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Patronizing a Prostitute

Our White Plains criminal defense lawyers are handling an increasing number of patronizing prostitution cases in Westchester and Rockland Counties. With more of these cases originating from website ads such Craigslist, Eros and Backpage among others, there are now chats that show in writing exactly what was said.

One of the most common questions our Westchester criminal defense lawyers hear is “what is patronizing a prostitute”, “is it a crime to patronize a prostitute” and “Am I going to jail for patronizing a prostitute”?

Under New York’s law a person patronizes a prostitute when the either have an understanding and one person pays a fee as compensation for sexual conduct or they pay or agrees to pay a fee for sexual conduct or they solicits or requests another person to engage in sexual conduct for a fee.

There are also several degree of patronizing a prostitute, which have varying degrees of severity. The most commonly charged section is New York Penal Law 230.04, which is Patronizing a prostitute in the third degree. This prohibits simply patronizing a prostitute and is a class A misdemeanor. New York Penal Law 230.05 which is called Patronizing a prostitute in the second degree is a Class E Felony. Patronizing a prostitute in the second degree occurs when the person who is patronizing the prostitute is over eighteen years of age and he patronizes a prostitute who is less than fourteen years of age. If the person patronized is less than eleven years of age, New York Penal Law 230.06, which is called Patronizing a prostitute in the first degree applies and is a class D felony. It is however, an affirmative defense to patronizing a prostitute in the first or second degrees, that the defendant did not have reasonable grounds to believe that the person was less than the age specified. This can mean the difference between a felony charge and a misdemeanor charge.

Our Westchester criminal defense lawyers have handled numerous sex cases including prostitution cases and regularly appear in the criminal courts in the Westchester and Rockland towns of White Plains, Yonkers, Elmsford, Rye, Poughkeepsie, Mount Kisco, Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, Irvington, Greenburgh, Port Chester, Pelham, Scarsdale, Hartsdale, Bronxville, Clarkstown, Nyack, New City, Airmont and Spring Valley.

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