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Rhode Island Prostitution, Solicitation And Procurement Defense Lawyer

Prostitution-Rhode-Island

As a former prosecutor for the Rhode Island Department of Attorney General, and now Rhode Island criminal defense lawyer for 27+ years I have successfully defended thousands of criminal cases including prostitution, procurement of sexual conduct for a fee, and pandering.  My experience, knowledge, and long-term relationships with prosecutors and judges have saved many deserving criminal clients from the harsh penalties provided under the RI General Laws for these sex-related criminal offenses.  

My goal in all prostitution, procurement of sexual conduct, sexual acts or sexual contact for a fee, and pandering cases is DISMISSAL of all criminal charges and EXPUNGMENT of your criminal record. If you have been charged with prostitution, procurement of sexual conduct for a fee, or pandering, it is critical that you hire the best criminal defense attorney in Rhode Island to protect your rights and your future.

Call Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer S. Joshua Macktaz, Esquire today at 401.861.1155 if you have been arrested and charged with prostitution, procurement of sexual conduct for a fee, or pandering (pimping)

Brief History of Rhode Island Prostitution Laws

Indoor prostitution was actually legal in Rhode Island between 1980 and 2009 because there was no specific Rhode Island criminal law or criminal statute to specifically outlaw the act.  Indoor prostitution in Rhode Island was finally outlawed on November 3, 2009, by Governor Donald Carcieri.  He signed into law a bill which changed a 29-year-old loophole in Rhode Island prostitution laws which allowed the exchange of sex for money in any setting. 

Activities such as street solicitation (loitering for indecent purposes or soliciting from motor vehicles for indecent purposes), procurement of sexual conduct, sexual acts or sexual contact for a fee (online ads), running a brothel (venue of pandering), and pimping (pandering) were and remain illegal. 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Governor Carcieri signed into law legislation to outlaw indoor prostitution in Rhode Island at a State House ceremony Tuesday afternoon.

The signing closes a nearly 30-year-old loophole in the state’s prostitution laws that has allowed prostitutes to work legally out of brothels, strip clubs, homes or anywhere else — as long as it’s indoors.

“For almost 30 years Rhode Island has had the terrible distinction of being the only state outside certain counties in Nevada where indoor prostitution is not considered a crime,” Carcieri said.

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Joanne M. Giannini, D-Providence, and Sen. Paul V. Jabour, D-Providence, the governor said, will help protect the state’s most vulnerable residents and enhance the quality of life in Rhode Island.

It was approved almost overwhelmingly late last week by the General Assembly, which was meeting in special session.

In addition to the legislation’s sponsors, the attendants at the ceremony included R.I. Atty. Gen. Patrick C. Lynch and State Police Col. Brendan P. Doherty.

The new law “sends a distinct message to any group (which) thinks they could use Rhode Island in furtherance of their illicit business,” State Police Col. Doherty said. “The bottom line is commercial sex is now clearly illegal” in Rhode Island.

Lynch said that the new law will “end a blemish” on the state and give law enforcement the tools they need to investigate and prosecute prostitution and related criminal activity.

“Does this mean prostitution will be eliminated in Rhode Island forever?” Giannini asked. “Of course not. But it means Rhode Island will no longer be a safe haven for pimping and trafficking and the victimization of young women.”

The law makes indoor prostitution a misdemeanor crime punishable, for first offenders, by up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $1,000, or both. However, the law empowers judges to erase the criminal convictions of first offenders.

Customers or “johns” face the same penalties as prostitutes but without the possibility of having their criminal record expunged.

Posted by: Providence Journal Rhode Island News – 2:04 PM Tue, Nov 03, 2009 – Lynn Arditi

As a Rhode Island criminal attorney who has handled thousands of criminal offenses in Rhode Island, I understand the need for discretion when representing a person charged with prostitution, soliciting sexual activity or promoting sexual activity. Even if you face a false accusation, the notice of your court date can cause serious rifts in interpersonal relationships or your employment. I will use my relationships with prosecutors and judges with the utmost discretion in representing people charged criminally with:

  • Selling sexual services – Prostitution or loitering for indecent purposes
  • Soliciting a prostitute – Procurement of sexual conduct, sexual acts or sexual contact for a fee or soliciting from motor vehicles for indecent purposes
  • Pimping or running a brothel – Pandering or permitting prostitution

What is a Prostitution Charge in Rhode Island?

Under Rhode Island prostitution law, prostitution is defined as the practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment.  Often referred to as the oldest profession in the world, the act of prostitution is basically a transaction.  A prostitute is selling sexual activity to a buyer of sexual activity (referred to as a “John”).  Prostitution is a misdemeanor criminal offense handled in the Rhode Island District Court:

§ 11-34.1-2. Prostitution.

(a) A person is guilty of prostitution when such person engages, or agrees, or offers to engage in sexual conduct, sexual acts or sexual contact with another person in return for a fee. Any person found guilty under this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six (6) months, or to a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both.

(b) Any person found guilty of a subsequent offense under this section shall be subject to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both.

What is Loitering for Prostitution?

Under Rhode Island criminal law, loitering for prostitution is the act of wandering the streets attempting to sell sexual activity for a fee.  Loitering for prostitution is a misdemeanor criminal offense handled in the RI District Court:

§ 11-34.1-4. Loitering for prostitution.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to stand or wander in or near any public highway or street, or any public or private place, and attempt to engage passersby in conversation, or stop or attempt to stop motor vehicles, for the purpose of prostitution or other commercial sexual activity. Any person found guilty of the crime of loitering for prostitution shall be subject to a sentence of up to six (6) months incarceration or by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both.

(b) Any person found guilty of a subsequent offense under this section shall be subject to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both.

Are there any Defenses to a Prostitution Case under Rhode Island Law?

Thankfully, the answer is YES:

(c) In any prosecution for a violation under this section, it shall be an affirmative defense if the accused was forced to commit a commercial sexual activity by:

  1. Being threatened or subjected to physical harm;
  2. Being physically restrained or threatened to be physically restrained;
  3. Being subject to threats of abuse of law or legal process;
  4. Being subject to destruction, concealment, removal, or confiscation, of any passport or other immigration document or any other actual or purported governmental identification document; or
  5. Being subject to intimidation in which the accused’s physical well being was perceived as threatened.

What is Procurement of Sex for a Fee in Rhode Island?

This is the RI criminal law which punishes the “Johns” for attempting to purchase sexual activity for a fee.  These criminal cases usually involve the police or law enforcement staging an undercover  prostitute or fake Craig’s List ad for a prostitute.  When the “John” shows up with money trying to purchase sexual activity for a fee, he/she is arrested and charged with procurement of sex for a fee:

§ 11-34.1-3. Procurement of sexual conduct, sexual acts or sexual contactfor a fee.

(a) A person is guilty of procuring or attempting to procure sexual conduct for the payment of a fee if they engage or seek to engage in sexual conduct, sexual acts or sexual contact for any type of fee and/or pay or agree to pay any type of fee for sexual conduct, regardless of the time, place or location of the procurement, attempted procurement, payment, attempted payment or conduct. Any person found guilty under this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both.

(b) Any person found guilty of a subsequent offense under this section shall be subject to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both.

What is a Pandering Charge in Rhode Island?

Under Rhode Island prostitution law, pandering is the equivalent of “pimping”.  This means if you have been arrested for the criminal offense of pandering, law enforcement or police are saying you are selling other people into prostitution and involved in human trafficking. 

The criminal penalties for pandering and human trafficking are much harsher than the criminal penalties for prostitution and require an aggressive and skilled Rhode Island criminal defense lawyer.

§ 11-34.1-7. Pandering or permitting prostitution – Not allowed.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person, by any promise or threat, by abuse of person, or by any other device or scheme, to cause, induce, persuade, or encourage a person to become a prostitute or to come into this state or leave this state for the purpose of prostitution. It shall be unlawful for any person to receive or give, or agree to receive or give, any money or thing of value for procuring or attempting to procure any person to become a prostitute or to come into this state or leave this state for the purpose of prostitution.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly permit, allow, transport, or offer or agree to receive any person into any place, structure, house, building, room, or business for the purpose of committing any commercial sexual activity, or knowingly permit any person to remain in the premises for those purposes, or to, in any way, aid or abet or participate in any of the acts or things enumerated in this chapter. Any person, knowing a person to be a prostitute, who shall live or derive support or maintenance, in whole or in part, from the earnings or proceeds of commercial sexual activity, from moneys loaned, advanced to, or charged against the prostitute by a landlord, manager, owner of a spa or business, or any other place where commercial sexual activity is practiced or allowed, or who shall share in the earnings, proceeds, or moneys shall be guilty of the crime of permitting prostitution.

(c) Every person who commits any of the offenses described in subsection (a) of this section, or who assists, abets, or aids another to commit any of those offenses, shall be guilty of pandering. For the first offense, that person shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year and not more than five (5) years and a fine of not less than two thousand dollars ($2,000), nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000). For every subsequent offense, that person shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than three (3) years and not more than ten (10) years and a fine of not less than five thousand dollars ($5,000), nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

(d) Any proceeds derived directly from a violation of this section are subject to seizure and forfeiture and further proceedings shall be required for their forfeiture as is prescribed by law in chapter 21 of title 12.

Penalties for Prostitution, Procurement of Sexual Activity for a Fee and Pandering

11-34.1-2. Prostitution Misdemeanor criminal offense

First Offense: $250 to $1000 fine and up to six months in prison, or both.  Probation and/or suspended sentence and community service.  Required AIDS testing.

Multiple offenses: $500 to $1,000 fine and up to one year in prison, or both.  Probation and/or suspended sentence and community service.  Required AIDS testing.

Record may be expunged after 1 year from time of infraction, or 5 years from date of infraction depending on criminal sentence.  An aggressive and skilled Rhode Island criminal defense attorney knows how to get you the best results in your Rhode Island prostitution case.

11-34.1-3. Procurement of sexual conduct, sexual acts or sexual contactfor a fee Misdemeanor criminal offense

First Offense: $250 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in prison, or both.  Probation and/or suspended sentence and community service.  Required AIDS testing.

Subsequent Offense: $500 to $1,000 fine and up to a year in prison, or both.  Probation and/or suspended sentence and community service.  Required AIDS testing.

Record may be expunged after 1 year from time of infraction, or 5 years from date of infraction depending on criminal sentence.  An aggressive and skilled Rhode Island criminal defense lawyer knows how to get you the best results in your Rhode Island procurement case.

11-34.1-4. Loitering for Prostitution Misdemeanor criminal offense

First Offense: $250 to $1000 fine and up to six months in prison, or both.  Probation and/or suspended sentence and community service.  Required AIDS testing.

Multiple offenses: $500 to $1,000 fine and up to one year in prison, or both.  Probation and/or suspended sentence and community service.  Required AIDS testing.

Record may be expunged after 1 year from time of infraction, or 5 years from date of infraction depending on criminal sentence.  An aggressive and skilled Rhode Island criminal defense lawyer knows how to get you the best results in your Rhode Island loitering for prostitution case.

11-34.1-6. Soliciting from motor vehicles for indecent purposes Misdemeanor criminal offense

First Offense: $500 to $1,000 fine and up to 1 year in prison, or both.  Probation and/or suspended sentence and community service.  Required AIDS testing.

Subsequent Offense: $750 to $1,000 fine and up to one year in prison, or both. Probation and/or suspended sentence and community service.  Required AIDS testing. Additionally, the motor vehicle may be seized and forfeited.

Record may be expunged after 1 year from time of infraction, or 5 years from date of infraction depending on criminal sentence.  An aggressive and skilled Rhode Island criminal defense attorney knows how to get you the best results in your Rhode Island solicitation from a motor vehicle case.

11-34.1-7. Pandering or permitting prostitution Felony criminal offense

First Offense: $2,000 to $5,000 fine and prison for one to five years.  Probation and/or suspended sentence and community service.  Required AIDS testing.

Subsequent Offense: Three to ten years in prison and $5,000 to $10,000 fine.

Record may be expunged after 10 years from time of criminal sentence.  An aggressive and skilled Rhode Island criminal defense lawyer knows how to get you the best results in your Rhode Island pandering case.

WHY HIRE RHODE ISLAND CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY S. JOSHUA MACKTAZ, ESQ. TO DEFEND YOUR PROSTITUTION, SOLICITATION, PROCUREMENT OF SEX FOR A FEE OR PANDERING CHARGES:

  • Former Rhode Island State Prosecutor
  • Judges, Lawyers and Police Officers refer family and friends to my law office 
  • 27+ years of experience in Rhode Island with prostitution, procurement of sex for a fee, pandering and criminal law
  • 300+ Five Star online reviews across all platforms
  • Aggressive, experienced and personal representation of all clients charged with prostitution, procurement of sex for a fee, pandering
  • Strong and long-standing relationships with all Rhode Island Judges and prosecutors 
  • My goal in every case is DISMISSAL and then EXPUNGEMENT of all criminal charges against you
  • I will be the criminal defense attorney reviewing and overseeing your case and I will be the criminal lawyer standing next to you in court.  Unlike so many other Rhode Island criminal defense firms, I do NOT send associates to court to do my job.  I am in criminal court every day of the week, and I strongly believe each client deserves this personal service.
  • I copy every client on every single document coming into the office, or leaving the office, regarding their criminal case.  I think it is critical for every client to be well-informed and fully engaged in the process.  Defending your Rhode Island prostitution, procurement of sex for a fee, or pandering case is truly a team effort.
  • All calls and emails will be returned by me, not an associate, within a few hours of receiving the email or call.  
  • I provide a free and comprehensive initial consultation in all new criminal law cases.
  • I am available 24/7/365
phone Request your free case evaluation today! (401)861-1155

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