Charges for prostitution are some of the most difficult to overcome. The issue with beating prostitution charges isn’t the lack of information or the complexity of the crime. In fact, it isn’t even the severity of the charges that make this a complicated criminal offense to defend. What is a complication for an NY criminal lawyer is the police catch most prostitution defendants.
Prostitution is targeted in sting operations by the NYPD and other law enforcement in NYC. In areas where prostitution is common or known to frequently occur, the police will engage in a stakeout and arrest several people in a couple hours. These sting operations can target all parties involved in prostitution, and often provide the police with clear evidence of prostitution or attempted prostitution.
However, an experienced NY criminal lawyer can build a strong case in your defense. There are many tools available to lawyers that are familiar with prostitution defense and the different tactics of the police. At Greco Neyland, we employ all of these tools to fight for your freedom and an acquittal of the charges. Five of the arguments we make in defense of prostitution charges include the following.
In certain instances, the NYC law enforcement is interested in catching all parties involved in prostitution. This makes a sting operation more complicated and frequently the police will allow an apparent transaction to transpire before stepping in and making an arrest. Under these circumstances, it can be difficult for police to show that a transaction did, in fact, take place.
When there isn’t direct and unequivocal evidence of a monetary payment, an NY criminal lawyer can make a forceful argument that the actions occurred as consensual sexual contact or sexual intercourse. Evidence that the events took place in an unlikely or compromising location, such as a vehicle, isn’t enough for the prosecutor to rebuke the assertion that the crime of prostitution wasn’t committed at all.
Another tactic for catching perpetrators of prostitution is through video, photography, and witness identification. At times the police have a plethora of other evidence indicating that prostitution took place, such as the money or property exchanged for sex and even testimony by one party involved. However, they didn’t catch all parties involved at the scene of the crime.
If you are stopped on the street a week later and accused of prostitution there is a good argument you didn’t do it or that the police have the wrong person. There are several ways for an NY criminal lawyer to show the police mistook you for an individual that did commit a prostitution offense.
The argument that nothing was exchanged or offered for sex can be a winning argument by an NY criminal lawyer. Keep in mind that an NYC prosecutor must prove each element of prostitution beyond a reasonable doubt. One of these elements, in fact, the key element of prostitution, is that there was an agreement that one person would perform sexual acts in return for payment. When there is no evidence of this agreement, it is really difficult for a prosecutor to win the case.
Sting operations are hugely successful to catch people who drive under the influence of alcohol, deal in drugs or firearms, and engage in prostitution, but there is a downside for law enforcement. Sting operations and similar tactics can quickly spiral into methods of entrapment.
Entrapment is when an individual commits a crime or attempts to commit a crime that he or she otherwise wouldn’t without the incentive, trick, or pressure of the law enforcement officer. For example, if a law enforcement officer befriends a young woman, then tells her to stand on a street corner for five minutes because someone is going to offer her an incredible job offer that she shouldn’t refuse, but never explains the type of job or what is involved. When the woman, trusting someone she believes to her a friend, agrees to get in the vehicle with a potential john, it could be entrapment by trickery.
An NYC prosecutor must also prove that there was criminal intent at the time of an arrest for prostitution. This requirement can be met by showing that there was an offer of sex and an agreement to pay for that sex. However, if the defendant withdrew the agreement to pay prior to the sexual conduct or never intended to pay at all, for example, the defendant’s purse or wallet was at home, then an NY criminal lawyer can argue criminal intent didn’t exist.
If you are facing charges for prostitution in NYC, or elsewhere in NY, contact our team at Greco Neyland Attorneys at Law. We’ve successfully defended prostitution cases in the past and we are ready to take your case. You can call our NYC office 24/7 at (212) 951-1300.