also a felony with a 20-year maximum sentence.
These cases are complicated, and Grabel & Associates appreciates the mountains of evidence that must be combed through to ensure the best defense available is obtained. If you are facing charges associated with keeping a house of prostitution, receiving money from a prostitute, or any prostitution related charges, then do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced sex crimes attorneys at Grabel & Associates for a free consultation at 1-800-883-2138 today.