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What role does "solicitation" play in a prostitution charge?

Prostitution is usually considered to be a low-level criminal offense, typically charged as misdemeanor. However, just like with many other types of crimes, such as drunk driving or drug possession, if the person who is charged with prostitution is a repeat offender, there is a chance that the suspect could face a felony-level charge.

Despite the fact that a prostitution charge is obviously a serious matter, the right criminal defense approach could present problems for the prosecution. After all, a person could be charged with prostitution based on a situation where all that took place was a conversation - not an actual sexual act. The most important factor in the conversation will usually be "solicitation."

What is "solicitation"? Well, in most cases this term is defined as the act of one person requesting that another individual engage in illegal behavior, and that the person making the request has the intention of carrying through with the illegal behavior. Solicitation could obviously be a part of many different crimes and conspiracies, but as most New Jersey criminal defense attorneys would probably be able to tell our readers, the term is most frequently associated with prostitution charges.

But, how does the prosecution prove intent? The person making the request may have made a statement, but can the prosecution actually prove the intent of the person to carry through with the illegal behavior? How was that determination made? These are all important questions that the right criminal defense approach will likely include if the case goes before a jury in a trial.

Source: FindLaw, "Solicitation," Accessed Aug. 2, 2015

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