Promoting prostitution in Illinois is illegal – just as the act of prostitution is illegal. If you have been charged with a prostitution offense, you should not view it as insignificant because it is quite the opposite. This charge is classified as a felony, which means a prison sentence if convicted.
At Dolci & Weiland, our criminal defense team will support you throughout the entire case. We will review and investigate the charges against you and develop a comprehensive legal defense strategy that will return the best outcome for your unique situation.
How does Illinois define Promoting Prostitution?
Promoting Prostitution is an offense governed by 720 ILCS 5/11-14.3. This statute states that a person commits the offense of promoting prostitution when he or she knowingly:
- advances prostitution, which is defined by Section 11-0.1 and includes things like:
- soliciting for a prostitute by arranging or offering a meeting between the prostitute and another person; or
- directing a person to a place for the purpose of prostitution; or
- profits from prostitution by:
- compelling another person to be a prostitute;
- making arrangements or offering to make the arrangements so that a person can practice prostitution; or
- any other means to profit from prostitution (except for committing the act of prostitution) not yet mentioned.
The definition includes the act of promotion conditioned by the mental state of "knowingly." This means the offense requires you be aware that you are advancing prostitution.
What are the consequences of a conviction of Promoting Prostitution in Illinois?
Promoting prostitution is a serious offense. It is typically charged as a Class 4 felony. The offense, however, can be charged as a Class 3 felony under two situations:
- the offense is committed within 1,000 feet of a school; or
- the offense is a second or subsequent violation of this offense or any of the below-related offenses:
- solicitation of a sexual act;
- promoting juvenile prostitution;
- soliciting for a prostitute;
- soliciting for a juvenile prostitute;
- keeping a place of prostitution;
- keeping a place of juvenile prostitution;
- patronizing a prostitute;
- patronizing a juvenile prostitute;
- juvenile primping;
- aggravated juvenile primping; or
- exploitation of a child.
If convicted, the amount of prison time or fees you can expect from a Class 4 or Class 3 felony include the following:
- Class 4 felony includes a prison sentence between one and 3 years and a fine of up to $25,000.
- Class 3 felony includes a prison sentence between five and ten years and a fine of up to $25,000.
Apart from prison and fines, there are other consequences to a conviction. First, the mere fact you were accused of this offense can mean an automatic social stigma. A conviction entrenches that stigma.
You may have to register as a sex offender. You may also face difficulty obtaining or keeping a good job, difficulty obtaining loans due to your felony status, difficulty finding good housing if you rent or lease, and other collateral consequences. If you had custody of a child, you may have difficulty keeping custody or face challenges regaining custody after you successfully complete your sentence.
As it is, a conviction of promoting prostitution in Dupage County or anywhere in the Chicago metropolitan area can be quite problematic and life-changing for just about anyone. It is very important to retain legal representation by a competent, aggressive criminal defense lawyer.
Are there defenses to a charge of Promoting Prostitution in Illinois?
A viable defense includes actual defenses, like entrapment and mistake, and a defense strategy, which includes challenging the prosecutor from different angles.
There are a few valid defenses that could result in your charges being dismissed or reduced. The following is a brief description of the more common ones.
Entrapment occurs when you are lured by an undercover agent to do something you would not normally do. This is a common defense. Undercover agents often pose as someone seeking a prostitute. You may be friends with someone who works as a prostitute and this undercover agent may try to set you up in order to get an arrest.
Mistake is another common defense. This occurs when you did not specifically intend to advocate prostitution, meaning you lacked the required mental state. For example, someone may have asked you about your friend whom you did not know regularly worked as a prostitute, and you set up a date between these two persons.
Lack of evidence is another good defense. These cases are always tricky and much of it comes down to exactly how conversations go and exactly what happened. Absent sufficient evidence, the case could be dismissed prior to trial or you could be acquitted at trial.
Defense strategies can consist of any number of things. Your Constitutional rights may have been violated while you were investigated or arrested. If so, your attorney can file a motion to suppress or exclude any evidence flowing from one of these violations. These violations include an improper search and seizure or lack of probable cause before being taken into custody. Strategy can also include the way in which the attorney negotiates your case with the prosecutor prior to trial or the way the attorney challenges the prosecutor and his or her evidence or witnesses at trial.
The key to remember about your defense is this: the prosecutor must prove all elements of the crime of promoting prostitution, including the mental state that you were aware of what you were doing. You are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and your Dolci & Weiland criminal defense attorney will challenge the prosecutor at all stages of the criminal proceeding.
Experienced Chicago Defense Attorney for Promoting Prostitution
Being arrested for promoting prostitution is a big deal. You should never plead guilty at your arraignment just because you want the matter over – because that will be just the start of things. Of course, pleading not guilty and fighting the charges is also not easy, but it is often your best chance to successfully defeat the charge.
At Dolci & Weiland, we know how these types of charges can be stressful on our clients and their families. Contact us today to set up a consultation and get your questions answered.