Penalties for Prostitution in DC

The harshest possible penalty that a person faces for a first offense prostitution charge, which applies the same way on administrator and the prostitute’s side, is 90 days in jail. That does not mean that every single person who gets convicted of that charge is going to jail for 90 days. There are a substantial number of options to avoid jail time and avoid a conviction altogether, but the longest sentence that a person could receive for a first offense prostitution charge is 90 days of jail time.

That jail time increases as people get into second and third offenses and, ultimately, if someone racks up enough offenses, they could be facing a felony charge and would certainly need the help of a DC prostitution attorney.

Long-Term Implications

The biggest long-term implication is the social consequences based on the nature of the charge. Even though it is a misdemeanor, prostitution is different from marijuana possession or simple assault. It can be an embarrassing charge to face and it is an embarrassing charge to have on a permanent record. Most people do not suffer long-term debilitating consequences unless they have sensitive jobs that require licensing, such as doctors and lawyers, work for the government with a top secret security clearance, or are part of the military. Those people could face consequences with their job or lose their law or medical license if they are convicted.

Impact on an Individual’s Immigration Status

Being convicted of a prostitution charge can definitely have an impact on someone’s immigration status because prostitution is considered crimes of moral turpitude. There is a certain category of criminal offenses that face increased chances of immigration consequences and prostitution can be one of those charges. If someone is found guilty of prostitution and they are not a U.S. citizen, it could potentially result in deportation.

It could also result in immigration proceedings in which the person could be denied naturalization or be denied access back into the country if they are overseas. There are many possible consequences for someone’s immigration status. The immigration consequences are important to discuss with a lawyer because avoiding a finding of guilt can help a person who faces immigration consequences.

Impact on a Person’s Employment Status

Impact on a person’s employment status will depend on a case by case basis. For most people, being charged with prostitution is not going to have severe employment consequences unless the person has a top secret security clearance, if they are a member of the military, or if they have another sensitive job that could be compromised by a conviction of prostitution. It is a misdemeanor, so it does not have the same consequences as a felony charge. The more severe consequence would be the social stigma that comes with being convicted of prostitution. That is another reason to try to avoid that conviction as much as possible.