What Happens if You Are Caught Soliciting a Prostitute in Illinois?
The act of trading cash or other property for sexual contact is against the law in Illinois. Being charged with soliciting a prostitute can lead not only to criminal penalties, but also shame and embarrassment. If you have been accused of solicitation of a sexual act, you could face steep fines, jail time, and severe damage to your personal reputation and professional career. In some cases, your charges may be based on wrongful accusations. Regardless of your situation, it is essential that you speak with a criminal defense attorney right away if you are facing charges for any type of sexual offense.
Many Prostitution Charges Are a Result of a Police Sting Operation
If you exchange money for some type of sexual activity in Illinois, you may be arrested and charged with soliciting a prostitute. However, you do not have to actually be caught in the act of trading money for sex in order to face prostitution charges. You can also be arrested for solicitation for simply agreeing to trade money or property for sexual activity. For example, if you plan an exchange with someone through a website like Craigslist, you could be charged with solicitation even if you never physically meet up with that person.
In many cases, solicitation charges are the result of a police sting operation. Law enforcement officers may pretend to be prostitutes online or in real life in order to lure potential patrons into setting up an exchange. Once the terms of the exchange have been established, and money has changed hands, the “prostitute” identifies himself or herself as a police officer and arrests the unsuspecting customer. In some cases, these sting operations result in dozens of arrests.
Criminal Penalties for Solicitation of a Sexual Act
The criminal offense of seeking sexual activity for money is called “solicitation of a sexual act” under Illinois law. It is a Class A misdemeanor offense punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. However, if the person with whom you sought sexual activity was under age 18 or had an intellectual disability, the offense is classified as a Class 4 felony. If convicted of soliciting a minor or a disabled person, you could face up to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. In addition, you may be required to register as a sex offender.
Contact a St. Charles Prostitution Defense Lawyer
If you have been accused of soliciting someone for sex, you could face serious criminal consequences and a lifetime of stigma. It is imperative that you remain silent and contact a skilled attorney right away. Do not submit to police questioning without your lawyer present. Depending on the circumstances, the allegations made against you may be false. Call the Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC today at 630-232-1780 to schedule a free consultation with one of our diligent Illinois criminal defense attorneys.