Solicitation in Jefferson County
Soliciting a sexual act is prohibited by both state and local law in Jefferson County. Not only does a conviction for solicitation come with jail time and a steep fine; it also comes with social stigmatization that can be difficult to overcome in the years after an arrest.
A Jefferson County solicitation lawyer can be the most effective way to defend yourself against a solicitation charge. With the legal representation of an aggressive defense attorney, you can build a defense that could lead to a positive outcome for you.Jefferson County Solicitation Laws
There are two laws in Jefferson County that prohibit the solicitation of a prostitute or a sexual act. One is found in Alabama Code § 13A-12-121(b). This statute prohibits people from knowingly buying a sexual act with money or anything else of value. Contrary to popular belief, this law does not require the sexual conduct to be completed before it is broken – an agreement to exchange money for sex is enough.
Additionally, solicitation is prohibited in Jefferson County by Alabama Constitutional Amendment 688. While this provision of the state constitution runs alongside the statute that forbids solicitation in the rest of the state, it does extend slightly further by prohibiting certain hotel personnel from aiding or abetting prostitution.Consequences of These Allegations
A conviction for solicitation in Jefferson County – whether under the state law or Amendment 688 – comes with up to a year in jail and up to $6,000 in fines.
The collateral consequences of having a criminal background with a solicitation conviction can be more severe than the jail sentence and fine, though.
Potential employers, landlords, and even curious friends or members of the public can find a prior conviction for soliciting a prostitute, leading to missed opportunities and social stigmatization. To mitigate the impact of these consequences, it may be important to work with a Jefferson County solicitation attorney.Defending Against an Accusation of Solicitation
While every solicitation case is different, there are a handful of defenses that can be raised. A Jefferson County solicitation lawyer is likely to know which ones are more likely to work in a given situation.
One defense that may work particularly well is entrapment. Entrapment is an affirmative defense. It argues that, while the law prohibiting solicitation in Jefferson County was technically broken, it was only because police and law enforcement coerced a defendant into committing the crime. Police are not allowed to push innocent people into committing crimes that they would not otherwise commit, and entrapment is the way to prevent them from doing it.
A more common defense to a solicitation charge, though, is merely challenging the evidence brought by the prosecutor. The prosecution in every criminal case in Jefferson County has to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Showing that testimony is unreliable or that the prosecutor’s evidence is insufficient to prove guilt may raise enough reasonable doubts for the prosecution to not be able to prove their case.Seeking the Services of a Jefferson County Solicitation Attorney
A charge for soliciting a prostitute in Jefferson County is not a light offense. If defenses are not raised, it can lead to a conviction that is costly and difficult to overcome, even after the sentence is served and the fines paid.
Working with a Jefferson County solicitation lawyer is often the best way to raise the legal defenses that you need to achieve a favorable outcome. Fighting these charges from the start can be the best way to keep your future and your reputation intact.