This guide is for men arrested for soliciting prostitution in Chicago that want to (a) keep the arrest as private as possible and (b) keep the charges off their permanent record. The information comes from my personal experience of over 10 years as a Chicago soliciting a prostitute lawyer. Whether you know you made a mistake and just want to enter into an agreement with prosecutors that prevents this charge from appearing on your record, or have been falsely accused and want to fight, you have come to the right place.
Although soliciting a prostitute is a "crime" and therefore punishable by jail time, jail is unlikely, especially if you have an otherwise clean background. But, you should still know that soliciting a prostitute is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1500. 720 ILCS 5/11-14.1, see also Chicago Municipal Code 8-8-060.
Rather, the risks posed by soliciting a prostitute cases lie in their potential to do great harm to future earning potential and career options. But take heart, there are proven strategies in place to get you through this as unscathed as possible. If properly handled from the beginning, there is no reason that a soliciting a prostitute charge should remain on your permanent record or affect you later in life.
How Can I Keep My Soliciting a Prostitute Arrest as Private as Possible?
The first step for any man accused of soliciting a prostitute is to keep the arrest as private as possible. Any good Chicago attorney that handles soliciting a prostitute cases knows a few ways to do this:
Secure Your Mailbox. If you have not yet been flooded with mail from lawyers asking you to hire them, you soon will be. Some lawyers regularly search the court records in order to send advertisements to the recently arrested. Consider reaching out to your mailman or post office to have your mail redirected until the dust settles.
Do You Co-Own Your Car With Another Person? Within 10 days after a car has been impounded, the City of Chicago will send a notice of impoundment by certified mail to the registered address of all registered owners of the car.
Publication of Name and Picture on the City of Chicago's Website. If you are arrested for soliciting a prostitute, your name and picture will be published on the City of Chicago website. Unfortunately, the website is here to stay, at least for now. The pictures, however, stay up for only 30 days and move down the list as time goes by and new arrests are made.
Keeping Solicitation of a Prostitute off Your Permanent Record. If you can avoid a conviction and avoid pleading guilty, you can usually petition to have the record of your arrest destroyed after your case is finished. This is called an “expungement” of your record.
What Are My Settlement Options?
I know that your goal is to protect your record and get your case dismissed with as little cost and time as possible. In many cases a Chicago lawyer who has experience handling soliciting prostitution cases can secure an agreement with prosecutors that accomplishes these goals without the risk and expense of a trial. If properly completed, such an agreement would get your case dismissed, avoid jail, avoid a conviction and avoid you having to plead guilty.
Entry into these programs is at the discretion of the court and you may be barred entry based on several factors including: the nature of the incident and arrest, any prior arrests in your background, the strengths and weaknesses of your case and the attitude of the judge or prosecutor in court on that day.
For more on this strategy, see my guide on Your Settlement Options.
How to Beat a Chicago Soliciting a Prostitute Case
If bargaining is not an option for you, know that there are many opportunities for effective technical and legal defenses to Chicago soliciting a prostitute cases. Each case is different and the availability of defenses depends on the facts of your case, but, in all cases, the prosecution must prove that there was an agreement to perform a sexual act in exchange for something of value; there is nothing illegal about seeing an attractive woman and striking up a conversation. Some ways to beat a Chicago Solicitation of a Prostitute case include:
If you had little or no money on you at the time you were arrested, it is more difficult for the prosecution to prove that you had agreed to an act of prostitution as opposed to a perfectly legal attempt to seduce a woman and obtain free sex,
No probable cause for arrest. If the only thing the arresting officer saw before he or she arrested you was you getting in a car, or, you talking to someone on the street, how did the officer know, at the time they arrested you, that the person wasn't a girlfriend? Or spouse? Or just an attractive woman that you were trying to talk to? The Constitution protects your right to be free from an arrest not supported by probable cause. If the officer did not have enough evidence, at the time he arrested you, the case against you could be thrown out,
There are many other legal and technical defenses to this accusation that are best discussed in person.
Call for a Free Consultation
If you are the type of person who values discretion, tact and skill in the people who serve you, get in touch. I, Chris Shepherd, have helped other men going through what you are facing, and I can help you.