If you’ve been charged with prostitution, you may be wondering about the implications of your actions. You might even wonder if there are circumstances where prostitution is legally permissible. In most states, including Louisiana, prostitution is illegal.
Are there particular actions you might want to take after being charged? Do the consequences change depending on the severity of your supposed actions? If you would like to learn more about handling a prostitution charge in Louisiana, let us break down everything you need to know.
The Definition of Prostitution in Louisiana
In Louisiana, prostitution is defined in RS 14:82 as the following:
“(1) The practice by a person of indiscriminate sexual intercourse with others for compensation.
(2) The solicitation by one person of another with the intent to engage in indiscriminate sexual intercourse with the latter for compensation.
As used in this Section, “sexual intercourse” means anal, oral, or vaginal sexual intercourse.”
In the case of prostitution, intent matters. Additionally, these rules apply whether you are a prostitute, a procurer, or a solicitor in the engagement. As long as money is exchanged and the intention of sexual gratification of an individual exists, this qualifies as a prostitution crime. However, the intention must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, meaning it must be clear the person being charged wanted to participate, they were not forced to do so, and they deliberately wanted to engage in the act.
Potential Consequences of Being Found Guilty of Prostitution Crime
The consequences for prostitution vary depending on the age of the parties involved, whether the crime is classified as a misdemeanor or felony, and whether the charged party has previously participated in a prostitution crime. These consequences may include one or more of the following:
- Time imprisoned
- Community service hours
- Rehabilitation or educational requirements
If this is your first offense, you may be charged with a misdemeanor in the crime. This means you may receive a far lighter sentence than those who are repeat offenders. However, even if this is your first time being charged with prostitution, there are circumstances in which you may be charged with a felony.
If you’re charged with actions that occurred more than five years ago, you may not be considered for consequences. This may be referred to as the “five-year cleansing period.”
What to Do After Receiving a Prostitution Charge in Louisiana
After receiving a prostitution charge, you may be unsure of what next steps you want to take. Here are a few to keep in mind.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer
As soon as you are able, you may want to contact a qualified criminal defense lawyer. This way you increase the probability of building a strong case, and you may minimize any sentencing you receive. Depending on your lawyer’s opinion, you may be able to compile a list of solid defenses in your favor. Potential defenses include some of the following:
- Offering someone a ride to a destination
- Mental illness at the time of interaction
- Use of blackmail
Your lawyer may be able to help you build up the most viable defenses for your case, which might be helpful during the negotiation process. Additionally, your lawyer may advise you on how to act in everyday life, participate in investigations, and help you review the evidence.
Avoid Discussing Your Charges
With the exception of talking about the case with your lawyer, it’s best to avoid discussing your charges with anyone. This includes any online interactions or mentioning your situation on social media. Your lawyer may even advise you to avoid posting anything online while your case is being reviewed.
Your lawyer is the only person you might want to discuss parts of your case or charges with, as they are far more likely to know the best course of action to take moving forward. This may also be the only time there is an obligation to keep communication confidential.
Get Qualified Help in Louisiana From a Prostitution Criminal Defense Lawyer With the John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm
If you’ve been charged with a prostitution crime, whether as a misdemeanor or felony, the lawyers at the John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm may be able to help. Led by Eric G. Johnson, our law firm is adept at restoring your rights and reducing your sentences. We may know the best way to lead you through your case, and we’re here to support our clients with our knowledge.