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Prostitution / Solicitation

Any criminal charge relating to prostitution can cause tremendous embarrassment for the accused. There are numerous sting operations throughout New York City that result in countless people being arrested for patronizing or promoting a prostitute.

Many were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, and find themselves facing criminal charges as a result of a misunderstanding. A person charged with any kind of prostitution offense needs to take the charges seriously, as a conviction can result in possible imprisonment and fines in addition to other possible long-term consequences.

Manhattan Prostitution Lawyer

If you have been charged with soliciting a prostitute or promoting prostitution in the New York area, you will want to be sure that you are represented in court by a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney. Greco Neyland, PC defends clients from Brooklyn and Manhattan against all types of prostitution charges.

Jeff Greco and Dustan Neyland understand the tremendous shame that the accused feel after being arrested, and they conduct a thorough investigation as part of their dedicated effort to restore the good names of their clients. Our firm can review your case during a free, confidential consultation when you call (212) 951-1300 today.


New York Prostitution Information Center


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New York City Charges for Patronizing a Prostitute

New York Penal Law § 230.02 defines patronizing a prostitute as when a person either:

  • Pursuant to a prior understanding, pays a fee to another person as compensation for such person or a third person having engaged in sexual conduct with him or her
  • Pays or agrees to pay a fee to another person pursuant to an understanding that in return therefore such person or a third person will engage in sexual conduct with him or her
  • Solicits or requests another person to engage in sexual conduct with him in return for a fee.

Patronizing a prostitution is often referred to as “solicitation.”

There are three degrees of crimes relating to patronizing a prostitute in New York:

  • Patronizing a Prostitute in the Third Degree, New York Penal Law § 230.04 — It is a Class A misdemeanor if a person patronizes a prostitute.
  • Patronizing a Prostitute in the Second Degree, New York Penal Law § 230.05 — It is a Class E felony if a person over 18 years of age patronizes a prostitute and the person patronized is less than 14 years of age.
  • Patronizing a Prostitute in the First Degree, New York Penal Law § 230.06 — It is a Class D felony if a person patronizes a prostitute and the person patronized is less than 11 years of age.

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New York Charges for Promoting Prostitution

New York Penal Law § 230.15 provides the following definitions applicable to promoting prostitution offenses:

  • Advancing Prostitution — A person advances prostitution when, acting other than as a prostitute or as a patron thereof, he knowingly causes or aids a person to commit or engage in prostitution, procures or solicits patrons for prostitution, provides persons or premises for prostitution purposes, operates or assists in the operation of a house of prostitution or a prostitution enterprise, or engages in any other conduct designed to institute, aid or facilitate an act or enterprise of prostitution.
  • Profit From Prostitution — A person profits from prostitution when, acting other than as a prostitute receiving compensation for personally rendered prostitution services, he accepts or receives money or other property pursuant to an agreement or understanding with any person whereby he participates or is to participate in the proceeds of prostitution activity.

Specific crimes relating to promoting prostitution include:

  • Promoting Prostitution in a School Zone, New York Penal Law § 230.19 — It is a Class E felony if a person 19 years of age or older knowingly advances or profits from prostitution that he or she knows or reasonably should know is or will be a violation of Prostitution in a school zone, meaning in or on or within any building, structure, athletic playing field, playground or land contained within the real property boundary line of a public or private elementary, parochial, intermediate, junior high, vocational, or high school, or any public sidewalk, street, parking lot, park, playground or private land, located immediately adjacent to the boundary line of such school, during the hours that school is in session.
  • Promoting Prostitution in the Fourth Degree, New York Penal Law § 230.20 — It is a Class A misdemeanor if a person knowingly advances or profits from prostitution, or with the intent to advance or profit from prostitution, distributes or disseminates to 10 or more people in a public place obscene material or material that depicts nudity.
  • Promoting Prostitution in the Third Degree, New York Penal Law § 230.25 — It is a Class D felony if a person knowingly advances or profits from prostitution by managing, supervising, controlling or owning, either alone or in association with others, a house of prostitution or a prostitution business or enterprise involving prostitution activity by two or more prostitutes, or a business that sells travel-related services knowing that such services include or are intended to facilitate travel for the purpose of patronizing a prostitute, including to a foreign jurisdiction and regardless of the legality of prostitution in said foreign jurisdiction, or advances or profits from prostitution of a person less than 19 years old.
  • Promoting Prostitution in the Second Degree, New York Penal Law § 230.30 — It is a Class C felony if a person knowingly advances prostitution by compelling a person by force or intimidation to engage in prostitution, or profits from such coercive conduct by another, or advances or profits from prostitution of a person less than 16 years old.
  • Promoting Prostitution in the First Degree, New York Penal Law § 230.32 — It is a class B felony if a person knowingly advances or profits from prostitution of a person less than 11 years old.
  • Compelling Prostitution, New York Penal Law § 230.33 — It is a Class B felony if a person 21 years of age or older knowingly advances prostitution by compelling a person less than 16 years old, by force or intimidation, to engage in prostitution.

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Penalties for Patronizing a Prostitute and Promoting Prostitution in New York City 

The consequences of a conviction for any prostititution are severe, and the punishments depend on the classification of the offense for which a person is charged. Possible penalties include:

  • Class B Misdemeanor — Up to three months in jail and fine of up to $500
  • Class A Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and fine of up to $1,000
  • Class E Felony — Up to four years in prison and fine of up to $5,000
  • Class D Felony — Up to seven years in prison and fine of up to $5,000
  • Class C Felony — Up to 15 years in prison and fine of up to $5,000
  • Class B Felony — Up to 25 years in prison and fine of up to $5,000

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New York Solicitation Defenses

Depending on the specific offense for which a person is charged, he or she can face the following consequences if convicted:

  • Entrapment — This defense may apply if an undercover police officer pressured or tricked the defendant into behavior that he or she otherwise would not have committed.
  • False Accusations — A person who was seeking or responded to an escort service or call girl ad could have only been seeking a companion or date for an evening and, thus, cannot be charged with patronizing a prostitute.
  • Lack of Evidence — The accused cannot be found guilty of patronizing a prostitute or promoting prostitution without evidence of an agreement to engage in act of prostitution.
  • Mistaken Identity — In some cases, police officers may misidentify the person who had actually patronized or promoted a prostitute.
  • No Criminal Acts — Consensual sex without any exchange of compensation or offer to compensate does not constitute prostitution.
  • No Criminal Intent — If there was no exchange of compensation, the accused recanted his or her offer to pay for prostitution, or the accused never specifically expressed an intent to exchange compensation, he or she may have the charges dismissed.

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Patronizing a Prostitute Lawyer in New York City – Greco Neyland, PC

As former prosecutors, Jeff Greco and Dustan Neyland understand what the weakest parts of a prosecutor’s case are. During a relentless investigation of the charges against you, they will use all of the evidence in your favor to get criminal charges reduced or dismissed.

Greco Neyland, PC represents clients all over New York City, and our firm will never force you to accept a plea deal when we believe that your case can be won at trial. Let us review your case by calling (212) 951-1300 right now to take advantage of a free, no obligation consultation.

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Jeff Greco
Jeffery Greco
Experience as a former prosecutor gives Jeffery Greco an edge in building the strongest possible defense strategy for the accused in New York City.
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Dustan Neyland
Dustan Neyland
A thorough investigation is key to finding every reasonable doubt and getting charges reduced or dismissed for NYC defense attorney Dustan Neyland.
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