Solicitation of prostitution is a serious problem in Columbus, Ohio, where the police force is making a concerted effort to end human trafficking and help reduce the drug problem. The Ohio legal system recognizes that prostitution is not a victimless crime and that many customers of commercial sex view solicitation of prostitution as an easy, no-harm-no-foul business transaction. As the police force makes sting after sting and sweep after sweep that results in 60 plus arrests daily, the Ohio legal system and Columbus solicitation defense attorneys are working hard to educate and help both prostitutes and johns. If you have been arrested for soliciting prostitution in Columbus, you need an experienced solicitation defense lawyer on your side.
Legal Help for Prostitutes
Criminal or Victim?
The Ohio legal system has invested decades of research into combatting the commercial sex industry by targeting the demand for commercial sex — the consumer. However, recently, the focus has been on fighting human trafficking and addressing the circle of abuse that many prostitutes find themselves in. Interviews with prostitutes have revealed that many are not in the industry voluntarily or started voluntarily to feed a drug habit and cannot find a way out. 92 percent of prostitutes that are arrested are being trafficked — sold for sex against their will. Victims of human trafficking often stay because they are physically beaten to believe, “Where can I go if I have nowhere to go and everything I’m doing is illegal?”
Changing Actions to Change Habits
In recent years, leniency has been shown to sex workers in the hopes that if they are not treated like criminals, they can overcome addictions, end the circle of abuse, and find a purpose in life. Being arrested and criminalized for prostitution can be embarrassing, traumatic, and further deter the ability to overcome obstacles. The solution that the Ohio court system has come up with, called Changing Actions to Change Habits (CATCH), is to offer dropped charges if a convicted prostitute attends a two-year program that includes counseling, keeps a job, and remains sober.
Legal Help for Customers
Criminal or Customer?
It was not until recently that law enforcement began a full attack on combating prostitution by reducing the demand by arresting customers of prostitutes along with or instead of the prostitutes. It is more difficult to successfully charge a customer, commonly referred to as johns, with criminal charges unless the sex act occurred and a financial exchange took place. Because most johns are arrested during stings or sweeps when undercover cops pose as prostitutes or online escorts, the act does not occur and exchange of money does not take place, which means the suspected john will be charged with solicitation of a prostitute rather than compelling prostitution (which is a third-degree felony charge when the act and exchange of payment takes place) or some secondary offense. Often times, an experienced solicitation defense lawyer can get charges dropped if there is weakness in the prosecutor’s case such as when the agreement was vague or ambiguous — there was no clear and direct agreement to trade money or goods for sexual pleasure — there was no sex act or exchange of payment, or the entire situation was a misunderstanding. Ohio state law recognizes that most johns believe that paying for sex is a victimless crime if money is exchanged, it is just sex — no harm, no foul.
Most courts realize that the majority of prostitutes are victims of sexual abuse, violence, human trafficking, and drug addiction.The Ohio legal system has recognized the need to help educate the customers of the commercial sex trade. If you have no criminal history of sex crimes, violent crimes, human trafficking, or domestic violence, and the prostitute you solicited is over the age of 18, you may qualify to have your solicitation charge expunged from your record if you attend John School. John School is a one-day educational seminar led by law enforcement, former prostitutes, and psychiatrists that will discuss topics including health education and STD prevention, how prostitution negatively affects communities and families, legal consequences of solicitation, sex addictions, and human trafficking and pimping.
If you have been arrested and charged with solicitation in Columbus, hire an experienced solicitation defense attorney who is interested in helping you. Whether you are an accused john or an accused prostitute, we know the devastating consequences that a conviction can have on your entire life. If you’re facing a solicitation offense in Columbus, you need an experienced attorney who will review your case and create a strategy to either win the case or mitigate the potential damage to your record. The skilled and trusted legal representation at Probst Law Office offers the help you need to be sure you have the best representation possible in fighting solicitation charges. Get the experience that you need and deserve when you hire Michael Probst as your attorney. Contact Michael today for your free consultation.