In almost every state, prostitution is illegal, and Georgia hopes to discourage such illegal activity with tough sentences. If the police have arrested you for this crime, contact a Ringgold prostitution lawyer before speaking with authorities to protect your future. A knowledgeable criminal attorney could help you build a strong defense and prepare you for any criminal proceedings.
The Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 16-6-9 criminalizes more than the act of intercourse alone. Under state law, prostitution includes offering, consenting to, and engaging in any sexual act in exchange for compensation. Based on this definition, a successful prosecution does not require the commission of a sexual encounter. Discussions and agreeing to such activity may also land someone in trouble with the law.
Additionally, a guilty verdict does not require monetary payment, but anything of value can satisfy the element of compensation. The received benefit can include drugs, housing, food, or almost any service or good that is useful. Fortunately, with the assistance of a skilled Ringgold attorney, defendants may present persuasive arguments that minimize the prostitution allegations’ negative impacts and work toward favorable outcomes.
Generally, the law classifies prostitution as a misdemeanor. Under O.C.G.A. § 17-10-3(a), the punishments for this crime include:
The presence of other exacerbating factors can compound the penalties. For example, O.C.G.A. § 16-6-13(d) increases the upper limit for fines to $2500 if the prostitution occurs within 1,000 feet of locations that typically have children present. Such places include schools, playgrounds, public places of worship, and recreational facilities. Repeat offenders may face misdemeanor charges of a high and aggravated nature. In this instance, the possible punishments remain the same, except O.C.G.A. § 17-10-4 raises the maximum fine to $5000.
Convictions also result in a criminal record, which follows a person for the rest of their life. Further, background checks will reveal this history, making it very difficult for someone to improve their situation. Individuals may have difficulty securing loans and mortgages, have limited housing options, be expelled from school, or have trouble getting into higher education institutions. Similarly, professional groups may revoke licenses or preclude people from applying.
These cases turn on the facts and circumstances. However, a command of the law and familiarity with the local judicial system also play a vital role in the outcome. Ringgold attorneys who regularly handle prostitution cases have the requisite skills and understand how to mold the facts into a robust defense.
Professional trial lawyers represent those accused at all points of contact with police and other authorities, not just at trial. Through the course of these interactions, they may help protect the suspect’s rights, review and preserve key evidence, introduce facts and theories that challenge the state’s case, and negotiate for a better outcome, such as plea agreements or downgraded charges.
While not every case can result in the complete removal of charges, the presence of a trained representative may help clients achieve a more desirable result.
Every criminal prosecution is different, no matter the crime, and each defense needs to be tailored to the specific facts. Ringgold prostitution lawyers could focus on your individual needs, review your options, and help you fight for the best resolution for your case. To start that process, contact us today.