South Carolina Prostitution Lawyer

Prostitution Defense Attorney in South CarolinaIt is commonly understood that the act of exchanging sex for money is illegal. Prostitution, while one of mankind’s oldest professions, is still illegal in South Carolina. But a person may be charged with the crime of prostitution for any number of reasons that exclude the classic definition.

A South Carolina prostitution lawyer can help clients to understand why they are facing these charges and to represent their interests in court. Working together, an experienced lawyer can fight to protect our clients’ freedoms and reputations.

How South Carolina Defines Prostitution

South Carolina Code 16-15-90 describes no less than 11 separate acts that are considered prostitution under the law. The most common acts of prostitution that warrant the attention of a South Carolina attorney include:

  • Engaging in prostitution, defined as the exchange of a sex act for money,
  • Knowingly aiding or abetting in prostitution,
  • Soliciting or procuring prostitution,
  • Exposing a private area of the body in an indecent manner for the purposes of prostitution, and
  • Entering into any place for the purpose of prostitution

One important thing to remember about these definitions is that the act does not need to be completed in order for a person to be charged under this statute. The mere attempt to complete a transaction is sufficient for police to make an arrest and for the Solicitor’s Office to file charges.

Alternative actions that are considered prostitution are contained in South Carolina Code 16-15-100. These actions are generally not committed by the sex workers themselves but are the actions of handlers or pimps and sex trafficking. They include the inducement of people to engage in prostitution, collecting proceeds of prostitution, and offering money or gifts in exchange for a person to become a prostitute.

The Potential Consequences

Regardless of which of the above statutes are violated, a conviction under either of them carries identical penalties. South Carolina Code 16-15-110 prescribes the following penalties:

  • A first violation is punished by a fine to not exceed $200.00, or confinement in prison for not more than 30 days, or both.
  • A second violation increases the potential fine to $1,000.00 and the possible jail term to six months.
  • All third and subsequent convictions carry a minimum jail term of one year, and a fine of up to $3,000.00.

In addition to any direct penalties, a conviction will remain on a person’s criminal record. This can negatively affect everything from a potential employment opportunity to a person’s housing situation.

Even a first offense, therefore, carries heavy consequences for a conviction. For this reason, it is important to fight even seemingly minor charges with the help of a South Carolina prostitution attorney.

Defending Prostitution Charges

Many charges of prostitution can be difficult to prove. The Solicitor must demonstrate that a person knowingly engaged in this illegal action. Unless a police officer personally witnesses the entire transaction, it can be difficult to provide firsthand testimony of the exchange.  It is common for the police to stage prostitution stings and have an officer go undercover and pretend to be a prostitute.

In some situations, people caught up in the investigation can testify on behalf of the state, but in many cases, the Solicitor’s case is based on circumstantial evidence. A seasoned South Carolina lawyer could help prove evidence is circumstantial and does not prove a conscious act of prostitution actually took place.

Speak with a South Carolina Prostitution Attorney Today

A South Carolina prostitution lawyer understands the State’s prostitution laws and the difficulties facing prosecutors in proving any violations. They also understand the potential impact that a conviction, even one not carrying any jail time, may have on a person’s life.

That is why we handle our clients’ cases with not just diligence, but also complete discretion. We know how important your reputation is in a small community. With potential penalties ranging from required jail time to heavy fines, the stakes are high. Take the opportunity to protect yourself and contact our firm today.