Although, many call it the world's oldest profession, the reality is that prostitution is illegal in New York. Those accused of engaging in it, both sex workers and customers, may face serious criminal penalties. This blog post will describe the potential penalties for those convicted of engaging in prostitution.
When a person is accused of engaging in sex work, they may face prostitution charges. A person is guilty of prostitution if they engage in sexual conduct in exchange for a fee. They are also guilty of prostitution if they merely agree to engage in sexual conduct with another person in exchange for a fee, or even if they offer to engage in sexual conduct with another person in exchange for a fee. A person found guilty of prostitution in New York faces a maximum $500 fine or a maximum of three months in jail.
When a person is accused of being a customer of a sex worker, they can be charged with patronizing a prostitute. A person is guilty of patronizing a prostitute if they pay another person -- or a third party -- to engage in sexual conduct with the other person in connection with a prior understanding. If a person simply agrees to this kind of arrangement, or solicits another person to set up this kind of arrangement, they also could be found guilty of patronizing a prostitute. A person convicted of patronizing a prostitute could face up to one year in prison or up to a $1,000 fine.
These penalties are obviously pretty severe, and a conviction can have long-term consequences as well. Anyone facing accusations of a prostitution-related offense would be well-advised to get an experienced criminal defense attorney involved early.