In Washington State a misdemeanor Patronizing a Prostitute offense can have a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor you could be facing jail time and trouble securing employment in the future. Perhaps you have visited a website like backpage.com or craigslist.com or various other websites.
You should understand the Washington State Law:
LAW ON PATRONIZING A PROSTITUTE:
(1) A person is guilty of patronizing a prostitute if:
(a) Pursuant to a prior understanding, he or she pays a fee to another person as compensation for such person or a third person having engaged in sexual conduct with him or her; or
(b) He or she pays or agrees to pay a fee to another person pursuant to an understanding that in return therefor such person will engage in sexual conduct with him or her; or
(c) He or she solicits or requests another person to engage in sexual conduct with him or her in return for a fee.
You may have been looking for a massage or companionship, or simply looking for someone to talk to. But now you find yourself facing criminal charges because of a police sting. The main defense to "Patronizing a Prostitute" charge is that there was no "prior understanding" that "sexual conduct" would occur.
The police may have used phrases or words that you did not readily understand. Words like "escort" and "full service" are not common phrases that are understood by all. Additionally, in order to be convicted of "Patronizing" you must have "completed the transaction."
COMPLETING THE TRANSACTION
Often time police arrest defendant "John's" before the transaction is complete. This means that an understanding was not reached to exchange money for sexual conduct. Simply talking with someone or text messaging them is not a crime. The prosecution must show that an "understanding" was reached. If you were arrested at a hotel, motel or apartment complex before an understanding was actually reached then the prosecution may not be able to prove that an "understanding" was reached.
(1) In any prosecution for a crime, it is a defense that:
(a) The criminal design originated in the mind of law enforcement officials, or any person acting under their direction, and
(b) The actor was lured or induced to commit a crime which the actor had not otherwise intended to commit.
(2) The defense of entrapment is not established by a showing only that law enforcement officials merely afforded the actor an opportunity to commit a crime.
If law enforcement officers "lured or induced" you into a situation then you may have the defense of entrapment.
PLEA AGREEMENTS & "JOHN SCHOOL"
Some defendants make a choice to not proceed to trial and accept a "plea deal" from the prosecution. Some defendants choose this option, but it is always their choice. Some reasons for agreeing to a "plea deal" include receiving a "deferred sentence" in exchange for your plea. A "deferred sentence" is a program that is generally only offered to first time offenders. It offers the defendant an opportunity to complete certain requirements in exchange for not being convicted of the crime.
In the state of Washington these plea deals almost always include "John School." Unfortunately, the "school" is costly and time consuming. There are various "John School's" that can range from 8 - 40 hours. If you are considering exploring a "plea deal" with the prosecution you should be cautious and have an experienced attorney on your side. These "plea deals" are not always in your best interest and can cost you your freedom.
READ MY RECENT BLOG POST AND SEE A FAKE AD POSTED BY THE KENT POLICE:
Backpage.com Ad Posted by Kent Police
Below I have listed the Washington State Law for the "Additional Fee Assessment" that is associated with this offense:
Additional Fee Assessments: RCW 9A.88.120
Below I have listed the Washington State Law for "Prostitution:"
Below I have listed the Washington State Law for Promoting Prostitution in the First Degree AKA "PIMPING"
Promoting Prostitution in the First Degree: RCW 9A.88.070
Below I have listed the Washington State Law for Promoting Travel for Prostitution: