Prostitution is a sexual act or sexual contact with another person in return for giving or receiving a fee. So a sexual act requires penetration or mouth to genitalia contact. A sexual contact is just the touching of clothed or unclothed genitalia for sexual gratification.
Solicitation is the act of inviting, offering or agreeing to engage in prostitution or addressing someone for the purpose of committing those acts. So solicitation applies equally to a person who is offering services as a prostitute as it does to a person who accepts an offer from someone he or she believes is a prostitute.
Prostitution isn’t considered the name of the crime in DC. Solicitation is the official name of this offence and includes different acts that involve prostitution.
Typically, solicitation scenarios arise one of two ways, the first way is an individual has a conversation with an undercover police officer where the allegation is that the individual sought receive sexual contact or acts in return for the payment of a fee.
Another common scenario is where an individual and an undercover police officer arrange a meeting through an escort service website such as Eros or Backpage and the individual is arrested at the meeting location upon agreeing to exchange sexual services for payment of a fee. In this scenario, undercover officers pose as both people offering sexual services and people seeking to pay for those services.
The main players involved are almost always one undercover police officer and one individual suspect. The undercover officer sometimes poses as a person seeking sexual services in exchange for payment, and other times as a person offering the sexual services for a fee.
Unfortunately every criminal case is always considered to be public record and what that means is that you will have a court case recorded in the official court docket and that court docket is searchable if you go to the DC Superior court’s website, type in the defendant’s name then it will show the status of the case, it will show when the next court hearing is, it will show what happened at each court hearing. Fortunately in Washington DC there are policies in place to prevent metropolitan police department from placing mug shots online when a person has not yet been convicted. DC does not do that unless there’s a specific public interest in your case or you’ve been convicted of a crime. And even once you’ve been convicted the chances are your police reports or mug shots going online are not very high.
Even though it seems like solicitation arrests consume a huge amount of resources, the United States Attorney’s office does not seek to spend a great deal of time prosecuting what is essentially a victimless crime. So for that reason there are very often negotiated resolutions that can be reached between your defense lawyer and the prosecution that could possibly result in your charges being dismissed.
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