What is solicitation?
If you try to seek the services of a prostitute, you may be arrested for solicitation. Criminal solicitation may also apply to other crimes, but it is commonly referred to in relation to soliciting a prostitute. Solicitation generally refers to hiring, offering, or agreeing to hire an individual to engage in sexual contact. Depending on the age of the prostitute, the criminal penalties vary.
Under North Dakota law, an individual who hires, offers, or agrees to hire an individual with the intention of engaging in sexual activity is guilty of a class B misdemeanor for a first offense and a class A misdemeanor for any subsequent offenses within ten years. Generally, if an adult solicits a minor, the crime is a class C felony. Similarly, under Minnesota law, solicitation of an adult prostitute is a misdemeanor offense, while solicitation of a minor may result in a felony conviction. Even if nothing happens aside from a conversation about hiring a prostitute, an individual may be charged with solicitation. The crime of solicitation does not require the actual exchange of money or sexual contact.
Although you may think of solicitation as a crime occurring when a stranger prowls the streets offering money to prostitutes, there are many scenarios which may lead to an arrest for solicitation. For example, law enforcement will often run sting operations online and set up meetings by posing as individuals offering to engage in sexual activity for money. These stings often involve officers posing as minors, which could lead to felony charges.
What to do after an arrest?
If you have been arrested for a crime as described above, request to speak to an attorney as soon as you can. Do not make any admissions to law enforcement about what happened – whether you think that information helps you or hurts you. An attorney will help you review your case and understand the evidence against you. Additionally, an attorney can help you understand your rights and defend against the charges.
The consequences of a solicitation arrest exceed far beyond criminal punishments. Especially if the arrest results from a sting operation, there is likely to be a newspaper article and mugshots published. This can result in far-reaching consequences to your personal life and career. Law enforcement may even seize your personal property, including vehicles, if they were used in the commission of the crime. Because of these serious consequences, it is crucial to have the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
It is in your best interest to contact a criminal defense attorney like Tatum O’Brien if you have been arrested on solicitation charges. Contact O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys or by calling 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002.