Unlike some other states, Nebraska defines prostitution and the act of soliciting a prostitute as two separate criminal offenses. State law also imposes harsher penalties on individuals who engage in solicitation than it does against those who engage in prostitution, particularly if the person being solicited was a minor at the time.
If you face charges for solicitation, you need help from an aggressive defense attorney to contest the allegations and protect your legal rights. Beyond just contesting your case on its merits, a Fremont solicitation lawyer could also work to minimize the sanctions you might face and even represent you during criminal investigations prior to any charges actually being filed.
Defining Solicitation as a Criminal Offense
As per Nebraska Revised Statutes §28-801.01, it is illegal to give someone money or something else of value in exchange for that person’s participation in sexual activity. This could entail any form of sexual contact or sexual intercourse. Importantly, it is just as illegal for someone to solicit a prostitute as it is for them to actually engage in sexual activity with them. In other words, someone can be charged with and convicted of solicitation even if the negotiated sexual activity never actually occurred.
Misdemeanor Solicitation Offenses
A first violation of N.R.S. §28-801.01 is considered a Class I misdemeanor, the most severe category of misdemeanor defined under state law. Upon conviction for this level of offense, a defendant may face maximum sanctions of one year in jail plus a $1,000 fine. Alternatively, the court ruling on their case may decide to impose a minimum $250 fine and a period of probation. Probation could also include a mandatory mental health and/or substance abuse assessment as well as mandatory attendance of a class about the effects of prostitution on the individuals and communities involved.
Felony Sexual Solicitation
However, if someone is convicted of solicitation a second or subsequent time, or if they are convicted of soliciting a person under 18 years old for any kind of sexual activity, their charge becomes a Class IV felony offense. This offense carries maximum penalties of a $10,000 fine, up to two years in prison, and/or 12 months of post-release supervision. Additionally, the fine associated with probation following a second or subsequent solicitation conviction is increased to a minimum of $500.
Contesting Solicitation Charges in Fremont Court
If someone who engages in solicitation does so because they were a victim of human trafficking, their personal history may serve as an affirmative defense to ensuing solicitation charges. It is not considered an affirmative defense to allegations of soliciting a minor for sex if the defendant was not aware that the person was under 18.
However, if someone only solicited sexual services after being persuaded to do so by undercover law enforcement officers who were specifically trying to manipulate them into committing a crime, they may be able to contest the charges based on their “entrapment.” A local solicitation lawyer could discuss this and other possible defense strategies during a consultation.
Talk to a Fremont Solicitation Attorney Today
Solicitation is considered a serious criminal offense in Nebraska, even for individuals with no other criminal history. On top of the social and professional consequences of such an allegation, convicted individuals may face steep fines, required assessments and education, and even time behind bars.
A skilled Fremont solicitation lawyer could provide much-needed guidance and support for anyone facing allegations of this offense. Schedule your initial meeting and call our firm today.