Prohibited Acts of Solicitation
Solicitation is known as patronizing a prostitute or buying prostitution services. More specifically, according to Mo. Rev. Stat. § § 567.010, 567.030, a person commits solicitation when they:
- give money or something of value in compensation for sexual conduct;
- give money or something of value, or agree to do so, with an understanding that sexual conduct will be received in return; or
- solicit or request sexual conduct in return for money or something of value.
Be aware that solicitation is punished more severely if the person prostituted is a minor under the age of 18. Also note that no sexual conduct needs to occur for a person to be convicted of patronizing in Missouri.
Penalties and Sentencing
An individual accused of solicitation will face misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the severity of the crime. Generally, patronizing a prostitute is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and up to $500 in fines. Patronizing a minor who is between 14-18 years old is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
Solicitation rises to the felony level when the defendant is accused of patronizing a person under the age of 14. This is a Class D felony punishable by up to 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. The defendant might also face separate charges for statutory rape.
If a defendant has 2 or more convictions for prostitution or related crimes, they will be guilty of being a persistent prostitution offender, which is a Class D felony punishable by up to 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 or twice the amount of money they made from the crime (capped at $20,000).
If you are facing charges of solicitation in St. Louis, do not hesitate to contact our defense attorneys at Miller & Hine today. We have a wealth of experience handling the most serious sex crimes, and we take every case personally as we fight for dropped and dismissed charges.
Give us a call at (314) 597-9763 or contact Miller & Hine online for a free consultation to get started.
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