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New York Prostitution Criminal Defense Lawyers Have you been caught prostituting or patronizing a prostitute in New York?

Prostitution has been around since time  immemorial. There are even biblical references to prostitution. It’s not called the world’s oldest profession for nothing. Here at Palumbo & Associates, PC we don’t judge. We defend. If you were given a ticket and court date having been accused of offering sex for money or for patronizing a prostitute in New York, Westchester County, Suffolk County, Nassau County, Long Island, Putnam County, Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Putnam County, Rockland County, or Orange County, you are charged with a serious crime that can have implications well beyond simple embarrassment. Our New York prostitution criminal defense lawyers will handle your prostitution case confidentially and effectively, our goal being getting your case dismissed and sealed as quickly as possible. If you have been charged with prostitution, patronizing, or any crime under NY Penal Law § 230 contact our law firm and speak to a NY prostitution criminal defense attorney for a free consultation to find out how we can help.

New York Prostitution – what is it?

Prostitution is when someone agrees or offers sexual conduct in return for a fee. This is a class “B” Misdemeanor. NY Penal Law § 230. Loitering for the purpose of promoting prostitution is a Class “A” misdemeanor. NY Penal Law § 240.37. Patronizing a prostitute occurs when there is a prior understanding to pay a fee to another person to engage in sexual conduct, or a solicitation of such. NY Penal Law § 230.02.

Sexual conduct is defined under NY Penal Law § 235.20, and is defined broadly. Masturbation, intercourse, physical contact with a person's genitals, pubic area, buttocks or, a female’s breast is all considered sexual conduct. And it can be clothed or unclothed, same or opposite sex.

There are various degrees of patronizing a prostitute in New York. Patronizing a prostitute with nothing more (no aggravating factors) is patronizing in the 3rd degree and is a Class “A” Misdemeanor. NY Penal Law § 230.04. Patronizing a prostitute is the 2nd degree is when the prostitute is 13 years of age or less and is a Class “E” felony. NY Penal Law § 230.05. Patronizing a prostitute is the 1st degree is when the prostitute is 10 years of age or less and is a Class “D” felony. NY Penal Law § 230.06. It is a defense to patronizing in the 2nd and 1st degree that they defendant did not have reasonable grounds to believe that the prostitute was less than the specified age. NY Penal Law § 230.07. Nonetheless, anyone convicted of engaging in sexual conduct with a prostitute under the age of 17 will be required to register as a sex offender under NY Correction Law § 168-A & 168-F.

Defenses to prostitution

The statutes prohibiting prostitution are legal and pass constitutional muster, Cherry v. Koch, 129 Misc.2d 346 (Kings County Supreme Court 1985); it is not entrapment for law enforcement to set up a sting and provide an opportunity, People v. Brown, 82 N.Y.2d 869, 631 N.E.2d 106, 609 N.Y.S.2d 164 (1993); and even when a massage is the primary service the law still prohibits sexual conduct, People v. Block, 71 Misc.2d 714 (Nassau County 1972). Indeed, advertising for massages when the person is not a licensed masseuse is an even worse crime of practicing a profession without a license, a Class “E” felony. NY Education Law § 6512 & 7802.

There is a defense to prostitution rooted in the First Amendment protections of the U.S. Constitution protection of free speech of the performing arts. Consequently dancing, and in particular lap dancing, is protected speech and therefore not prohibited under the prostitution statutes. See, Paris Adult Theatre I v. Slaton, 413 U.S. 49 (1973). Even when lap dancing is done totally nude with genital contact and fondling and caressing of a dancer’s breasts is protected speech and therefore not prostitution. See, People v. Tribble, N.Y.L.J. 22, (col. 3) September 29, 1992; but see,  People v. Hinzmann, 177 Misc.2d 531, 677 N.Y.S.2d 440 (1998), on very similar facts the court held that it was prostitution. Moreover, the phrase “with other persons” in the prostitution statute contemplates and requires sexual contact between the persons and does not include agreements which call only for autoerotic acts. See, People v. Greene, 110 Misc.2d 40, 441 N.Y.S.2d 636 (N.Y.City Crim.Ct.,1981). Likewise, sado-masochistic agreements are not prohibited by the prostitution statutes, because activity such as domination, submission, foot licking, and spanking are not sexual conduct. See, People v. Georgia A., 163 Misc.2d 634, 621 N.Y.S.2d 779 (N.Y.City Crim.Ct.,1994).

If you have been arrested for offering sex for money or offering to purchase sex for money don’t panic. We can help you through this trying time in your life. Call us today toll free for a no cost, no obligation, confidential phone consultation at 1 (877) 996-6849.