Prostitution and Promoting Prostitution Lawyers in Essex County, NJ
Defense Attorneys for Sex Crimes in Newark, New Jersey
In New Jersey, as in most states, prostitution and promoting prostitution are illegal activities. Not only is a person charged with prostitution or promoting exposed to serious criminal penalties, but these acts carry a social stigma in our society that often leads to embarrassment and a damaged reputation. Past the embarrassment, however, criminal charges related to prostitution and solicitation are serious and hold severe consequences, including jail time and a criminal record. If you have been charged with a prostitution offense in Essex County, New Jersey, and our team of experienced criminal defense lawyers can help. Sex crimes in New Jersey are not taken lightly, and we at The Tormey Law Firm fight back to protect your rights and achieve the best possible result. With offices in Newark, our attorneys appear in courts throughout Essex County on a regular basis, including in Bloomfield, Belleville, Montclair, Irvington, East Orange, and Maplewood. For a free consultation with an experienced prostitution defense attorney, call 201-654-3464 or contact us online.
Prostitution Charges in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:34-10
In basic terms, prostitution is offering or receiving a sexual act, while promoting prostitution is the maintenance and facilitation of the sexual action. Charges involving prostitution and promotion are governed by the same New Jersey Statute, NJ Rev Stat § 2C:34-10. According to NJ prostitution law, the state may charge an individual for: (1) Engaging in sexual activity with someone for economic value; or (2) Receiving a form of payment for an offer or an acceptance of an offer for a sexual act.
While prostitution has basic components, promoting prostituion is more complex. Charges for promoting prostitution may arise from any of the following:
- Purposely maintaining or permitting an area to be used for prostitution;
- Obligating individuals to work as a prostitute
- Soliciting for prostitution;
- Hiring a prostitute for another;
- Transporting individuals to perform prostitution;
- Compelling a spouse to perform as a prostitute;
- Hiring a prostitute under 18 even if the person erroneously believes the minor is of age;
- Promoting prostitution of a child, or any minor for which the person is responsible; and
- Loitering to recruit potential patrons.
Are there any defenses to prostitution and promoting prostitution?
Throughout our country’s cinema, television programs, and pop culture, we hear things about the law that are fictitious. However, there is one typical scenario that the entertainment industry has correctly portrayed – the right to remain silent. If the state charges you with any crime, including a sex crime, you have the right to remain silent because anything said can and will be used against you in court. Our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys strongly advises you to stay silent and ask for a lawyer. Our firm understands that the prosecution must come up with the evidence to prove their case. No matter the evidence, we always conduct a thorough investigation of our own to identify the most effective defenses based on the specific circumstance. Some defenses covered in N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:34-1 that our attorneys often use include:
- If the defendant was a victim of human trafficking or was under the age of 18;
- If law enforcement entraps the defendant by officer misconduct;
- If there is an insufficiency of evidence, such as lack of tangible proof in the form of videos or recordings;
- If there was an honest mistake, and all parties were joking about the exchange of economic value and had no intention of
- committing or promoting prostitution; or
- If the defendant was forced to act due to coercion or violence.
What are the penalties for prostitution in NJ?
New Jersey takes all sex crimes seriously, but with some exceptions. For first-time offenders, the state has a presumption of non-incarceration and possible diversionary programs to avoid a criminal record for prostitution and solicitation charges. However, the state will aggressively pursue prostitution charges involving minors.
In cases involving prostitution charges, a first offense is classified as a disorderly persons charge, with a possible $1,000 fine and six months in incarceration. Second and subsequent prostitution offenses become fourth degree crimes, with each conviction punishable by a $10,000 fine and 18 months in prison.
As for promoting prostitution charges, this is considered a fourth degree crime with a possible $10,000 fine and 18 months in prison. Charges for promoting prostitution of a minor are elevated to a third degree crime, for which a conviction can entail three to five years in jail and up to $15,000 fines.
Contact a Bloomfield NJ Prostitution Defense Attorney for Immediate Assistance
If you or a loved one has been charged with prostitution, promoting, or solicitation in Essex County, New Jersey, contact the criminal defense attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm today. We can be reached anytime at 201-654-3464 and will be happy to provide you with a free consultation. You can also schedule an appointment to meet with us at our office in Newark, NJ.