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What penalties are there if convicted of prostitution charges?

Although, many call it the world’s oldest profession, the reality is that prostitution is illegal in New York. Those accused of engaging in it, both sex workers and customers, may face serious criminal penalties. This blog post will describe the potential penalties for those convicted of engaging in prostitution.

When a person is accused of engaging in sex work, they may face prostitution charges. A person is guilty of prostitution if they engage in sexual conduct in exchange for a fee. They are also guilty of prostitution if they merely agree to engage in sexual conduct with another person in exchange for a fee, or even if they offer to engage in sexual conduct with another person in exchange for a fee. A person found guilty of prostitution in New York faces a maximum $500 fine or a maximum of three months in jail.

When a person is accused of being a customer of a sex worker, they can be charged with patronizing a prostitute. A person is guilty of patronizing a prostitute if they pay another person — or a third party — to engage in sexual conduct with the other person in connection with a prior understanding. If a person simply agrees to this kind of arrangement, or solicits another person to set up this kind of arrangement, they also could be found guilty of patronizing a prostitute. A person convicted of patronizing a prostitute could face up to one year in prison or up to a $1,000 fine.

These penalties are obviously pretty severe, and a conviction can have long-term consequences as well. Anyone facing accusations of a prostitution-related offense would be well-advised to get an experienced criminal defense attorney involved early.

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James L. Riotto
Criminal Defense Lawyer

James L. Riotto is an accomplished criminal defense attorney serving clients in New York. With an extensive background in law enforcement and criminal prosecution, his approach to each case is unique and informed by years of experience with the New York criminal justice system. As a graduate from Albany Law School and before going on to start his own practice, James worked at the Albany County District Attorney's Office, where he helped prosecute many DWI offenses. His inside knowledge of the tactics used to gain convictions provides him with a particular advantage when defending against DUI and other criminal charges.

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