Prostitution and Solicitation Crimes

In Maryland, pandering, solicitation, and prostitution are misdemeanors but can carry serious consequences in addition to potential jail, probation, fines, and other serious ramifications. The penalties for these types of charges become far more serious when a minor is involved.

Any prostitution conviction can lead to consequences such as public humiliation, loss of employment and divorce. If you are charged, your name, address, and other information will appear in the “Maryland Judiciary,” which is available to the general public on-line and also appears in Maryland court records.

Many people believe that prostitution is a victimless crime until someone is arrested. Then the person charged becomes the victim and can face life-changing consequences.

The attorneys at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates defend people charged with prostitution and solicitation crimes in Baltimore, Catonsville, Annapolis, Bel Air, and throughout the State of Maryland. Prostitution-related charges include:

  • Street-level prostitution and escort service solicitation and escort prostitution arrests
  • Massage parlor services offered by independent providers and agencies
  • Agencies and businesses accused of offering sexual services by their employees or associates

The criminal defense attorneys at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates in Baltimore, MD, represent clients throughout the state. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case.

Prostitution Crimes under Maryland Law

Under § 11-306 of the Criminal Law Article, a person may not knowingly:

  • engage in prostitution or assignation by any means;
  • keep, set up, occupy, maintain, or operate a building, structure, or conveyance for prostitution or assignation;
  • allow a building, structure, or conveyance owned or under the person’s control to be used for prostitution or assignation;
  • allow or agree to allow a person into a building, structure, or conveyance for prostitution or assignation; or
  • procure or solicit, or offer to procure or solicit, for prostitution or assignation.

A person who violates any of those prohibitions is guilty of prostitution, a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to one year and/or a $500 maximum fine.

Chapter 357 of 2015 established that in a prosecution for a charge relating to prostitution under § 11-306 of the Criminal Law Article, it is an affirmative defense of duress if the defendant committed the act as a result of being a victim of an act committed by another person who was charged with violating the prohibition against human trafficking under federal law or § 11-303 of the Criminal Law Article.

A defendant is prohibited from asserting the affirmative defense unless the defendant notifies the State’s Attorney of the defendant’s intention to assert the defense at least 10 days prior to trial.

Sting Operations for Prostitution Crimes

Prostitution arrests often result from Internet and street sting operations. Undercover police officers posing as prostitutes lure would-be customers into situations where they can be charged with solicitation.

An Internet chat room conversation with someone posing as a minor can quickly result in charges that would require lifetime Maryland sex offender registration, even if no sex is involved. In cases like these, it’s important to talk to a defense lawyer before you attempt to explain your actions to police. Anything you say to police can be used as evidence against you.

Many counties in Maryland have set up vice units to monitor the Internet for sex solicitation. Websites such as Craigslist (which recently shut down much of its site involving sex because of pressure from police), Backpage, Eros, City View, Big Doggie and many others are constantly being viewed and policed.

Our goal in a prostitution case is to resolve the charges quickly, quietly and without a permanent criminal record if possible. I can help you get through this issue with minimal exposure in many instances.

Attorneys for Prostitution Crimes in Baltimore, MD

To protect your reputation and your family life, contact me, Annapolis and Baltimore, MD sex crimes attorneyJim Crawford, before you talk to police or anyone else. I am available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and operate four offices for your convenience, including my main office in Baltimore as well as offices in Catonsville, Annapolis, and Bel Air.

To contact me, call 443-709-9999 today.