What to Expect from First Time Solicitation Charges in DC

Below, DC solicitation lawyer Peter Odom discusses what to expect for a first time solicitation charge. To learn more or to discuss a specific case schedule a free consultation with an attorney today.

If you’re facing solicitation for the first time the charge is a misdemeanor meaning the highest penalty that you can receive is 90 days in jail. However, people who are facing solicitation for the first time are very likely going to be eligible for some kind of diversion agreement whereby you can complete community service in exchange for getting your charges completely dismissed.

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After you’re arrested for solicitation, you would usually be booked and processed within a couple of hours, released and given a court date to return about three weeks later for an arraignment. Assuming you do not have other pending criminal matters, you would not be held in jail while your solicitation charges are pending. You are required to appear, in person, for your arraignment date; if you don’t a warrant would be issued for your arrest.

At your arraignment, you are entitled to have a lawyer present with you, who can either be a private lawyer who you’ve hired or an attorney appointed to your case by the court. In the event that you haven’t hired a lawyer there will be a public defender there with you at your arraignment to enter your plea of not guilty. If you decided that you wanted to hire a private lawyer to represent you, that lawyer will be with you at your arraignment date to enter your plea of not guilty.

After your arraignment date your lawyer can begin discussions and negotiations with the prosecutor to try and resolve the case. Before your case goes to a trial your lawyer can try to work out a negotiated resolution with the prosecutor to attempt to see whether or not your case can be resolved by minimizing your penalties or potentially even getting your charge completely dismissed.

Advantages of an Experienced Attorney

The most important thing an attorney can do for people facing these charges is explore all options for a favorable resolution. Having an attorney who is experienced with these charges and is familiar with DC Superior Court procedures can expedite the person’s case and give you the highest chance of a positive outcome.

An attorney familiar with solicitation cases knows what to look for and knows precisely what kind of things can help a person get out of these charges, including knowing what the possible negotiated resolutions are, what the different kinds of diversion agreements are and what possible strategy they can use if they would like to take the case all the way to a trial.