What are the penalty levels of prostitution?

On Behalf of | Nov 1, 2021 | Sex crimes

Sex offenses in Springfield, Missouri, may include sexual assault and battery, prostitution, and solicitation. The three types of prostitution offenses include the act of prostitution, promoting prostitution, and patronizing prostitution.

Prostitution Class B misdemeanor

Prostitution is when a person offers, agrees to, or engages in sex acts for something of value. Under the law, something of value means money, property, or objects that a person can exchange for money or property. Prostitution is usually a Class B misdemeanor. If substance abuse is involved, a judge may order treatment for drug and alcohol abuse during or after the trial.

Prostitution Class B felony

Under Missouri law, prostitution, when the defendant knows they have HIV, is a Class B felony charge. The use of condoms isn’t a defense. The defendant of felony prostitution can’t reverse a plea of guilty. Like with a misdemeanor case that involves substance abuse, the judge can sometimes consider the completion of treatment when sentencing.

Underage prostitution

A person accused of prostitution isn’t usually the victim of a crime; prostitution is considered a criminal act for all parties involved. However, if the prostitute is under the age of 18, the circumstances are different. Under federal law, anyone who participates in prostitution under the age of 18 is a victim. The court may classify the defendant as the victim of abuse. The law says to report any underage prostitution incident.

Prostitution-related offenses can involve any aspect of prostitution. If a person goes to court for prostitution a second time, they’re a persistent prostitution offender. Like most sex crimes, prostitution is circumstantial, so the penalties for a conviction will depend on the judge, the ages of the people involved, and whether there’s drug and alcohol abuse.