It may be the oldest profession in the world, but it is still illegal and you should speak with a Phoenix prostitution lawyer if you’re facing charges. In Arizona, prostitution is defined by A.R.S. § 13-3211(5) and means “engaging in or agreeing or offering to engage in sexual conduct under a fee arrangement with any person for money or any other valuable consideration.” Meanwhile, “sexual conduct” is defined as sexual contact, sexual intercourse, oral sexual contact, or sadomasochistic abuse. Prostitution is prohibited by a separate statute, codified at A.R.S. § 13-3214(A), which makes it illegal for a person to “knowingly engage in prostitution.”
Given the broad definition of “prostitution” in A.R.S. § 13-3211(5), the State does not have to prove that any sexual act actually occurred in order to obtain a conviction. Rather, it need only show that the defendant offered money or something else of value in exchange for sexual services or offered those services in exchange for money. This is why, in a typical prostitution sting, an arrest is made as soon as the negotiations are over. If you have questions about the prostitution laws in Arizona, speak with a Phoenix criminal lawyer experienced in defending against prostitution charges.
Prostitution is typically a class 1 misdemeanor, with a first offense carrying a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 days in jail. A second and third offense, while still misdemeanors, come with a mandatory minimum jail term of 30 and 60 days respectively. Meanwhile, a person who commits prostitution and has committed three or more prior violations of A.R.S. § 13-3214(A) is guilty of a class 5 felony, and upon conviction must serve a minimum of 180 days in jail.
A prostitution charge is sure to create embarrassment, social opprobrium, and complications at home. If you have been investigated for, arrested for, or charged with prostitution you need an experienced trial attorney to help you navigate the system and obtain the best result possible. Stone Rose Law can help – give us a call at (480) 546-5262 for a free consultation with a prostitution lawyer in Phoenix, AZ.