In Washington, DC, the solicitation of prostitution is considered a crime. Many solicitation cases generally unfold in a similar manner and involve similar sorts of legal proceedings and evidence. In this page, we break down the process and explain the role that a DC solicitation lawyer plays when defending a client.
After an arrest for a first attempt solicitation charge, usually an individual is booked and processed by metropolitan police department, which usually takes about 2-3 hours. Then he or she released with a citation to return to court at a later date. That later date is called the arraignment hearing and at the arraignment hearing the individual appears before a judge to be officially charged with a crime.
If you’ve been charged with solicitation in Washington, DC, and if you’re planning to hire a lawyer, you should do so prior to your arraignment date and have that lawyer accompany you to the arraignment hearing to handle the entry of a “not guilty” plea, as well as other legal and administrative matters on your behalf. Your lawyer will then have the opportunity to review the evidence against you, discuss the case with a prosecutor and explore possible resolutions.
The prosecution of solicitation cases is actually very simple. There is typically only one officer who’s actually involved. For the most part, the only witness needed on the prosecutor’s side to prove a solicitation case is the single undercover officer. These cases do not rely on recorded audio or recorded video or the exchange of money or an actual sexual act to be committed. The undercover officer simply testifies to the words that were exchanged between the undercover officer and the suspect. So, in DC solicitation cases, the amount of evidence that is needed is very limited.
The prosecutors need to prove that first there was some kind of offer for a sexual act or sexual contact that was made. That applies regardless of which type of solicitation we’re looking at, whether it’s attempt to prove that someone was attempting to engage in prostitution or whether trying to prove that someone was attempting to get the services of a prostitute or inviting someone to be a prostitute.
They also need to show that the person intended to procure a prostitute or that the person intended to engage in prostitution. Finally, they need to be able to show that there was some kind of intent to exchange a fee. They don’t have to prove that money changed hands, they don’t have to prove that there was any actual sexual contact or any actual sexual act, they simply need to prove that the intent was there and that there was an intent to exchange money for that sexual act or sexual contact.
If you are facing serious solicitation charges, it’s important to contact a local defense attorney with experience handling these sensitive cases with discretion. Contact our DC law offices today and conduct your free initial consultation to learn more about the process and how a lawyer can help you.
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