The laws regarding prostitution in Rhode Island were changed in 2009 when the state put an end to a long-time loophole that allowed indoor prostitution. There are also laws regarding pandering, permitting prostitution, and child prostitution. The details of these crimes and their penalties are included below. It’s important that if you are facing any of these, that you seek legal representation from a Rhode Island prostitution lawyer immediately.
Prostitution, Procuring, & Other Laws
In the state of Rhode Island, you commit prostitution by engaging in (or offering/agreeing to engage in) any sexual activity in exchange for money or other items of value. Procuring is a crime in which you engage or agree to engage in a sexual activity for a fee. Both of these crimes are taken very seriously within Rhode Island and come with penalties that are included below.
If you stop or attempt to stop people or passing cars for the purpose of prostitution, this act is considered loitering and is a crime in Rhode Island. It’s also considered a crime for the driver or passenger of a vehicle to stop or attempt to engage another person for the purpose for prostitution. This is considered solicitation.
Rhode Island also has laws against permitting prostitution, or “pimping.” If you are aware prostitution is occurring and you facilitate these acts or attempt to make money from them, you are committing a crime. If you allow a person into a location for the purpose of prostitution or live off of money someone earns from prostitution, you can be found guilty of permitting prostitution, which comes with severe consequences.
There are also laws regarding pandering in Rhode Island. If you cause or encourage someone to become a prostitute, you are engaging in the act of pandering and can be charged with a crime if caught and convicted.
Child prostitution is one of the most serious sex-related offenses a person can commit in Rhode Island or any other state. This crime involves using a child under the age of 18 for prostitution. You can also be found guilty of racketeering if you participate in child prostitution.
Punishment for Prostitution and Other Related Charges
If you are guilty of prostitution, procuring, loitering, or solicitation, you could face up to six months in jail. Alternatively, you may also be required to pay a fine of $250 to $1,000 or have to pay the fine and spend time in jail. These penalties are all for first-time offenders. If you receive a second offense, you may be required to spend up to year in jail and may have to pay fines ranging from $500 to $1,000.
Loitering near a school comes with hefty fines and jail time as well. If you are found guilty of this crime, you may have to serve up to one year in jail and pay a fine anywhere between $500 and $1,000. For pandering and permitting prostitution, you face one to five years in prison and fines from $2,000 to $5,000. For repeat offenses, you face three to 10 years in prison and fines ranging from $5,000 to $10,000.
Child prostitution comes with even more serious consequences. Committing this crime is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $20,000. If you are found to be guilty of child prostitution, you will be required to register as a sex offender.
If convicted of a sex-related crime, the money you earned from prostitution or vehicles owned and operated by a defendant convicted of a second or subsequent solicitation offense may all be seized by the state.
If you have been convicted of prostitution or loitering, you are able to have your criminal record expunged one year after completing your sentence. You will have to apply to have this done and will likely want to seek the help of an attorney who handles expungement.
Mandatory HIV Testing
If you have been convicted of any prostitution-related offense, you will be subject to testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases and treatment if you test positive for any disease. Treatment is considered mandatory and you can actually be punished for refusing. If you refuse HIV or STD treatment, you may receive additional jail time and a fine of up to $250.
What We Can Do For You
If you are facing charges for prostitution, pandering, loitering, solicitation, or any other crime listed here, we are able to help with your case. We can put together an effective strategy to help lower the penalties you face. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your options.