What are Binghamton’s Laws Concerning Solicitation?

In simple terms, it is illegal in the State of New York to pay another person with the understanding that they will engage in sexual activity. Instead of using the term “soliciting” to describe this behavior, New York Penal Law uses the term “patronizing”. The idea behind the law remains the same.

According to New York Penal Law §230.02, Patronizing a Person for Prostitution does not have to include sexual intercourse, but encompasses any type of sexual conduct. In addition, the actual exchange for sexual services does not need to take place for a crime to have been committed. The mere arrangement for the exchange, or even the attempt to make such an arrangement, could be sufficient for a conviction.

Degrees of Solicitation

The severity of a solicitation allegation depends only on the age of the seller of the sex. The act of soliciting someone who is at least sixteen years old is classified under NYPL §230.04 as Patronizing a Person for Prostitution in the Third Degree. Since this charge is a class A misdemeanor, a conviction could result in no more than one year in jail.

Allegations of solicitation become much more serious if the person selling sexual services is a minor. According to NYPL §230.05, any time that a person who is at least eighteen years old purchases sexual services from a person under the age of fifteen, they may be charged with the class E felony of Patronizing a Person for Prostitution in the Second Degree.

The most serious version of solicitation under New York Penal Law is Patronizing a Person for Prostitution in the First Degree. According to NYPL §230.06, you may be charged with this crime if you solicit sex from someone who is less than eleven years old, or if you are older than eighteen and the person you are soliciting is less than thirteen. A conviction here is a class D felony.

Affirmative Defenses to Solicitation Charges

As an affirmative defense to an accusation of solicitation, NYPL §230.07 allows a defendant to argue that they had a reasonable belief the person they patronized was of legal age—for example, if the seller produced a falsified driver’s license stating that they are over the age of eighteen.

Raising this defense generally will not completely eliminate the charges, but it may result in the severity being reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor. A Binghamton solicitation attorney could work with you to determine if this defense applies and potentially put it into action in court.

Seek Professional Assistance from a Binghamton Solicitation Attorney

Even at the misdemeanor level, a conviction for soliciting a prostitute may result in a jail sentence and the creation of a criminal record. More serious versions are felonies that could require you to register as a sex offender. This could affect every portion of your life, from employment opportunities to where you can live.

The stakes are high in solicitation cases, which means it may be critical for you to provide yourself with every possible advantage. When you hire a Binghamton solicitation lawyer from our firm, you could give yourself this advantage. At Tully Rinckey PLLC, we work to defend the rights of all our clients in court and move towards achieving their goals for resolving their charges. Contact us today at (607) 722-1520 to schedule a consultation, or email us at info@tullylegal.com with any questions.

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