Baltimore Prostitution Lawyer
Maryland laws concerning prostitution use slightly different terminology than other jurisdictions, but the meanings are clear. Crimes connected to prostitution are taken seriously, especially if minors are involved. In addition to selling sex, laws prohibit buying (solicitation or assignation) pimping (pandering or human trafficking) and other related offenses.
Violations can result in penalties that include as much as 25 years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. So even if prostitution crimes are common in Baltimore, it is important to take charges seriously. An experienced Baltimore prostitution lawyer could help protect your rights and explain your options for fighting the charges. Call today to learn how a skilled criminal defense attorney could help you.
Defining the Terms Used in Maryland Statutes
Before looking at the prohibitions in Maryland law and the applicable penalties, it is helpful to understand the terms used, which are defined in section 11-301 of the Maryland criminal code. Prostitution is considered to be the performance “for hire” of a sexual act, sexual contact or vaginal intercourse. (These terms are defined in detail in section 3-301 of the Maryland criminal code.)
An individual commits an “assignation” when scheduling an arrangement for prostitution as well as any action taken to further those arrangements. This is generally referred to as solicitation. Human trafficking is not defined as a term but as a criminal offense under section 11-303 of the criminal code. Actions that constitute human trafficking could be considered pimping or pandering.
Penalties for Prostitution and Assignation and Related Offenses
Those who engage in prostitution or assignation, or who either set up an establishment for prostitution or allow premises they control to be used for prostitution, may be convicted of a misdemeanor offense under section 11-306 of the Maryland criminal statutes. Those who procure or solicit (or offer to do so) for prostitution may also be found guilty of a misdemeanor. Penalties include up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $500. Therefore, it is essential for a defendant to reach out to a Baltimore prostitution lawyer.
More Serious Offenses Involving Prostitution
When minors are involved or when conduct can be considered human trafficking, the offenses connected with prostitution become much more serious.
A person who persuades or assists someone under the age of 16 to leave home and then hides the minor who has been enticed into prostitution may be guilty of abducting a child under 16 for prostitution. This felony offense may be penalized by up to 25 years in prison. (Md. Code Crim. Law §11-305)
If someone receives the proceeds from prostitution, the crime is nominally referred to as a misdemeanor, but the potential penalties include up to 10 years in prison and a fine as high as $10,000, which would make it the equivalent of a felony in other jurisdictions. (Md. Code. Crim. Law §11-304)
The most complex and heavily penalized crimes connected with prostitution are defined in section 11-303 under the umbrella of human trafficking. This offense includes conduct such as:
- Taking another to a place for prostitution
- Encouraging or enticing another to take to a place for prostitution
- Destroying government identification documents
- Causing someone to believe that they or another person would suffer harm if they refuse to take part in a sexually explicit performance
In many instances, these offenses are referred to a misdemeanor but with penalties that include up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. If minors are involved, the crime becomes a felony and the maximum sentence increases to 25 years in prison and a fine as high as $15,000. Someone facing one of these charges should reach out to a dedicated attorney right away.
Talk to a Baltimore Prostitution Attorney
Every jurisdiction is unique in the way certain offenses are handled in the court system, and Baltimore is no exception. When you work with an experienced Baltimore prostitution lawyer, your attorney could build the right defense based on the circumstances of your unique case. If you are facing charges involving prostitution, call now to learn how experience can work for you.