When you really take a look at the penal code in the state of New York, it’s pretty easy to get lost in the mountain of legalese, where it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. Things get exceedingly complicated, and it can be really difficult to understand what’s being said, let alone mount a successful legal defense for charges you might be facing. In times like these, it’s often very helpful to break down the law into easily manageable chunks so that you can make real sense of the law. In our ongoing series of posts we’ve taken a detailed look at various offenses in the state of New York’s penal code to break down the complicated language into something that makes more sense. In this post we’re going to be covering the various prostitution offenses. Let’s get started.

Prostitution.

You’re guilty of prostitution when you engage or agree/offer to engage in sex with someone else for a fee. Prostitution is a class B Misdemeanor.

Prostitution; affirmative defense.

It’s important to note that it’s considered to be an affirmative defense that your participation in the offense was the result of being a victim of compelled prostitution or a victim of sex trafficking.

Patronizing a person for prostitution; definitions.

As far as definitions go, you patronize someone for prostitution when you pay a fee as compensation for someone to engage in sex with you, or you pay or agree to pay to someone with the understanding that in return someone will engage in sex with you, or you solicit or request for someone to engage in sex for a fee. A person who’s patronized basically means the person that you engaged in conduct with was to engage in the conduct with the understanding that you were engaging in this sexual conduct.

Prostitution in a school zone.

For this charge, you’re guilty if you’re nineteen or older and acting during the hours that school’s in you commit prostitution at a place that you know or should know is a school zone, and that this act is in direct view of the kids in school. School zone means an area that’s in or on a building, playground, or really any other kind of place that’s on the boundary line of a school. Prostitution in a school zone is a class A misdemeanor.

Patronizing a person for prostitution in the third degree.
You’re guilty of patronizing a person for prostitution in the third degree when you patronize a person for prostitution. Patronizing a person for prostitution in the third degree is considered to be a class A misdemeanor.

Patronizing a person for prostitution in the second degree.

You’re guilty of patronizing a person for prostitution in the second degree when, being eighteen or older, you patronize someone for prostitution and the person who’s being patronized is less than fifteen years old. Patronizing a person for prostitution in the second degree is a class
E felony.

Patronizing a person for prostitution in the first degree.

For the first degree offense of this charge, you’re guilty when you patronize someone and the person is less than eleven years old, or if you’re over eighteen and you patronize someone for prostitution and the person you’ve patronized is younger than thirteen. Patronizing a person for prostitution in the first degree is considered to be a class D felony.

As you can see, that was actually pretty easy to take the super complicated language of the law and reframe it into something more approximating normal human speech today. When you do this, the task of understanding the state of New York’s penal code goes from being daunting to relatively easy. It’s important in any legal situation to remember that understanding the law alone is not going to save you from your troubles. Knowing the law forward and back can never substitute for having a good NYC criminal lawyer with experience and skill, an attorney who’s always working in your best interests.