Prostitution, in the United States, is illegal with the exception of a few counties in Nevada. Prostitution charges target all participants in a typical prostitution transaction. Prostitution charges can be brought against the provider of services (the prostitute), the buyers (colloquially known as the “John”) and the middleman (the pimp).
Police are allowed to perform sting operations to combat illegal prostitution on the streets. Sting operations are used to bring prostitution charges against the person attempting to buy sexual services from an undercover police officer posing as a prostitute. Prostitution charges result in arrest, temporary placement in jail for the duration of processing.
After processing, prostitution charges for attempted buyers of commercial sexual services will typically lead to fines of $100 to $250. Persons who frequently get caught soliciting a prostitute will have higher fines. Major metropolitan areas tend to take solicitors of prostitutes more lightly due to the large extent of the problem. In addition to fines, judges often sentence persons charged with the crime of soliciting a prostitute to six months of unsupervised probation as long there are not any arrests after the initial arrest.
Prostitution charges are categorized by what sexual practice or sexual practices were negotiated or took place. They are placed into two general groups: sexual intercourse and deviant sexual intercourse or touching– basically any other sexual contact that does not involve vaginal intercourse. These different types of prostitution charges can determine the severity of fines and sentencing. Charges are not brought against anyone involved in prostitution until the exchange of money, property, or favors in return for sex are agreed are agreed upon by both parties.
Charges may also be brought against the prostitutes and the pimps. Prostitutes are typically given the least harsh of punishments because of their generally unfortunate situation. Prostitutes are usually back on the streets in a period of 48 hours after prostitution charges are brought. In large cities, prostitutes are often booked on charges of public nuisance due to the high cost of incarceration for legitimate prostitution.
Prostitution charges for pimps are more serious. Many jurisdictions consider pimping a felony offense with minimum prison sentences at stake if found guilty. Persons charged with pimping anyone under the age of 17 will be taken more serious as they are purveyors of child prostitution. The law does not take kindly to pimps because they are reputed to be physical and sexual abusers. They often take an unfair proportion of his prostitutes’ earnings. Prostitution charges related to pimping are worse when the arrests were made near places where children typically convene like schools, churches, and public parks.
Those charged with human trafficking with the intent of selling commercial sex are regarded as the most heinous of prostitution related criminals. Human trafficking is the illegal taking of people for the purpose of forced labor. The most common type labor in human trafficking is prostitution work. The law reserves the very serious charges for human traffickers because it is a violation of federal law. Persons charged with trafficking are subject to significant time in prison and very hefty fines.