In Minnesota, it is unlawful to solicit or engage in prostitution. Recently, law enforcement officers in our region have been cracking down on these types of offenses. A solicitation charge should not be taken lightly. A conviction for a solicitation offense can carry stiff penalties—potentially including jail time. In this article, our Mankato solicitation defense lawyers provide an overview of Minnesota’s prostitution laws.
Minnesota Law: Prostitution and Solicitation
Under Minnesota law (Sec. 609.324 MN), prostitution occurs as a person being hired/offered money or other benefits in exchange for sexual penetration or sexual contact. Sexual contact is defined quite broadly under state law—penetration is not required to warrant a prostitution charge.
Additionally, it is important to emphasize that a defendant can be arrested for solicitation or prostitution even if the act did not yet occur. The offer and acceptance is sufficient to meet the elements of the crime set forth by the statute.
Penalties for Soliciting or Engaging in Prostitution in Minnesota
In Minnesota, the penalties for a solicitation will vary based on the severity of the alleged offense. Many, but not all, of the people arrested for soliciting a prostitute will face jail time. In some cases, a defendant will face significant jail times. If you were arrested for a felony solicitation offense, you are facing significant jail time. Here is what you need to know about solicitation penalties in Minnesota:
- Misdemeanor Solicitation in Minnesota: A defendant accused of hiring or attempting to hire a consenting prostitute who is at least 18 years of age may be charged with a misdemeanor offense subject to a $500 fine and 20 hours of community service. That being said, a misdemeanor solicitation offense can sometimes carry jail time. If the solicitation occurred in a public place, the crime may be upgraded to a gross misdemeanor that is punishable by 365 days in jail
- Felony Solicitation in Minnesota: A defendant may be charged with felony solicitation if they are accused of hiring a minor or attempting to hire a minor. Depending on the age of the minor, this offense is punishable by 5 to 20 years in prison. That a defendant did not know the age of the other person is necessarily a valid defense.
Ultimately, all solicitation and prostitution cases must be defended on a case-by-case basis. The specific facts and circumstances matter. An experienced Minnesota criminal defense attorney can review the charges and the evidence and craft a comprehensive defense strategy focused on protecting your rights, reputation, and freedom.
Contact Our Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorneys for Immediate Help
At Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., our Mankato criminal defense lawyers are aggressive, effective advocates for our clients. If you were arrested for a prostitution-related offense, we are more than ready to protect your rights. For a no cost, confidential review of your case, please contact us at 507-625-5000. From our offices in Mankato and Rochester, we defend the accused throughout Southern Minnesota.