In Louisiana, prostitution is against the law for both people offering sex, and for individuals who wish to buy it. Any type of compensation, whether it is money, property, or another incentive, in exchange for sex is illegal. All types of intercourse are considered a sexual act under the law, and they are all illegal under the prostitution laws of the state. Even when a sexual act has not yet occurred, but a person has agreed to the exchange, they can still face criminal charges. Below, our Ouachita Parish sex crime lawyer outlines the possible penalties a person may face if they are convicted.
Misdemeanor vs. Felony Charges
Sex crimes are classified as either misdemeanors or felonies, and the penalties associated with the crime will vary depending on the classification. First-time offenders are usually charged with a misdemeanor, while future offenses may be classified as a felony. Prostitution is a felony if the individual providing the sex act was a minor. If threats or force was used, this will also classify the crime as a felony. Other situations, such as when a solicitor has HIV, can also make the offense a felony.
Penalties for Soliciting Prostitution
When a person solicits, or tries to obtain, sex from another person by offering an incentive, the penalties consist of up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $750. The penalties increase for subsequent offenders and include up to one year in jail and a maximum fine ranging between $500 and $2,000.
The penalties also dramatically increase when the person being solicited was a minor. If the individual was between 14 and 17 years old, the penalties are between 15 and 50 years in prison and a maximum fine of $50,000. If the individual was under the age of 14 years old, the possible prison sentence ranges between 25 to 50 years and the maximum fine increases to $75,000.
Allowing Prostitution on a Property
It is illegal for any property owner to allow prostitution to occur on their premises. This criminal offense is punishable by up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $500. Again, if the prostitution involved a minor, the same penalties involving underage individuals outlined above apply.
The Buyer Beware Program in Louisiana
Under state law, individuals convicted of prostitution must also enter and complete the Buyer Beware program. This program teaches about the harmful effects of prostitution and works as a pre-trial diversion program for some, with the exception of any activity involving a minor. The program costs approximately $200, which the accused individual is required to pay.
Our Sex Crime Lawyer in Ouachita Parish Can Help You Beat Your Charges
If you have been charged with prostitution, do not try to defend your case on your own. At Whiddon Criminal Defense, our Ouachita Parish sex crime lawyer knows the strategies that can help you beat these charges and will use them effectively so you can beat your charges. Call us now at 318-594-3592 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.