Prostitution is perhaps the oldest profession. However, in most states, including Michigan, the act of selling sex is still illegal. Allegations of such a criminal offense can be severely damaging to an individual. Not only can it result in serious legal penalties, but mere accusations might also negatively affect and individual’s professional and personal life, making it difficult for him or her to get back on his or her feet.
Michigan’s laws define prostitution as receiving payment in exchange for a sexual act. Though many people conjure images of street walkers when they hear the word prostitution, the term has far wider implications. Escort services and call girls can also fall into the category of prostitution, so long as they receive money in exchange for sex acts. It is also worth noting that those who solicit prostitution can also be charged with a crime. Many times, the sexual act does not even have to be performed. So long as money is offered for a sex act and an agreement is reached, officers may be able to make an arrest.
Conviction on a prostitution charge is typically a misdemeanor, though the offense could be bumped up to a felony if an individual is convicted for a third or subsequent prostitution or solicitation crime. Penalties for a conviction may be dependent upon an individual’s criminal history and the nature of the event, but individuals could face up to 93 days in jail and a fine up to $500. Community service, probation, and registration on an offender registry may also come into play.
Allegations of prostitution are quite serious and prosecutors aggressively handle these matters. Therefore, those who have been accused of this type of criminal wrongdoing may want to consider speaking with a legal professional about their defense options.
Source: FindLaw, “Michigan Prostitution and Solicitation,” accessed on Feb. 7, 2015