Qualified Prostitution Defense Attorneys in Albuquerque
Experienced Defense Lawyers Fighting on Behalf of Clients Charged with Prostitution in New Mexico
It may be the world’s oldest profession, but it is still a crime in New Mexico that can get you jail time and fines. It is illegal to sell sex, and it is illegal to buy it. Both are misdemeanors. On the other hand, promoting prostitution and accepting the earnings of a prostitute are both fourth-degree felonies, while child prostitution is a first or second-degree felony, depending on the age of the child. Do not hesitate in contacting an experienced prostitution defense lawyer in Albuquerque for a free legal consultation if you or a family member are involved in a prostitution case.
If you have been accused of a misdemeanor prostitution-related crime, not only are you at risk of spending some time in jail and paying hundreds of dollars in fines, you are likely to become the subject of ridicule, and your reputation will suffer. If you’re a teacher in New Mexico’s schools, if convicted, you’ll lose your job. A conviction for a felony prostitution crime can land you in state prison, strip you of some of your valued civil rights, and leave you with a criminal record that can limit employment, housing, and educational options. If you find yourself or a loved one in this type of situation, do not hesitate to contact a prostitution defense lawyer in Albuquerque, NM.
Engaging in Prostitution
In New Mexico, the law defines prostitution as engaging in (or offering to engage in) a sexual act for pay. Sexual acts that can be charged as prostitution include vaginal, oral, and anal sex, as well as masturbation of another person. Penalties are up to six months in jail and up to a $500 fine.
Patronizing a Prostitute
An additional law in New Mexico applies to those who purchase sex, commonly known as “johns.” Anyone who goes to a brothel with the intention of purchasing sex or who hires someone believed to be a prostitute can be charged with of patronizing a prostitute. As with the crime of prostitution, the maximum penalty for patronizing a prostitute is six months in jail and a $500 fine.
Pimping and Pandering
A more serious charge is promoting prostitution, also known as pimping or pandering. It consist of:
- owning or managing a brothel or other place where prostitution is practiced or allowed;
- renting any property to be used as a venue for prostitution;
- procuring a prostitute;
- inducing someone to become a prostitute;
- finding “johns” for a prostitute;
- being paid to find a prostitute for someone;
- providing transportation for a person to engage in prostitution within New Mexico;
- crossing New Mexico state lines for the purpose of prostitution;
- gaining income from another earned by prostitution.
Crimes that involve making money from the prostitution of another are punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a fine of as much as $5,000.
A person who receives any money from a child under 16 earned by the child engaging in a sexual act or sexual exhibition or who hires or attempts to hire a child between 13 and 16 for purposes of engaging in a sexual act can be charged with child prostitution.
Child prostitution is a serious type of sex crime—a second degree felony—punishable by up to 15 years in prison and fines up to $12,500. Making money from the prostitution of a child under a child under the age of 13 is a first degree felony that can get you 18 years in prison and a fine of $15,000.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are some defenses against a solicitation of prostitution charge?
- Entrapment (see below)
- Lack of trustworthy evidence (no recordings exist of the agreement to engage in prostitution, for example)
- The agreement for sex was facetious and you did not intend to actually engage in prostitution
- There was no clear agreement for commercial sex (simply walking into a massage parlor and asking for a massage is not enough, for example).
What is the entrapment defense?
The ultimate purpose of the law is not to punish criminals, but to prevent people from breaking the law in the first place. When a police officer or other government agent solicits you to commit a crime you otherwise weren’t inclined to commit just so he can arrest you for it, the purpose of the law is defeated, and you have an entrapment defense.
What is a prostitution “sting” operation?
In a prostitution sting operation, a police officer (usually an attractive young female, but sometimes a male posing as a pimp) will pose as a prostitute to bait you into making an offer. Once you state what you want and offer money for it, you are arrested. This tactic might allow for an entrapment defense, but don’t count on it.
If I am convicted of solicitation of prostitution, will I have to register as a sex offender?
No, not at present. New Mexico prostitution law does not require people convicted of prostitution-related offenses to register as sex offenders. This may change in the future, however, and the new requirement might apply retroactively.
What is a deferred sentence?
A deferred sentence is a compromise in which you agree with the state of New Mexico to meet certain probation requirements for a certain period of time. If you meet them for the required time, charges will be dropped. The purpose of this arrangement is to allow the defendant to avoid a criminal record.
Should I talk to the police?
No, not without your lawyer present. You have the right to remain silent, and you should exercise it even if you are innocent. Police have many ways to trick you into saying something that can be used against you later. If the police ask you questions, tell them you can’t speak with them until your lawyer is present.
What is a conditional discharge?
A conditional discharge is an agreement whereby you agree to meet certain conditions, such as community service, for a certain period. Once you meet these conditions your charges will be dismissed and will not appear on your criminal record. Offering a conditional discharge is often used by defense attorneys as a plea bargaining tactic.
Did the police need a warrant to arrest me?
Sometimes. Although the police usually need an arrest warrant, there are many exceptions. The police do need a warrant to arrest you for a misdemeanor unless the officer actually saw you commit the crime.
Will you keep all of our conversations confidential?
Absolutely yes. As attorneys licensed by the State Bar of New Mexico, we are legally required to observe the principle of attorney-client privilege, which protects the confidentiality of all our conversations, even an admission of guilt. We would never reveal a client confidence anyway, even if there were no penalties for it.
Legal Help From Knowledgeable Albuquerque Prostitution Lawyer
If you’ve been charged with being involved in prostitution in any capacity, you are in a serious situation and need a serious solution. You need help at once to limit the destruction of your life, your relationship with your family, and your standing in the community. Our New Mexico Criminal Law Offices in Albuquerque is where you’ll find a well-experienced, knowledgeable, and committed prostitution attorney who can give you the best defense available, mitigate the damage, and possibly, depending on the particular circumstances, make the charges go away. Contact us right away, and don’t answer any questions until your lawyer is present.