Prostitution, or commercial sex, is illegal nearly everywhere in the United States, with Sin City and a few Nevada counties. In Oklahoma, like most of the nation, it is a criminal offense.
Prostitution and solicitation of prostitution are generally misdemeanors carrying a maximum of one year in jail. For many people, the harshest penalty of a prostitution arrest is the impact it can have on one’s personal relationships. The stigma associated with paying for sex can wreak havoc on families and destroy a person’s reputation. Jobs are lost and employment opportunities restricted by a criminal record.
Often, a prostitution arrest comes as a result of an undercover sting with law enforcement officer’s acting as decoys, placing phony Craigslist ads, or visiting massage parlors. Such undercover initiatives must be carefully conducted within the law in order to preserve the rights of those suspected of involvement in prostitution and to avoid entrapment of those accused of soliciting.
Regardless of the circumstances leading to your arrest, the attorneys at Law Firm of Oklahoma are equipped to represent you in this battle. Our proven record of successful outcomes stands as a testimony to our dedication to provide effective defense representation to each and every client who trusts us to handle his or her case effectively and professionally.
The commercial exchange of sex for money is prohibited under 21 O.S. § 1029. In general, both prostitution and solicitation of prostitution are prosecuted as misdemeanors; however, certain circumstances can elevate the offense to felony status.
Under Oklahoma law, it is forbidden to engage in prostitution; to solicit prostitution; to go anywhere or loiter anywhere with the intent of engaging in prostitution; or to aid, abet, or participate in any of the previously identified activities related to prostitution.
State law treats actively engaging in prostitution, soliciting prostitution, and attempting to engage in prostitution as equal offenses. Penalties increase with subsequent offenses:
While prostitution is generally a misdemeanor, it is a felony under the following circumstances:
Jail or prison, fines, and personal and professional embarrassment are all potential consequences of a prostitution arrest. The criminal record created by conviction of a misdemeanor or felony can create additional collateral consequences that have an impact on one’s life long after any sentence has been served.
While engaging in prostitution is a misdemeanor in most cases, pandering is a felony. Pandering, more commonly called “pimping,” is the act of procuring a prostitute through promises, threats, violence, and/or fraud or abuse of authority.
Pandering is a felony punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $9,000. However, in some cases, pandering may be charged as human trafficking, which may be a violation of either state or federal law. In Oklahoma, human trafficking is punishable by a minimum of 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. If the victim is under the age of 18, trafficking carries a minimum sentence of 10 years and a fine of up to $20,000.
Learn more about human trafficking here.
Oklahoma law specifically forbids a number of other acts related to prostitution, pandering, and procuring a prostitute. These include maintaining a bawdy house, allowing a property to be rented for the purpose of prostitution, transporting a person for the purpose of prostitution, unlawfully restraining or detaining a child or adult in a house of prostitution, procuring child prostitution, and transporting a child for the purpose of prostitution.
If you have been arrested for prostitution or attempting to engage in prostitution, you may feel as if your back is against the wall. Indeed, you face significant personal and legal difficulties. We are committed to fighting for you, leaving no stone unturned in seeking the best possible defense strategy for your case. Find out more by calling (405) 608-4990. If you prefer, submit the confidential case review form found on this page, and an attorney will contact you for a free consultation.