It is against the law to purchase sex for money. Even if the act itself was not completed, a person can be charged with “solicitation” and criminally prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Prostitution is known as the “oldest profession.” People have been paying money for sex for thousands of years. During the American Revolution, numerous women followed the Continental Army in order to serve the officers and soldiers as sexual partners. These women posed a threat to the army, particularly because of the potential spread of venereal disease. Despite the danger, some encouraged their presence because they uplifted the spirits of the men and kept their morale high.
By the late 19th century, New Orleans had limited prostitution to one small area in the city called, “The District.” During that time, the District, or Storyville was known for being the most popular place for prostitution in the United States. At its peak, Storyville had approximately 1500 prostitutes and 200 brothels.
During World War I, Storyville was shut down in order to prevent the transmission of VD to soldiers in the nearby army and navy camps. Prostitution became a public health concern because of the way it spread sexually transmitted diseases. Men from all classes would sleep with prostitutes, only to bring those sexually transmitted diseases home to infect their unsuspecting wives.
By 1916, 400,000 prostitutes died from syphilis in the United States. By January of 1917, a number of anti-prostitution groups were forming. Shortly thereafter, police began closing down prostitution houses by the hundreds.
Prostitution remains illegal in all states in the United States with the exception of some rural areas in Nevada. However, prostitution remains big business with the global prostitution industry raking in $100 billion dollars each year.
Today, prostitutes can be found on the streets, in red light districts, on-line, at brothels and at massage parlors. People can also call escort services and “order” an escort for the hour or the evening. The sex trade is as strong as ever – and as long as the government criminalizes prostitution, people will be getting arrested no matter how large or how small of a role they play in the matter.
Solicitation of prostitution refers to any action taken in order to obtain the services of a prostitute. A person can be guilty of this offense even if they never actually carried out the transaction. Simply discussing the terms with a pimp or prostitute would suffice. Solicitation of prostitution is not an offense to be taken lightly as a conviction will result in criminal penalties.
The best thing for you to do is seek the legal advice of a criminal defense attorney. Since a first offense could result in a prison term lasting as long as one year, and a third or subsequent offense can be charged as a felony, hiring a lawyer will be your best line of defense. The last thing you want is for this matter to become public knowledge – your attorney will respect your privacy and work towards an expedient and confidential solution.