Investigation and Prosecution of DC Solicitation Charges

Solicitation cases almost always involve an undercover police officer. Very rarely do we see prostitution or solicitation cases involve two private individuals getting arrested for engaging in a transaction. Usually you don’t see that because it’s difficult for a police officer to have specific evidence regarding two private individuals. Usually what we see is a undercover police officer engaging in a conversation with a private individual and these conversations are rarely recorded.  The undercover officer may be the one who initiates the contact, or might wait for the suspect to engage first.  Once the officer believes that the other side has agreed to engage in prostitution, the arrest is made.  The undercover officer is typically the sole witness against a suspect.

What Does The Prosecution Need to Prove in Solicitation Cases?

Evidence in solicitation cases is usually very thin, there’s no video, no audio, and very rarely is there more evidence beyond the undercover officer writing down the way the conversation went with the person who they’re suspecting of committing the crime of solicitation. The police reports would often be very brief. They don’t need to be able to prove that any money changed hands; they don’t need to even necessarily be able to prove that you had any money on you at the time. And they also do not need to prove that there was any sexual contact, any sexual act, only that the intent was to exchange sexual acts or sexual contact for some kind of fee or something of value. And the words that were exchanged can be sufficient to prove up their case.

How Does DC Treat Solicitation Cases? Are They Prosecuted Vigorously?

Even though the Metropolitan Police Department makes hundreds of solicitation arrests every year, the United States Attorney’s office is very willing to engage in negotiations that can result in these charges being resolved in a favorable way for you because they don’t necessarily want to take every single solicitation charge all the way to a trial. And in many circumstances if you have a limited criminal history and don’t have any previous charges for solicitation then you very likely may be eligible to resolve your case in a way that can get your charges completely dismissed in exchanged for community service. Those options are called diversion agreements.