What Constitutes Prostitution in Missouri?
To have a clear understanding of how you could be convicted of prostitution in Missouri, it is essential to explain the state laws. Under the Missouri Revised Statute Section 567.030 it says,
A person commits the offense of patronizing prostitution if he or she:
- Pursuant to a prior understanding, gives something of value to another person as compensation for having engaged in sexual conduct with any person; or
- Gives or agrees to give something of value to another person with the understanding that such person or another person will engage in sexual conduct with any person; or
- Solicits or requests another person to engage in sexual conduct with any person in return for something of value.
The key to be found guilty under this law is that you are, or some else, is receiving value from someone engaging in sexual conduct. Also, stated in the law is that it is not a defense to state that the individual was 18 years of age or older, whether 18 years old or not, it is still illegal. Avoiding the consequences of this law should not be difficult. Most individuals have a good idea of what prostitution is. Prostitution can be street walking, owning a brothel, or escorts. Any of these will fall under the law as being illegal.
Prostitution in Missouri can be a very serious crime that can have extreme consequences. Help from a criminal defense attorney should be sought. Missouri Legal has the experience to help you with your situation. If you are being charged with prostitution or the individual managing the activity, an experienced attorney can help you protect your freedoms.
In addition, it should be known that rape can still be committed with a prostitute. The law for rape is that non-consensual sexual activity is considered rape, whether or not it is a prostitute. Prostitutes have the same legal protections as everyone else in the state. Prostitutes should seek guidance if they have been raped. The law is meant to protect all individuals.
Having a basic understanding of this law, will make it extremely clear as to when a sexual act is considered prostitution. Also, knowing the consequences and penalties that follow can act as a deterrent for any future prostitution behavior.
What are the Penalties if Convicted of Missouri Prostitution?
Prostitution in Missouri will bring with it many penalties. The penalties will vary depending on the age of the prostitute and the operation involved. There can also be other factors analyzed in determining a penalty.
Prostitution in Missouri the Missouri Revised Statute Section 567.030
The law states:
The offense of patronizing prostitution is a class B misdemeanor, unless the individual who the person patronizes is less than eighteen years of age but older than fourteen years of age, in which case patronizing prostitution is a class A misdemeanor.
The offense of patronizing prostitution is a class E felony if the individual who the person patronizes is fourteen years of age or younger. Nothing in this section shall preclude the prosecution of an individual for the offenses of:
(1) Statutory rape in the first degree pursuant to section 566.032;
(2) Statutory rape in the second degree pursuant to section 566.034;
(3) Statutory sodomy in the first degree pursuant to section 566.062; or
(4) Statutory sodomy in the second degree pursuant to section 566.064.
As you can see, the age of the prostitute is the deciding factor in which class of misdemeanor someone is charged with Missouri prostitution. A Class A misdemeanor will bring with it imprisonment for one year or less and up to a $1,000 fine. A Class B misdemeanor will be imprisonment for up to six months and a fine up to $500. Lastly, a Class E felony is imprisonment not to exceed four years. The fines that follow felonies will be worse than a misdemeanor.
The penalties that come down may be varied based on which side of the prostitution you are on, the seller or the buyer. Not only are the fines and imprisonments penalties, but the tarnished personal records. Depending on the age of the prostitute and the circumstances, you will have to register as a sex offender and removing your name from that list is not simple.
Under the following Mo. Rev. Stat. § 589.400 the law states the steps to remove your name:
A person can only remove his or her name from the registry if 1) ten years have passed, 2) the conviction was for second- or third-degree promotion, and 3) no physical force or threat was used during the offense.
Prostitution in Missouri is a serious offense whether you are selling or buying, it can have long term consequences if convicted. Finding yourself in this position, should prompt you to seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. A criminal defense attorney can guide you in making the best decisions during your case. They can also present defenses to the judge on your behalf.
How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help Someone Facing These Charges?
Having an experienced criminal defense firm, like Missouri Legal, can help you feel some relief through this difficult process. Often, feelings of shame and regret follow both parties after charges have been brought. These feelings lead to a lot of individuals not getting attorneys, because they don’t want anyone else to know. This can be a grave mistake. A criminal defense attorney can help you understand the law concerning prostitution in Missouri. Also, it never hurts having someone who is in your corner arguing for your future.
The courtroom can be an intimidating place for the layperson. So much media attention has painted the judge and his courtroom as a scary place. This fear and angst could be avoided by having experienced counsel on your side. They can be the mediator for you in the courtroom. There is no reason that you should have to deal with these worries, especially when there are many experienced criminal defense attorneys. All of us should have our day in court when we are accused of crimes. It is our constitutional right to protect our freedoms and have our arguments heard in front of a judge.
Experience is important in criminal law. Sometimes laws are interpreted in certain ways or procedure is not followed correctly. Going into court without an experienced attorney could mean that you miss opportunities to bring up procedural or legal issues, because you don’t know they are there. Being convicted of Missouri Prostitution, could change your life forever. When so much is on the line, outside help should be sought to help you get the best deal possible.
If you need assistance or have any questions, please contact Missouri Legal.