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Chattanooga Prostitution Lawyer

Allegations of prostitution have the potential to be highly damaging to your personal and professional life. Due to the social stigma surrounding this offense, conviction for prostitution or a related crime could ruin relationships and cause you to lose out on valuable job and career opportunities. If you are facing prostitution or similar charges, a Chattanooga prostitution lawyer may be able to assist you.

Prostitution and related criminal charges are highly sensitive matters that are likely stressful and embarrassing for you. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to answer your questions and calm your concerns about your criminal proceedings. By enlisting legal assistance, you may be able to protect your rights and reach a better outcome in your case.

Defining Prostitution in Chattanooga

Under Tenn. Code § 39-13-512, prostitution occurs when individuals engage in or offer to engage in sexual activity as a business. Additionally, prostitution occurs when individuals offer services in a house of prostitution or loitering in a public place for hire as a prostitute. Legally, a house of prostitution is any place in which prostitution or promotion of prostitution regularly occurs under the control or management of a person. As the outcome of prostitution charges can be harsh, a prostitution lawyer in Chattanooga may be instrumental in defending individuals against these charges.

Potential Penalties for Convicted Offenders

Prostitution is a Class B misdemeanor under Tenn. Code § 39-13-513. However, some circumstances may elevate a prostitution charge to a Class A misdemeanor. For instance, if individuals commit prostitution within 100 feet of a church or one and one-half miles of a school, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor.

A conviction for a Class B misdemeanor offense can result in up to six months in jail and a $500 fine. If the charge increases to a Class A misdemeanor, the maximum term of incarceration increases to 11 months, 29 days, and the fine to $2,500. Additionally, if the offense occurs within one and one-half miles of a school, individuals must serve a mandatory minimum sentence of seven days and pay a minimum fine of $1,000.

Prostitution rises to the level of aggravated prostitution when individuals know that they are infected with HIV and they:

  • Engage in sexual activity as a business
  • Are inmates in a house of prostitution, or
  • Loiter in public places to be hired for sexual activity

Aggravated prostitution is a Class C felony under state law. As a result, a conviction for this offense can lead to far more severe consequences than for prostitution.

What Defenses Are Available Against Prostitution Charges?

If individuals suspected of or charged with prostitution are under 18 years of age, they are immune from prosecution. Law enforcement officers who arrest minors for prostitution shall release them into the custody of a parent or guardian or transport them to a designated shelter care facility to be released to a parent or guardian.

Furthermore, individuals facing prostitution charges could raise the fact that they were victims of human trafficking or involuntary servitude as a defense to prosecution. A prostitution attorney in Chattanooga may be able to utilize these and other defenses against prostitution charges in appropriate cases.

Are There Other Prostitution-Related Offenses in Chattanooga?

In addition to prostitution, the state legislature also has outlawed patronizing prostitution and promoting prostitution. Patronizing prostitution occurs under Tenn. Code § 39-13-514 when individuals solicit or hire others to engage in prostitution or enter a house of prostitution to engage in sexual activity. Patronizing prostitution is a Class A misdemeanor under state law.

Likewise, promoting prostitution covers a broad range of activities, including owning, controlling, or managing a prostitution business or a house of prostitution. This offense also occurs when individuals procure prostitutes or inmates for a house of prostitution or solicit others to patronize prostitutes.

Call a Chattanooga Prostitution Attorney for Advice

If you are facing prostitution or related charges, you are likely to need the help of a Chattanooga prostitution lawyer. By mounting a solid defense from the outset of your case, you may be able to better fight back against these charges. A favorable resolution to these charges may be more attainable when you get the legal advice that you need in this situation.

Many individuals fall victim to law enforcement stings and scams designed to persuade them to engage in illegal conduct. All too often, unsuspecting individuals are caught up in criminal charges that invalid. Whatever your circumstances may be, getting legal advice may be wise.

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