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A Dynamic Team of Missouri Attorneys Aggressively Defending You in Court
If you have been accused of prostitution or promoting prostitution, it is important that you take legal action in your defense immediately. The consequences upon conviction are severe, but our experienced St. Louis defense lawyers at Miller & Hine will do our best to help you combat your charges. When you work with one of our lawyers, you can expect to work with all four of us. We often do not accept plea deals from the prosecution at the first opportunity. Instead, we will fight to get your charges dropped or dismissed – even if it means going to trial – as we value your reputation and freedom as much as you do.
Schedule a free initial consultation with a St. Louis prostitution attorney from Miller & Hine online or at (314) 413-2053 to get started on your defense now.
What Is Considered an Act of Prostitution?
Under Mo. Rev. Stat. § § 567.010, 567.020, prostitution involves prohibited acts of engaging, offering, or agreeing to sexual conduct (or any sexual touching to arouse) with another individual in exchange for money or something of value. Prostitution might occur in a variety of ways, such as streetwalking, high-class escorts, or even brothels. Additionally, a person can be convicted even if no sexual conduct actually occurred.
Note that individuals who “buy” sex will not be charged under Missouri’s prostitution laws but under its solicitation laws.
It is also strictly illegal to promote prostitution (also called pimping) and promote sex tourism.
Prohibited acts of promoting prostitution include:
- Promoting Prostitution in the First Degree – compelling a person to enter, engage in, or remain in prostitution by use of force or drugs or withholding drugs from a drug dependent person; promoting prostitution of a child less than 16 years old
- Promoting Prostitution in the Second Degree – knowingly managing, supervising, or owning a prostitution business or brothel involving prostitution activity by 2 or more individuals
- Promoting Prostitution in the Third Degree – knowingly aiding a person to engage in prostitution, soliciting patrons, providing people or places for prostitution, operating a prostitution business or brothel, receiving something of value for their participation in the prostitution activity, any other conduct to aid in prostitution
- Promoting Sex Tourism – promoting, selling, or offering travel packages for engaging in commercial sex acts
Penalties and Sentencing
Charges for prostitution range from the misdemeanor level to the felony level, depending on the nature of the offense:
- Class B felony (imprisonment for 5-15 years) – performing an act of prostitution with the knowledge they are HIV positive, promoting prostitution in the first degree
- Class C felony (up to 7 years in jail and up to $5,000 or double the profit of up to $20,000 in fines) – promoting prostitution in the second degree, promoting sex tourism
- Class D felony (up to 4 years in jail and up to $5,000 or double the profit of up to $20,000 in fines) – promoting prostitution in the 3rd degree
- Class B misdemeanor (up to 6 months in jail and up to $500 in fines) – performing an act of prostitution not listed above
In some cases, judges may order a person found guilty to a drug and alcohol treatment program. If the defendant successfully completes the program, the court can change the plea or verdict to not guilty. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 567.120 also states that the court can order HIV testing for any individual convicted of a second or subsequent prostitution-related crime.
Contact our prostitution lawyers in St. Louis at Miller & Hine immediately if you have been accused of any crime of prostitution. We will examine the relevant facts of your situation to help you build a strong defense against your charges, whether you are facing a felony or misdemeanor. Don’t risk years in prison and thousands in fines without a legal fight.
Call (314) 413-2053 or reach out to our St. Louis prostitution attorneys online to discuss your legal options in a free consultation today.