Solicitation Defense Lawyer in Indianapolis, IN

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(317) 886-8800

As Indiana law enforcement agencies work to fight sex trafficking, they are intensifying their scrutiny of sex-related crimes, including prostitution and solicitation. Anyone caught in this broad net will face severe consequences, even if it’s a misunderstanding.

If you are charged with solicitation, you could lose your reputation and career, on top of any legal sentences or punishments. Sex crime laws are complex, so working with a skilled and empathetic criminal defense lawyer is your best option to fight for your future.

At Hessler Law PC, we understand the intricacies of Indiana’s sex crime legislation. We are committed to protecting your rights and reputation. Contact us today for a free consultation: (317) 886-8800.

Overview of Prostitution and Solicitation Laws in Indiana

There are three laws that address prostitution and solicitation in Indiana. They involve selling, buying, and promoting illegal sexual activity. Specifically, these laws make it illegal to prostitute, patronize a prostitute (solicit), and promote prostitution (pimp).

What Is Prostitution?

Under Indiana Code Section 35-45-4-2, prostitution is defined as “knowingly performing or offering sex or other sexual contact, including fondling another’s genitals, in exchange for money or other property.”

For example, if you offer massage services and provide “extras” for an additional fee. Those extra sexual acts would be considered prostitution.

What Is Solicitation?

Under Indiana Code Section 35-45-4-3, solicitation, or patronizing a prostitute, involves “knowingly paying or offering to pay money or other property to a person for having sex or other sexual contact with that person or another person or fondling or agreeing to fondle the genitals of that person or another person.”

For example, if you offer to make a rent payment for someone in exchange for sexual acts, you would be soliciting prostitution.

What Is Promoting Prostitution?

Under Indiana Code Section 35-45-4-4, promoting prostitution, or pimping, involves knowingly compelling or procuring another person to become a prostitute. It can also be controlling a place used for prostitution, receiving money or property from a prostitute, and knowingly directing another to a place for prostitution.

For example, if you house prostitutes in your home and allow others to solicit sex from those individuals – especially if you accept money from the prostitutes – you may be charged with pimping.

Penalties & Legal Consequences for Prostitution and Solicitation Charges

Prostitution and solicitation are typically Class A misdemeanors for first-time offenders. This can lead to up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

However, if you have two prior convictions for the same offenses, you may face a Level 6 felony, which can result in six months to 2.5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Pimping is typically a Level 5 felony, which can result in between one and six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

If your crime involves a minor, you may face a higher-level felony charge with even more serious consequences.

Collateral Consequences of Solicitation Crimes

A conviction for prostitution or solicitation can have significant repercussions beyond just fines and jail time. These are called collateral consequences and include the following:

  • Criminal Record: A conviction will stay on your criminal record, making it difficult to get future employment, housing, or educational opportunities. Employers often conduct background checks, and a prostitution or solicitation charge could be a red flag.
  • Professional Licensing: Depending on your profession, a conviction could affect your ability to obtain or maintain a professional license. This could impact everything from healthcare workers to cosmetologists.
  • Sex Offender Registry: If your offense involves sexual battery, rape, sexual assault, sex trafficking, or child sex crimes, you may have to register on the sexual offender list. This can have a severe social stigma and limit where you can live or work.
  • Immigration Issues: For non-citizens, a conviction could jeopardize their immigration status or make it difficult to become a citizen.
  • Child Custody: A conviction could be used against you in child custody disputes.
  • Public Shaming: Depending on the severity of the case and media coverage, you could face public humiliation and social isolation.

Defenses Against Prostitution and Solicitation Charges

Your sexual solicitation lawyer will likely use several strategies to build a strong defense. Some of the most common defenses Hessler Law PC uses include:

Lack of Intent

Prostitution and solicitation crimes require proving the defendant intended to exchange something of value (money, goods) for sexual conduct. If the conversation or actions were ambiguous, or there was no explicit offer or agreement, this defense may be possible.

Entrapment

If law enforcement pressured or induced you to commit the crime, this could be a defense. This is an affirmative defense, wherein you admit that you committed the crime, but state that you would not have but for the interference or persuasion of law enforcement.

Procedural Issues

If the evidence against you (like incriminating messages) was obtained through an illegal search, it might be excluded from court. Other violations of your rights may also invalidate charges.

Mistake of Fact

You might argue you were unaware the person was soliciting sex. Perhaps you believed they were romantically interested and suggested going somewhere private.

FAQs about Solicitation and Prostitution in Indianapolis

Do I Have to Register as a Sex Offender for Solicitation?

If your crime is a simple solicitation charge, you will not have to register as a sex offender. However, if your crime involved children, sexual assault, sexual battery, rape, trafficking, or other higher-level offenses, it is possible you will have to register for those convictions.

What Activities Can Be Considered Solicitation?

Any type of agreement or exchange of something of value (money, goods, drugs) for sexual conduct constitutes solicitation. This may include verbal agreements, online messages, and even gestures interpreted as an agreement to make an exchange for sex.

What Should I Do If I’m Charged with Prostitution or Solicitation?

If you’re arrested or charged with prostitution, solicitation, or pimping, you should contact a sex crimes lawyer right away.

How Our Indianapolis Prostitution and Solicitation Lawyers Can Help

Hessler Law PC has a team of legal professionals who will personalize defense strategies tailored to the specifics of your case. We know each case is unique, and we will treat you with the respect you deserve while protecting your rights against law enforcement and prosecutors. Attorney Sean Hessler has helped many clients through their difficult times. He’s ready to help you.

It’s essential that you have skilled legal representation in sex offense cases. Your reputation and entire life is on the line. To avoid the harshest consequences of a conviction, you need to work with a sexual solicitation lawyer at Hessler Law PC.

Call Our Indianapolis Prostitution and Solicitation Attorneys Today

If you have been charged or think you’re being investigated for a sex crime, seek immediate legal advice. The sooner you call us, the quicker we can begin building a strong defense on your behalf.

Call Hessler Law PC today at (317) 886-8800 or schedule a confidential consultation through our online contact form.