If you have been arrested in the City of Trenton or any municipality in Mercer County for prostitution, you could be facing serious charges. A prostitution offense can result in jail time and significant monetary penalties, in addition to the added stigma associated with sex-related offenses. Accordingly, you need experienced lawyers in your corner who have handled hundreds of prostitution and other types of sex charges. You will find those lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall. With years of expertise defending people arrested in Trenton, Hamilton, Lawrence, Princeton, Ewing and other locations in the county, the attorneys on Jonathan’s team have the skill and sensitivity to get you through this difficult time. Speak to a lawyer who can help you now by calling (609) 683-8102 for a free consultation.Prostitution Offense in Mercer County
The offense of prostitution, set forth at N.J.S.A. 2C:34-1, essentially makes it a crime to buy or sell sex in New Jersey. This particular law is fairly extensive but the essence of what you need to know if you were charged with prostitution or promoting prostitution is set forth in the headings that follow:
- Definition of Prostitution: Simply put, prostitution is engaging, or offering to engage, in sexual activity with another person for money (or for something of economic value). The phrase “sexual activity” is broad in this context. It can include anything from inappropriate touching or masturbation, to oral and anal intercourse. It also includes other deviant sexual conduct.
- Persons within the Prostitution Law: Under New Jersey law, both the person who pays someone for sex and the person being paid are considered to have committed the offense of prostitution. In addition, any third party who facilitates and/or benefits from prostitution also commits the offense of prostitution. In legal terms, such a third party is considered to have “promoted” prostitution. Accordingly, anyone who promotes prostitution by maintaining a house of prostitution, arranging for people to engage in prostitution, or causing a person to remain a prostitute is guilty of prostitution.
- Penalties for Prostitution: The punishment for prostitution varies depending on the individuals involved and the circumstances of the case. A first offense for prostitution, where someone is buying or selling sexual services, is a disorderly persons offense, resulting in up to six months in jail and a fine. Repeat offenders face increased punishment. The penalties for promoting prostitution are more severe, beginning at a third degree crime resulting in a presumptive prison sentence 3 to 5 years.
- Child Prostitution: Of course, the most severe penalties are imposed for prostitution involving children. Engaging in prostitution with a minor is a second-degree crime (5 to 10 years in prison), and promoting prostitution of a minor is a first-degree crime (10 to 20 years in prison). It does not matter, under New Jersey law, whether a person is under the mistaken belief that the minor was over the age of 18. The penalties associated with child prostitution apply even if the child reasonably appears to be over the age of 18.
A charge of prostitution in West Windsor, Robbinsville, East Windsor, Pennington, Hightstown or elsewhere int he area comes with obvious legal implications and a conviction for can have a serious impact on the rest of your life. A criminal record can impact your ability to keep your job. A conviction for the promotion of prostitution is even worse because it is always an indictable crime (i.e. third degree or second degree) that carries state prison time and collateral consequences like losing your leased residence if it was used for prostitution. In addition, offenses involving promoting prostitution of a child result in a defendant being placed on a sex-offender registry under Megan’s Law. That is why you need to get the assistance of an attorney who can guide you through the process and minimize the impact on your life. Lawyers in our Hamilton office are available right now to assist you. Simply call (609) 683-8102 and take advantage of a free consultation with an experienced lawyer.