South Carolina Solicitation Lawyer

Most people understand that it is illegal to solicit prostitutes for sexual activities in South Carolina. However, when people are arrested after doing so, they are usually surprised to find that they have been charged with the crime of prostitution.

This is because there is no crime known as solicitation of a prostitute in South Carolina. Instead, the Legislature has expanded the definition of prostitution to include the hiring of a person to perform a sex act.

A South Carolina solicitation lawyer can work with clients to fully understand the nature of the charges brought against them and to mount a defense aimed at protecting their reputations and freedoms. To discuss your case or begin building a defense consult with a criminal lawyer today.

How South Carolina Defines Solicitation

South Carolina Code 16-15-90 describes a total of 11 actions that are defined as prostitution under the law. Prominent among these are:

  • Soliciting or procuring prostitution,
  • Knowingly aiding or abetting in prostitution,
  • Residing in or entering into any place for the purpose of prostitution,
  • Receiving any person into any place for the purpose of prostitution, and
  • Taking any person into any vehicle for the purpose of prostitution.

Keep in mind that the transaction does not need to be completed in order for a person to be charged under this statute. As long as the police have probable cause to believe that the transaction was about to occur, this is sufficient cause to make an arrest at which point a South Carolina solicitation attorney should be consulted.

Potential Consequences of a Solicitation Conviction

Regardless of which of the above definitions of prostitution leads a person to be accused of a crime resembling solicitation, a conviction under any of them will result in the same penalties. South Carolina Code 16-15-110  allows for the following consequences:

  • 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.

But perhaps more concerning than any fine or jail term, especially for those who have been accused of the first time, is the mark that a conviction will place on a person’s criminal record. These records are commonly checked for anything from a job application to a housing background check, to credit applications.

Any conviction, even one of the first instance of prostitution, will automatically prevent people from holding many jobs and disqualify them in the eyes of many landlords. Therefore, a strong defense is vital to not just a person’s freedom, but also their standing in the community.

Speak with a South Carolina Solicitation Attorney Today

Solicitors attempting to prove prostitution against people accused of solicitation face a difficult decision. It is rare that a police officer will directly witness an act that qualifies as illegal under the definition of prostitution unless the officer was undercover and was impersonating as a prostitute. Police officers generally post ads on internet websites such as backpage.com or in local newspapers such as the Free Times.

In these situations, the Solicitor must rely upon circumstantial evidence or hope that the other person in the alleged crime will testify for the State.

A South Carolina solicitation lawyer understands the complexities of the State’s laws as well as the difficulties presented by them for Solicitors and can use this knowledge to provide clients with a better understanding of the charges and to formulate a strong defense.

The consequences for a conviction can reach not just a person’s liberty and finances, but also their standing in the community. Call today to take a positive step towards protecting these valued pieces of your life, freedom, and reputation.