Per Arizona Revised Statute §13-3211, §13-3214, and Phoenix City Code §23-52, “Prostitution” usually occurs when a defendant knowingly offers sexual services for something of value (usually money).
Watch this short video where David explains Prostitution in Arizona:
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Possible Punishment for Prostitution
Under the above provisions, Prostitution is a class one (1) misdemeanor and carry the following punishments:
- A first time offense for Prostitution, when charged by the City of Phoenix, or the State of Arizona, results in a mandatory minimum of fifteen (15) days in jail, up to a maximum of six (6) months in jail.
- If a person has one (1) allegeable historical prior Prostitution conviction, then the mandatory minimum is thirty (30) days in jail.
- If a person has two (2) allegeable historical prior Prostitution convictions, then the mandatory minimum is sixty (60) days in jail.
- If a person has three (3) allegeable historical prior Prostitution convictions, then the mandatory minimum is six (6) months in jail.
- In addition, a $2500.00 fine can be imposed along with an 84% surcharge, and up to three (3) years of probation (which can include classes and counseling).
However, upon conviction of a fourth prostitution offense under Arizona state law (not the City of Phoenix law), it is characterized as a class five (5) felony, which carries a potential punishment of minimum 180 days jail or prison, up to two and one half (2.5) years incarceration in prison.
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Possible Defenses for Prostitution
One of the strongest defenses to Prostitution is “Entrapment.” Entrapment occurs when an undercover officer who by their actions, induces the defendant to commit the offense, which is something they would not ordinarily agree to do without the actions by the officer. For example, if an undercover police officer utilizes the service of a “private dancer” or “escort”, and then begins offering extremely large amounts of money to induce the dancer or escort into a sex act, and the dancer eventually submits. If the dancer would not have done the sex act without the actions by the officer, Entrapment would be a viable defense.
Another often used defense is that the prosecution cannot prove actual prostitution because the officers “jumped the gun,” and made an arrest prior to an actual agreement or deal for the prostitution took place. It is important to investigate whether money actually changed hands, or whether there was any initial physical contact which would indicate that a true act of prostitution was about to take place.
Additionally, because our law firm fights conviction from all angles, we would assert a wide range of defenses and challenges to constitutional violations that apply in all criminal cases. The possibilities are numerous and diverse. One of those we frequently assert is a “Miranda rights violation.” In Arizona, the standard of whether any incriminating statement (i.e., a statement which tends to admit guilt) is admissible into evidence is based upon a “voluntariness” standard. If we can demonstrate that the police coerced you (i.e., intimidated or tricked you) into making a confession or inculpatory statement, or that they did not properly read you your Miranda Rights, then we can suppress those statements and any evidence gathered as a direct result of those statements. In addition, the “denial of right to Counsel” is another common defense which is often raised. This occurs when a suspect is in custody and requests to speak to their attorney, but is denied and questioning continues.
Other defenses may include challenging the validity of any search warrant, or whether there were any “forensic flaws” during the investigation of your case. Depending on what else you have been charged with, this could include exposing flawed procedures regarding blood, breath, and urine testing; fingerprints analysis; and DNA testing. Lastly, one of the most common defense tactics is exposing sloppy or misleading police reports which include everything from misstatements, false statements, flawed photo line-ups and inaccurate crime scene reconstruction. It is important to hire a skilled Prostitution lawyer to defend you who has knowledge of all the possible defenses to assert in your case. Be sure to review our Prostitution case victories and compare them with other lawyers in Phoenix.