Prostitution has been referred to as the world’s oldest profession. Perhaps this is why no other crime creates as much social controversy as criminal prostitution. While a large segment of the American population believes prostitution should be legal, or at the very least, brought down to just an infraction, the vast majority believe that prostitution should remain illegal.
Prostitution is the act of engaging in a sex act for money. It is also illegal for a person to be soliciting sex, or ask another to engage in a sex act for money. Therefore, it is illegal for a person to offer to have sex with another for money and it is illegal for a person to accept the offer of another to have sex for money.
Depending on state law, the stages of the crime of prostitution can involve the filing of criminal charges against the provider of the prostitution services as well. The pimping of prostitutes is considered an unlawful business enterprise and is subject to felony prosecution.
There is a common myth that undercover officers who pose as "hookers" or "johns" must properly identify themselves when asked. In other words, many people think
that if the undercover is asked, "Are you a cop? ", he or she must answer "yes" or have the case dismissed. This is not true. It is not improper for the police to lie.
A common defense for prostitution and soliciting sex is entrapment. While it is legal for the police to lie, they may not unreasonably pressure a suspect to commit a crime. As an example, a female undercover officer cannot approach a potential "john" and say "Please have sex with me for $50.00. I need the money to feed my starving children." The police are aware of the law of entrapment. Often they will attempt to protect themselves from charges of entrapment by recording all the dialogue leading up to the arrest.
For more information on sexual offenses, including prostitution, consult a criminal defense lawyer.
For more on criminal prostitution, penalties and legal defenses, visit GotTrouble.com