In Tennessee, the purchase and sale of sex, commonly known as prostitution, is illegal. Engaging in prostitution, patronizing prostitution, and promoting prostitution are all criminal offenses in Tennessee. Many prostitution cases arise out of a rash decision, a lapse in judgment, a mistake, or a misunderstanding. Nashville sex crimes attorney Bernie McEvoy understands the sensitive nature of cases involving prostitution, rape allegations, and other crimes of this nature, and carefully protects the rights and privacy of his clients. He can provide practical advice and skilled defense representation for people in Davidson and Williamson Counties after arrest.Prostitution Crimes in Tennessee
Tennessee law recognizes a number of criminal offenses that address different aspects of prostitution. Prostitution is defined as engaging in, or making an offer to engage in, sexual activity as a business, in a prostitution house, or lingering in a public place in order to be hired to engage in sexual activity. Prostitution is a crime that may be charged against individuals who are eighteen years or older. Generally, prostitution is a Class B misdemeanor, but it may be elevated to a Class A misdemeanor if committed near a church or school. If the defendant knew he or she was infected with HIV and engages in prostitution, the defendant may be charged with aggravated prostitution, a Class C felony.
Seeking or hiring someone to provide sex may lead to a criminal charge in Tennessee. Patronizing prostitution is the crime of soliciting or hiring another person with the intent that the person engage in prostitution. It also includes visiting a house of prostitution to engage in sexual activity. Patronizing prostitution is a Class A misdemeanor, with increased penalties if committed near a school. Soliciting sex from a minor or a person with an intellectual disability may be punishable as sex trafficking, which is a serious felony offense.Promoting Prostitution
Promoting prostitution is a felony offense intended for the people running and participating in a prostitution business. Owning, controlling, or managing a business for the purpose of engaging in prostitution is considered promoting prostitution. It also includes encouraging or recruiting someone to become a prostitute, soliciting someone to visit a prostitute, and procuring a prostitute for another person. Further, simply soliciting, receiving, or agreeing to receive any benefit for doing such activities may result in an arrest for promoting prostitution. It is generally a Class E felony without aggravating circumstances. If the person being promoted has an intellectual disability, however, the offense is a Class D felony. It may be punishable as a sex trafficking offense if a minor was being promoted.Fighting Prostitution Charges
A conviction for prostitution or a related offense may result in jail time, a monetary fine, registration as a sex offender, and probation. If you have been arrested or charged with a prostitution crime, you may be able to avoid conviction or reach a satisfactory outcome with a strong defense strategy. Lack of intent, mistaken identity, and insufficient evidence of the crime are potential defenses to a prostitution charge. A careful review of the facts and circumstances surrounding the allegations is crucial in determining whether any of these defenses may apply.
In many prostitution cases, an undercover police officer acted as either the patron or prostitute in the events leading up to the arrest. While the police can offer someone the opportunity to engage in a crime, they cannot induce or persuade an otherwise unwilling person to commit an unlawful act. This is known as entrapment, and it may be a defense to a prostitution charge. Police are well trained to avoid such conduct, but missteps happen. An experienced defense lawyer can recognize facts that may support an argument for entrapment, as well as identify other possible defenses.Seek Guidance From a Sex Crimes Defense Attorney in Nashville
Lawyer Bernie McEvoy has the skill and discretion to handle any prostitution or sex crime case, as well as charges related to DUI, drugs, and other offenses. If you have been arrested in Franklin, Nashville, or elsewhere in Davidson or Williamson Counties, we may be able to help. Simply call (615) 255-9595 or (615) 804-8779 after business hours and request a free consultation, or submit our website form online.