Have you been charged with a prostitution-related charge in Indianapolis, Indiana? Prosecutors are often very aggressive in pursuing prostitution convictions.
You do not have to fight the charges you are facing alone; an experienced Indianapolis prostitution defense attorney can help you protect your rights and build your defense.
Contact Suhre & Associates, LLC today to schedule a free case review with a sex crimes defense attorney in Indianapolis to explore your legal options. Our law firm is here to fight for you.
How an Indianapolis Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help with a Prostitution Charge
Sex crimes like prostitution and solicitation are taken very seriously in Indiana. After your arrest, the Indianapolis criminal defense lawyers at Suhre & Associates, LLC are here to help you fight the charges you are facing and protect your freedom.
We help you build your defense and protect your rights by:
Building Evidence to Support Your Defense
Depending on the charge you are facing, the prosecution may only have circumstantial evidence against you. Our experienced prostitution defense lawyers in Indianapolis will investigate your case to gather evidence with a goal of having the charge dismissed or reduced.
We will gather evidence about how law enforcement investigated the incident. Did police follow proper protocols? Is there evidence of entrapment? Was the arrest legal?
We will also interview potential alibis, review your electronic data, and look for other evidence that supports your defense.
Protect Your Legal Rights
Sadly, it’s common for law enforcement or even prosecutors to violate the constitutional rights of Indianapolis residents facing a criminal charge. With an experienced defense attorney as your advocate, we will investigate your case to look for evidence that your rights have been violated. We will also work to prevent rights violations throughout your case. If a violation occurs, we will bring it to the court’s attention and seek to have evidence thrown out or have your case dismissed.
Negotiate with the Prosecution
Soon after your arrest, you may be offered a plea deal by the prosecuting attorney. You may be told that you will not get a better arrangement if your case goes to court because the prosecution’s case is very strong. This is not necessarily true.
The prosecution wants you to plead guilty as soon as possible to remove your case from the books and save the state money and effort. This does not mean it’s in your best interest. In fact, the prosecution’s case may be very weak.
At Suhre & Associates, LLC, we will negotiate with the prosecuting attorney on your behalf to ensure any plea deal that is offered is fair and worth considering. We will strive to get you the best offer possible and advise you if we think your chances are better in court. Our team of legal experts includes a former police officer and former prosecutor; we have years of experience working with the prosecution on behalf of our clients.
Represent You in Court
If your case goes to court, a trial will determine the outcome and punishment. The Indianapolis prostitution defense attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC have decades of experience arguing in front of judges and juries on behalf of our clients. We will fight for you in court to present evidence of your defense and seek a favorable outcome.
What Is Prostitution Under Indiana Law?
Indiana criminalizes prostitution in several ways. Under Indiana law, it’s illegal to sell, buy, or promote prostitution with charges that may be a misdemeanor or felony for any of these charges.
It’s important to understand the distinction between prostitution and solicitation, separate charges that are often confused. Prostitution refers to knowingly performing a sexual act or offering to perform a sexual act with someone else in exchange for property or money. Solicitation or patronizing a prostitute is knowingly paying or offering money to someone else for a sexual act.
Under Indiana Code 35-45-4-2, prostitution is defined as performing or offering a sexual act in exchange for property or money. The sexual act can be sexual intercourse or other sexual conduct including fondling or oral sex.
Prostitution is generally a Class A misdemeanor. It may be charged as a Level 6 felony if the offender has two or more prior prostitution convictions. This is the lowest felony level.
Indiana law does not just criminalize prostitution; it also criminalizes paying for a sexual encounter. Under Ind. Code 35-45-4-3, someone commits the crime of patronizing a prostitute if they intentionally or knowingly pay, offer, or agree to pay for a sexual encounter.
The sexual encounter can including fondling, being fondled, sexual intercourse, oral sex, or other sexual conduct. The transaction or attempted transaction can involve money or property.
Soliciting a prostitute is usually a Class A misdemeanor. It becomes a Level 6 felony if the offender has two prior solicitation convictions.
Finally, Indiana Code 35-45-4-4 prohibits conduct that promotes prostitution. This is a broad statute that bars many types of behavior. You may be charged with the crime of compelling or enticing someone into prostitution by:
- Having control over the use of a space or allowing someone to use a space for prostitution
- Offering, agreeing, or procuring someone for the purpose of prostitution
- Receiving money or property from a prostitute without lawful consideration and knowing it came from prostitution, at least in part
- Directing or transporting someone to a place for prostitution
Promoting prostitution is a Level 5 felony. The charge rises to a Level 4 felony if the person compelled or enticed is under 18 years old.
Penalties for Prostitution in Indianapolis
The penalties for solicitation and prostitution in Indianapolis are stiff. While these crimes are usually misdemeanors, whereas promoting prostitution is always a felony, both can rise to the level of a felony for people with prior convictions.
Patronizing a prostitute and prostitution are both Class A misdemeanors in most cases. In Indiana, a Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one in prison and fines of up to $5,000. When charged as a Level 6 felony for people with two or more previous convictions, the penalty is up to 2.5 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
Solicitation and prostitution are not sex crimes in Indiana that require registering as a sex offender. However, a conviction for promotion of prostitution or child solicitation will require registering as a sex offender. Failing to do so can result in a new felony charge and additional prison time.
Once the state convicts, you’ll be saddled with a criminal record that will affect you in one way or another for the rest of your life.
Defenses to Prostitution in Indianapolis
When you are facing a charge of prostitution, solicitation, or promoting prostitution, you may feel like there is no hope. An experienced prostitution defense attorney in Indianapolis can help you build your legal defense and explore avenues to have the charges you face reduced or dismissed.
To convict you of a prostitution charge, the prosecution must prove several aspects of the prostitution statute. This means they must prove that the defendant engaged in the act of prostitution by selling sexual conduct and communicated a financial arrangement with the person soliciting the behavior. For prostitution to have occurred, both sides must have been in agreement.
The prostitution statute of Indiana law specifically outlines two defenses to a prostitution: the offender is a child under 18 or a victim of human trafficking.
There are many possible defenses to a charge of solicitation. If successful, your defense attorney may have your charge dismissed or reduced to a lesser criminal offense. Common defenses to solicitation include:
Lack of evidence if there is insufficient evidence to charge you.
Entrapment if law enforcement forced you to agree to commit the crime when you had never intended to engage in the act. Entrapment can happen when law enforcement represent themselves as sex workers, agents, or pimps and trap defendants by encouraging them to engage in the act of prostitution.
Mistake if you did not intentionally solicit a prostitute. In one scenario, someone may offer a ride to someone they believe is in need of help, not realizing the person is a prostitute.
Promoting Prostitution Defense
Among prostitution-related charges, the charge of promoting prostitution is the most serious as it is automatically a felony. Once a charge applied rarely to “pimps,” it’s now more common to see a charge of promoting prostitution applied to landlords, business owners, and people who use the services of a prostitute. This charge may come with additional related charges such as human trafficking, gang activities, or money laundering.
If you are facing a charge of promoting prostitution, a rigorous criminal defense is crucial. Your defense will require an investigation into the facts of your case to uncover potentially improper law enforcement protocols, weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, or facts that show your innocence.
Contact an Indianapolis Prostitution Defense Attorney For a Free Consultation
Prostitution and solicitation are related crimes in Indianapolis that are taken very seriously. If you are convicted, you can face a length jail sentence, fines, and mandatory sex offender registration. There are other serious ramifications of a prostitution conviction including social stigma and damage to your reputation and career.
Facing a charge of prostitution or solicitation can be frightening and overwhelming. The prosecution is unlikely to listen to your side of the story; they are focused on building a criminal case to convict you. When you are a facing serious sex crimes charge in the state of Indiana, you need an advocate who will defend you and protect your rights.
Suhre & Associates, LLC has defended Indianapolis residents against prostitution charges for decades. Contact our law office today to schedule a free case review with an Indianapolis prostitution defense attorney to begin exploring your defense options.