Prostitution is often referred to as “the world’s oldest profession,” however it is illegal across nearly all of America. At Arizona Lawyers, we do not judge anyone who chooses to participate in prostitution, whether as a sex worker or as a “John.” However, we also know that sometimes people are forced into sex work through circumstances out of their control, or by other people. This is particularly true where minors are concerned.
If you are a minor and you have been charged with prostitution, you deserve the strongest defense possible under the law. Our significant experience defending individuals against prostitution charges means we understand the power dynamics at play when minors are forced into prostitution by adults who know that this is unacceptable. Further, we are very aware that many minors who are charged with prostitution are victims of sex trafficking, and that threats and coercion often go hand in hand with sex trafficking.
In Arizona, prostitution is defined as the act of knowingly engaging, or offering to engage in, sexual acts in exchange for money or something else of value. Many people mistakenly believe that you cannot be arrested for prostitution unless you have actually performed a sexual act, but in Arizona you can be arrested once money or something of value changes hands with an understanding that a sex act will take place.
The penalties for prostitution can be significant. Every city in Arizona imposes progressive penalties, meaning that every time you are arrested for prostitution you can be charged with an increasingly more serious criminal charge. As minors typically do not have the capacity to consent to be a prostitute and are often forced into sex work by others, it is extremely unfair and outrageous that minors are likely to run into these progressive penalties.
Unfortunately, the criminal justice system has a long way to go before it catches up to the 21st Century when it comes to charging minors with prostitution. While many in law enforcement understand that minors should not be charged with prostitution given the power dynamics and coercion that are often present in these situations, not all do. Each year, many minors run afoul of prostitution laws.
At Arizona Lawyers, our skilled and compassionate prostitution criminal defense attorneys will expend every effort to defend you against prostitution charges. We first begin by asking our clients important questions like, “How did you begin engaging in sex work?” and “Are you concerned for your safety if you try to leave prostitution behind?” By asking questions like this, we are better able to build you a strong defense that may show that you are a victim of sex trafficking or that you have been forced into prostitution against your will.
Above everything else, our attorneys will treat you with respect, dignity, and kindness. We know that sex work carries a stigma, but our primary concern is defending and protecting you.
If you are a minor charged with prostitution, you need an attorney, and best decision you can make is to retain the services of experienced criminal defense attorneys at Arizona Lawyers. Contact us today. We serve clients in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Yuma, Flagstaff, and Glenndale areas, and are ready to help you.