Sussex County Prostitution Charges Defense Attorney
Handling Prostitution and Promoting Prostitution Cases in Warren County NJ
Under the New Jersey Criminal Code, prostitution is defined as sexual activity with another person in exchange for something of economic value, or the offer or acceptance of an offer to engage in sexual activity in exchange for something of economic value. Thus, the question becomes whether or not a sexual activity was involved, which is defined as including but not limited to sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, and oral-anal contact, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex; masturbation; touching of the genitals, buttocks, or female breasts; sadistic or masochistic abuse and other deviate sexual relations.
In any event, criminal offenses regarding prostitution range from disorderly persons offenses for engaging in prostitution to first degree crimes for promoting the prostitution of a child. If you have been charged with a prostitution crime in Hackettstown, Andover, Newton, Vernon, or anywhere else in Sussex or Warren County NJ, the criminal defense team at the Tormey Law Firm can help: we have handled sex crimes matters, including prostitution cases, in courts across New Jersey and we’re only a call away from defending you at 973-755-1695.
Prostitution Laws in NJ – NJSA 2C:34-1
Promoting prostitution is defined by the New Jersey Criminal Code as: a) owning, controlling, managing, supervising or otherwise keeping, alone or in association with another, a house of prostitution or a prostitution business; (b) procuring an inmate for a house of prostitution or place in a house of prostitution for one who would be an inmate; (c) encouraging, inducing, or otherwise purposely causing another to become or remain a prostitute; (d) soliciting a person to patronize a prostitute; (e) procuring a prostitute for a patron; (f) transporting a person into or within this State with purpose to promote that person’s engaging in prostitution, or procuring or paying for transportation with that purpose; or (g) knowingly leasing or otherwise permitting a place controlled by the actor, alone or in association with others, to be regularly used for prostitution or promotion of prostitution, or failure to make a reasonable effort to abate such use by ejecting the tenant, notifying law enforcement authorities, or other legally available means. Promoting prostitution constitutes a crime of the third degree if the conduct falls within subparagraph (a), (b), (c), (f), or (g) above. Otherwise the offense is a crime of the fourth degree. As it relates to criminal charges, “house of prostitution” is defined as any place where prostitution or promotion of prostitution is regularly carried on by one person under the control, management or supervision of another.
According to N.J.S.A. 2C:34-1(b) a person commits a prostitution offense if: (1) the actor engages in prostitution as a patron, which constitutes a disorderly persons offense for a first offense, a fourth degree crime for a second or third conviction and a third degree crime for a fourth or subsequent conviction; (2) the actor promotes prostitution, which is either a third or fourth degree crime as outlined above; (3) the actor knowingly promotes prostitution of a child under 18 whether or not the actor mistakenly believed that the child was 18 years of age or older, even if such mistaken belief was reasonable, which is a first degree crime and considered a Megan’s Law sex offense; (4) the actor knowingly promotes prostitution of the actor’s child, ward, or any other person for whose care the actor is responsible, which is a first degree crime and considered a Megan’s Law sex offense; (5) the actor compels another to engage in or promote prostitution, which is a crime of the third degree; (6) the actor promotes prostitution of the actor’s spouse, which is a crime of the third degree; (7) the actor knowingly engages in prostitution with a person under the age of 18, or if the actor enters into or remains in a house of prostitution for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity with a child under the age of 18, or if the actor solicits or requests a child under the age of 18 to engage in sexual activity, which is a crime of the second degree. It shall be no defense to a prosecution under this paragraph that the actor mistakenly believed that the child was 18 years of age or older, even if such mistaken belief was reasonable; or (8) the actor engages in prostitution by personally offering sexual activity in exchange for something of economic value, which is a disorderly persons offense for a first offense and a fourth degree crime for second or subsequent offenses.
Penalties for Prostitution and Promoting Prostitution Charges in NJ
The penalties for a prostitution offense depends on the underlying factual circumstances and the grade of the offense. Generally, a first degree crime is punishable by ten to twenty years in prison and up to a $200,00 fine, a second degree crime imposes a five to ten year prison sentence and up to a $150,00 fine, a third degree crime carries a three to five year prison sentence and up to a $15,000 fine, and a fourth degree crime will result in up to eighteen months in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. But, in addition to any fine, fee, assessment, or penalty authorized by law, a person convicted of an offense of prostitution or related offense under paragraph (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), or (7) of subsection b. shall be assessed a penalty of at least $10,000 but not more than $50,000, except if the offense involved promotion of the prostitution of a child under the age of 18, then the penalty shall be at least $25,000. In addition, where a motor vehicle was used in the commission of any offense of engaging in prostitution as a patron, the court shall suspend for six months the driving privilege of any such offender who has a valid driver’s license issued by New Jersey.
The bottom line is that any defense against prostitution charges should be carefully crafted by an experienced defense attorney and if you are charged with a prostitution crime in Sussex or Warren County your first call should be to the Tormey Law Firm at 973-755-1695.