Soliciting or patronizing a prostitute is a crime in Tennessee with serious consequences. An arrest may lead to criminal charges that carry harsh penalties, including possible jail time. Nashville sex crimes lawyer Bernie McEvoy recognizes that solicitation charges may be upsetting to you and your family, and will strive to help you resolve the matter as discretely as possible. If you are seeking guidance regarding a solicitation offense in Davidson or Williamson County, he can provide trusted legal advice.Tennessee Solicitation Crimes
In Tennessee, it is illegal to engage in, or offer to engage in, sexual activity as a business, i.e., prostitution. In addition, patronizing prostitution, also known as solicitation, is prohibited. Patronizing prostitution is defined under Tennessee law as hiring or soliciting someone with the purpose of engaging them in prostitution. It is important to understand that the sexual activity does not need to occur to commit this offense. Patronizing prostitution includes entering or remaining in a place where prostitution or the promotion of prostitution is frequently occurring under another person’s control, for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.
Patronizing prostitution is typically charged as a Class A misdemeanor with penalties that may include jail time, a monetary fine, and/or probation. The mandatory minimum sentence is 7 days in jail and a $1,000 fine if you are convicted for patronizing prostitution near a school. Further, the offense may be elevated to sex trafficking if the defendant is accused of soliciting prostitution from a minor or someone with an intellectual disability. The fact that the minor consented to the act cannot be used as a defense. Sex trafficking is a Class A or B felony offense that can result in substantial prison time, fines, and sex offender registration.
Solicitation of a minor is another Tennessee criminal offense that involves soliciting illegal sex acts. The law provides that it is a crime to intentionally command, hire, persuade, invite, or attempt to induce someone whom you know or should know is under 18, to engage in conduct that would constitute a sex crime, such as rape, statutory rape, sexual battery, sexual activity involving a minor, sex trafficking, and others. The crime may be perpetuated by speaking face to face, in writing, by text message, email, or over the internet. In addition, solicitation of a minor is committed if the person being solicited by the defendant is a law enforcement officer posing as a minor, and the defendant reasonably believes he or she is under 18. Because the offense encompasses a broad range of activities, it may be complicated to defend against. Solicitation of a minor is charged one classification lower than the crime solicited and consequently, it may be a misdemeanor or felony.Defending Against Solicitation Charges
You have the right to retain a lawyer to represent you in a solicitation case and defense against the prosecution. The defenses that may be argued will depend on the specific facts and evidence in the case. Mistaken identity, lack of intent required to commit the crime, and entrapment are some possible defenses to a solicitation offense. Constitutional violations, such as an illegal search or an interrogation without Miranda warnings, may prompt the court to throw out evidence obtained as a result of the police misconduct. A criminal law attorney can provide more information regarding the defenses that may apply if you receive a criminal citation or charge for solicitation.Hire a Nashville Defense Lawyer for a Solicitation Offense
A qualified sex crime attorney can help you defend against a criminal charge for solicitation in Nashville. With experience as both a prosecutor and defense attorney, Bernie McEvoy understands how to approach these cases and advocate vigorously for his clients. He represents people who have been arrested in Nashville, Franklin, and many other areas in Davidson and Williamson Counties. For more information about Tennessee sex crime laws or another criminal matter, contact the Law Office of Bernie McEvoy and schedule a free consultation. We are available online and by phone at (615) 255-9595 during the day or (615) 804-8779 after hours.