You may feel embarrassed to be caught soliciting a prostitute, but should you worry about the legal consequences? In many cases, you could face significant fines and time behind bars. Here, we’ll discuss the criminal penalties you may encounter for soliciting a prostitute in Minnesota.
What Is Solicitation of a Prostitute?
Solicitation of a prostitute occurs when you hire, offer to hire, or agree to hire another individual to engage in sexual penetration or sexual contact.
Minnesota law defines sexual contact broadly as:
- The intentional touching by an individual of a prostitute’s intimate parts; or
- The intentional touching by a prostitute of another individual’s intimate parts.
Minnesota recently increased penalties for sex crimes. Even if you didn’t engage in any sexual contact, the very act of soliciting sex could lead to serious criminal penalties.
Solicitation Charges in St. Paul, Minnesota
Soliciting a prostitute can be classified as a gross misdemeanor or as a felony, depending on the circumstances.
Is Soliciting a Prostitute a Misdemeanor in MN?
Soliciting a prostitute is usually a gross misdemeanor, which carries the following penalties:
- Up to 90 days in jail; and
- Up to a $1,500 fine.
The court may choose to substitute community service for a fine if paying the fine would cause undue hardship.
If you have been previously convicted of a sex crime, penalties for a repeat offense increase to:
- Up to five years in prison, and
- A fine of up to $10,000.
The courts aren’t inclined to show leniency to repeat offenders, so if you are in this situation, you need a skilled attorney.
Is Soliciting a Prostitute a Felony in MN?
In some cases, a soliciting a prostitute charge is a felony offense. This happens when you solicit a minor (someone under age 18). The younger the child, the more serious penalties you face. Soliciting a minor carries the following penalties:
- Up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $40,000 for soliciting a child under age 14;
- Up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000 for soliciting a child ages 14-15; or
- Up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for soliciting a child ages 16-17.
In addition, police may confiscate your car if you use it to solicit a prostitute. Similarly, police can confiscate your personal property used to solicit a prostitute, including your cell phone, computer, or money.
The offense will also become a permanent part of your driving record. An offense like this on your record can negatively affect your ability to get a job or find desirable housing in Minnesota.
Contact an Experienced St. Paul, MN Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with soliciting a prostitute, you need a skilled criminal defense attorney. The penalties for soliciting a prostitute are too severe for you to try to handle on your own.
At Arechigo & Stokka, our attorneys have spent decades assisting clients who have criminal charges. We have the experience to know what defenses can work in your case and the dedication to provide you with personalized representation.
Contact us today for a free consultation.