Maryland Solicitation Lawyer
While there are different uses of the word solicitation, its legal definition refers to attempting to engage a prostitute for some sexual act. In contrast, prostitution is typically used to refer to the person offering some sexual act in exchange for something of value. This may include cash or illicit drugs.
Police could arrest a person for solicitation even if the person has not done anything of a sexual nature. Because of this rule, the police may accuse you of solicitation based merely on a conversation or being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Due to the sensitive nature of the charges, you may wish to enlist the services of a Maryland solicitation lawyer. An experienced attorney may know how to defend against such criminal allegations.
Legal Meaning of Solicitation in Maryland
In Maryland, the Criminal Law § 11-301 defines solicit to mean “urging, advising, inducing, encouraging, requesting, or commanding another” to engage in some sexual act.
If a police officer has probable cause to believe an actor did any of the above through a conversation or even a hand gesture, the police officer may arrest that person. The arrested person may need to defend themselves against those charges while worrying about friends or family hearing of the matter. Hiring an attorney could mean a person does not have to face these charges alone.
Criminal Charges Related to Solicitation
If the court finds an actor guilty of soliciting a prostitute, that is a misdemeanor. The court may then sentence that person to no more than one year in jail and no more than $500 in fines, according to Criminal Law § 11-306.
Acts that could be used by a prosecutor to argue a person solicited another may include:
- Offer money for sex
- Operate, occupy or own a building used for prostitution
- Allow someone into a building so that paid for sex could occur
- Offer to procure or solicit sex for another
A police officer may charge a person for requesting sex and then also charge that person for letting the person solicited into their home. Solicitation attorneys in Maryland could explain how a charge may affect a person’s personal and professional life.
Methods of Catching Someone in an Act of Solicitation
One common method of catching a person engaging in the act of solicitation is to trick someone into a situation where the police may observe some behavior they believe meets the definition under Maryland law.
Police may use the internet, create ads, and arrange a meeting with a person and an undercover cop. Police officers may also dress up as prostitutes in the hopes of encouraging someone to ask them for sex. Maryland attorneys could be familiar with the practices authorities use to catch people in the act of solicitation.
Find Out How a Maryland Solicitation Attorney Could Help
You might not be found guilty of a crime unless the prosecutor proves that you committed every element of a criminal act beyond a reasonable doubt. An aggressive, creative and knowledgeable attorney may be vital in helping you defend against charges brought by the government.
A Maryland solicitation may be able to poke holes in any argument used against you, as well as raise any applicable defenses to fight for the most beneficial outcome. You have the right to a strong defense and there may be parts of your arrest or accusation which the law does not allow. Speak with a lawyer to find out how best you can move forward.