It is unlawful to engage in prostitution in Pennsylvania. There are three different avenues that a person can be charged with a prostitution offense.
Being a Prostitute
A person is guilty of prostitution if he or she engages in sexual activity as a business or loiters in a public place for the purpose of being hired for sexual activity. Grading for prostitution depends on how many times the person has been convicted.
- First and second offense is a misdemeanor of the third degree.
- Third offense is a misdemeanor of the second degree.
- Fourth and subsequent offenses is a misdemeanor of the first degree.
It is also considered a felony in the third degree if the person who committed the offense did so knowing that they have human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Otherwise known as pimping, it is illegal to knowingly promote prostitution. It is considered a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the severity of the crime. Promoting prostitution includes:
- Owning, controlling. managing, supervising, or keeping an establishment for prostitution.
- Procuring a prostitute for a house of prostitution.
- Encouraging, inducing, or intentionally causing someone to become or remain a prostitute.
- Soliciting a person to patronize a prostitute.
- Procuring a prostitute for a patron.
- Transporting or paying to transport a prostitute with the intent to promote or engage in prostitution
- Leasing or permitting prostitution in a place controlled by the actor.
- This includes allowing a prostitute to use an area without ejecting them or calling authorities to report their actions.
- Receiving any benefits from any of the categories listed above.
Grading for the above charges are considered misdemeanor of the second degree. However, the charges above can be considered a felony in the third degree if:
- The actor promotes a minor (under the age of 18) for charges 1, 2, and 3.
- The actor compels another to engage in or promote prostitution.
- The actor compels their spouse, child, ward, or any person they are in care of to prostitute themselves.
- The actor knowing promotes a prostitute with HIV or AIDS.
It is also considered a misdemeanor to knowing live off the earnings of a prostitute. This does not include the prostitute themselves, their minor children, or other legal dependent.
Otherwise know as being a “John”, it is illegal to hire a prostitute or other person to engage in sexual activity with. It is also illegal to enter a house of prostitution with the intent of engaging in sexual activity. Grading for patronizing a prostitute also depends on the amount of time the person has been convicted of this crime.
- It is a misdemeanor of the third degree when it is the first or second offense.
- It is a misdemeanor of the second degree when it is third offense.
- It is a misdemeanor of the first degree when it is the fourth or subsequent offense.
- It is a felony of the third degree if the person patronizing a prostitute knows they have HIV or AIDS.
It is also written in the law that the court shall publish the name and court costs of a person charged with patronizing a prostitute for the second and subsequent time.
How We Can Help
There are many challenges people face when they are charged with any of the above listed matters. An experienced legal team will be needed to help ensure your rights are protected at all times. The Law Office of Vincent J. Caputo is ready to assist for any part of these crimes. Your future? Our priority!