If you have been accused of a prostitution offense, our Phoenix criminal defense attorneys can help you defend your freedom and challenge your arrest. The team at Suzuki Law Offices defends clients facing sex crime charges in Maricopa County and throughout the state. Our lead defense attorney, Richard Suzuki, has more than a decade of experience in criminal law. When a conviction could land you in jail and tarnish your reputation, do not hesitate to contact our firm.
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How Prostitution is Defined Under Arizona Law
According to Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-3211 and § 13-3214, it is a crime to engage in sexual acts for money, pay for sex, facilitate the buying or selling of sex or make money from prostitution. This means that you could be charged with a crime as a prostitute, “John,” or pimp. Arizona also has strict laws against child prostitution, pimping, and solicitation. Depending on the severity of the charges you face, sentencing can range between six months in jail and several decades in prison.
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What are the Penalties for Prostitution?
In the state of Arizona, prostitution is prosecuted as a class 1 misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to six months in jail and $2,500 in fines. Although you may not be sentenced to the maximum term of incarceration as prescribed under the law, prostitution offenses carry mandatory jail time in the state. This means that the judge is required to sentence you to a minimum term of incarceration, even for a first-time offense.
Mandatory sentencing for prostitution offenses in Arizona include:
- First prostitution offense: 15 days in jail
- Second prostitution offense: 30 days in jail
- Third prostitution offense: 60 days in jail
- Fourth prostitution offense: 180 days in jail
These sentences apply to any individual accused of entering into a contract for sex, including individuals accused of being “Johns” and individuals accused of being prostitutes. If you have been accused of engaging in or participating in the commission of child prostitution, you could face enhanced penalties. Similarly, pimping and pandering offenses carry felony punishment under Arizona law.
Enhanced Sentencing for Child Prostitution
Prostitution in and of itself is a serious criminal offense; however, if you have been accused of engaging in sexual acts with a minor or profiting from child prostitution, the penalties will be even more severe.
Under Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-3206 and § 13-3212, you would be guilty of child prostitution if:
- You pay for sex with a minor (i.e. someone under the age of 18)
- You, in any way, cause a minor to engage in prostitution
- You transport a minor across the state for the purpose of prostitution
- You procure a minor for the purpose of using them for prostitution
- You receive any type of proceeds from the prostitution of a child
- You fund or manage prostitution activities involving a minor
If you are arrested of a criminal offense related to prostitution of a minor under the age of 15, you could face felony charges punishable by 13 to 27 years in state prison; however, if the child prostitute was 15, 16 or 17 years old at the time of the offense, you could face 7 to 21 years in state prison.
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Enhanced Sentencing for Pimping & Pandering
Unlike the crime of engaging in prostitution, which involves either a prostitute or a John, pimping and pandering laws are aimed at third parties who benefit from prostitution. Broadly defined, pimping is the act of benefiting from, promoting, facilitating or making money from prostitution.
Under Arizona law, you could be charged with pimping or pandering if:
- You receive any portion of a prostitute’s earnings
- You compel or entice another person to engage in prostitution
- You maintain a house or place of business for prostitution
- You procure another to engage in prostitution by means of fraud
- You receive money for placing another in a house of prostitution
- You cause your spouse to engage in prostitution by force
If you are arrested for pimping or pandering in the state, you could be charged with a class 5 felony, which is punishable by up to two years in state prison. If you have enticed another to work in a prostitution house, you would face a class 6 felony charge—which is punishable by one-third of a year in jail.
Challenging Your Arrest
It may be possible to mitigate your charges, dismiss your charges, or minimize the amount of jail time you face, if any.
When you work with Suzuki Law Offices, our Phoenix sex crime lawyers will challenge:
- The constitutionality of your arrest
- The search warrant or absence of a search warrant
- Any seizure of evidence
- Other law enforcement conduct
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We understand just how damaging a sex crime conviction can be, so you can trust that we will fight tirelessly to protect your rights. Don’t wait to call Suzuki Law Offices. When your future is on the line, you have no time to waste!