Evidence in DC Solicitation Cases
If accused of solicitation in Washington, DC it is important you understand the specifics of what you are facing including the types of evidence that can, and most likely will, be used against you in court. Below, an experienced DC solicitation lawyer discusses the different types of evidence in addition to constitutional issues that commonly arise in these types of cases. To learn more call and schedule a consultation with an attorney today.
What Kind of Evidence is Typically Presented in Solicitation Cases
In solicitation charges there are no audio recordings, there are no video recordings.
Typically, the only evidence that the prosecutors use in these cases is the written recollection of one undercover police officer describing the manner in which the encounter happened between the suspect and the undercover officer.
For that reason the evidence tends to be pretty thin on these cases, so there needs to be an honest and thorough discussion between the defense lawyer and the defendant as to their best recollection of the conversation, how that conversation differs from the way that it’s recorded in the police reports and whether or not there’s any crucial context that’s missing from the conversation.
Constitutional Issues in DC Solicitation Cases
There aren’t often constitutional issues that arise in solicitation cases and the reason why is they rarely involve the search of a person, and are nearly always consensual encounters between people.
A police officer can never force or coerce a person into agreeing to prostitution or to accept an offer of prostitution. So because these situations are typically of a consensual nature then usually you don’t have a situation where you’re facing the violation of your constitutional rights.
Now a lot of times people raise the issue with me of whether or not they were entrapped because an undercover officer initiated the contact between the two of them. In many solicitation cases, the undercover officer is the one who initiates the contact and in some situations can actually be a bit forceful in trying to convince the person to accept the offers that they make.
This is typically not considered entrapment; nonetheless; a lawyer can still take a look at your specific circumstances and determine whether or not you were entrapped, usually that’s not the case in most of these charges.
Building a Defense Against DC Solicitation Charges
One of the first things that an attorney always look at is whether or not there is a specific agreement for a sexual act or sexual contact. Something that comes up every once in a while is an undercover police officer makes certain requests that the suspect, the person they’re attempting to arrest, doesn’t specifically consent to. And that applies on either side whether the undercover officer is posing as a prostitute or whether the undercover officer is posing as a “John”.
When the agreement is not specific enough to actually indicate that there was an acceptance of an offer and that the offer and acceptance included sexual acts or sexual contact then it may not rise to the level of solicitation of prostitution.
For example if a person simply agrees that all they want is a dance or a back massage and that’s the extent of what a person agrees to or offers in the first place but nonetheless the person is arrested, then there may not be enough evidence to be able to prove that this is even a prostitution situation at all.