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Prostitution/Solicitation

It’s perfectly legal for two consenting adults to have sex. In New York, this interaction becomes the crime of prostitution when money is exchanged as part of the deal. Escort services also qualify as prostitution. Whether you are a prostitute or a patron (commonly known as a “john”), you risk legal consequences if you’re busted.

 It is embarrassing to have your name associated with prostitution. You could be judged by friends or family, or lose your job. If you’ve been arrested for prostitution or solicitation, it’s in your best interest to contact a qualified criminal defense attorney immediately.

Defense Attorney for Prostitution and Solicitation on Long Island, NY

The Law Office of Stephanie Selloni has experience defending many Long Island clients in situations just like yours. Attorney Stephanie Selloni is passionate about the law. She will fight to achieve the best possible outcome for you. Contact the Law Office of Stephanie Selloni today to schedule a free initial consultation.

Call 516-972-1212 or complete the online form. Stephanie will review your case and identify how to proceed. The Law Office of Stephanie Selloni represents clients from Garden City, Hicksville, Westbury, and other areas in Suffolk and Nassau County.


Overview of Prostitution and Solicitation on Long Island, NY


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Definition of Prostitution vs. Solicitation on Long Island, NY

The laws concerning prostitution and solicitation are contained in New York Penal Article 230. Prostitution and solicitation are two different illegal acts, though they are closely related. 

New York Penal Law 230.00 defines the act of prostitution. Prostitution is the exchange of sex for compensation. Money is the most common form of compensation for prostitution. It is illegal not only to engage in sexual conduct for money but also to agree or offer to engage in sexual conduct for money. Women are charged with prostitution most often, but it is also possible for men to face this charge. 

Solicitation (or patronizing a prostitute) is what occurs before the actual act of prostitution. Even if money is never exchanged for sex, you can be convicted if the prosecution proves that was your intent. In fact, law enforcement officials commonly pose as prostitutes in an effort to arrest johns.


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Punishments for Prostitution on Long Island, NY

Prostitution is a class B misdemeanor. A conviction for prostitution could result in a maximum jail sentence of three months and a $500 fine. If prostitution occurs close to a school, the charge could be upgraded to a class A misdemeanor. The penalties for prostitution in a school zone are up to a year in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.

It is only illegal to work as a prostitute voluntarily. According to New York Penal Law 230.01, it is an affirmative defense if the accused was forced into prostitution involuntarily. A human trafficking victim charged with prostitution should not be convicted of the charge.


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Punishments for Solicitation on Long Island, NY

The laws governing solicitation are more nuanced than prostitution laws. Punishments for solicitation depend on the age of the prostitute. The younger the person being propositioned for sex, the more severe the potential punishment is.

  • Patronizing a prostitute: Jail time up to one year and a maximum fine of $500;
  • Patronizing a prostitute younger than 15: Up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000; and
  • Patronizing a prostitute younger than 11: Up to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000. 

It is illegal to solicit a prostitute near a school. The crime of patronizing a person for prostitution in a school zone is defined by New York Penal Law 230.08. It is illegal for a person who is at least 21 years old to solicit a person younger than 18. This charge carries a penalty of up to four years in prison and a maximum $5,000 fine.


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Solicitation and Registering as a Sex Offender on Long Island, NY

Any person convicted of soliciting a prostitute younger than 17 years of age must register as a sex offender. Sex offenders must remain on the registry for a minimum of 20 years. If the court finds you moderately or highly likely to re-offend, you will remain on the registry for the rest of your life. 

Registering as a sex offender is a severe punishment on its own. You could lose your professional license and your job. It is also difficult to find suitable employment and housing as a convicted sex offender. You risk being seen as an outcast even if you aren’t truly a danger to society.


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Additional Resources

New York Human Trafficking | National Human Trafficking Hotline – The National Human Trafficking Hotline is operated by Polaris, a non-profit organization dedicated to combating human trafficking. Visit this website to view compiled annual statistics about how often the hotline is contacted. You can view information about the type of trafficking and the total number of human trafficking cases reported to Polaris per year. 

2017 Statistics | Polaris – Visit this resource to read the 2017 Statistics from the National Human Trafficking Hotline and BeFree Textline report produced by Polaris. This report gathers data like how individuals were recruited into sex trafficking. Here you will also find statistics about human trafficking for labor purposes.


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Defense Lawyer for Prostitution and Solicitation on Long Island, NY

Don’t face prostitution or solicitation charges alone. New York law can be complicated when it comes to sex crimes. Defending yourself could lead to a conviction that will haunt you for the rest of your life. The Law Office of Stephanie Selloni can defend and help you achieve the best possible outcome. It may be possible to reduce or dismiss your charges.

Attorney Stephanie Selloni offers a free initial consultation to discuss your options. Contact Stephanie today at 516-972-1212 or fill out an online form. It is important that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights. The Law Office of Stephanie Selloni represents Long Island clients from areas in Nassau and Suffolk County, including Mineola, Glen Cove, and New York City.


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