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This post is the first in my series regarding things to know when you are arrested for solicitation or prostitution in Illinois. Solicitation is offering to perform any sexual act in exchange for money property or any other thing of value. You can be charged with solicitation even if you never actually perform a sex act or receive any goods or money. This series will cover the following topics:
It is important that if you have been arrested or cited for solicitation or prostitution you contact a Chicago criminal defense attorney immediately. The law in Illinois makes it a crime just to make the offer of any sex act for goods or money, or in the alternative agree to someone else’s offer. For example, if you were at a hotel bar and a man offered you a pair of earrings in exchange for a night with him and you accepted then you could be arrested for solicitation of a sexual act. Solicitation is a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Prostitution and solicitation also include scenarios such as placing ads online through “backpage” and related sites, massage parlors with extras, and engaging drivers in cars while standing on a street corner late at night. Even if you try to protect yourself by using code-words, you may be talking to a police officer who will testify as to what those code-words mean on the street.
While agreeing to exchange goods or services for sexual favors is a misdemeanor, it is a Class 4 felony if the person from whom you solicited sexual services is a minor (under 18) or “profoundly mentally retarded”. As an example, if you were to approach a woman on the street while driving in your car and the two of you agree on a price, and she tells you that she is 20 years old even though she is 17, you may be charged with felony solicitation. It is a defense that you believed she was over 18 but that defense is very fact specific. Your lawyer will need to review the police report as well as hear your side of the story, collect any audio or video recordings available, interview any witnesses, and view photographs of the child in order to build such a defense.
The consequences of a solicitation conviction in Illinois can be serious and far-reaching. It is important that you contact a Chicago criminal defense lawyer as soon as you are aware you are facing such charges. If you have been arrested or charged with solicitation or prostitution contact my Orland Park office today for a consultation with an attorney. I also handle matters in areas of Cook County including Glenview, Palos Park, Oak Lawn, Oak forest, Blue Island, Palos Heights, Palos Hills, Alsip, Bridgeview, Lemont, Orland Hills, Country Club Hills, Hickory Hills, and Tinley Park, in DuPage County areas including Downers Grove, Naperville, Woodridge, and Darien, in Kane County areas including Aurora, Elgin and Geneva, and the Will County cities of Joliet, Bolingbrook, Mokena, Frankfort, New Lenox, Lockport, Homer Glen, Romeoville, and Manhattan.