Common Defenses Against Patronizing a Prostitute Charges in CO
Posted By: Jacob Martinez
There are many types of crimes prosecuted in Colorado, from violent to non-violent. One type of non-violent crime that can lead to charges is called a morality crime. Morality crimes include such acts as patronizing a prostitute and incidents of indecent exposure.
Generally speaking, morality crimes are crimes that are considered actions offensive to the public at large. When it comes to prostitution specifically, it’s a morality crime even though both parties may consent to the action.
Being charged with patronizing a prostitute in Colorado can be confusing. After all, how is it different than soliciting a prostitute, and what penalties are associated with it? Here’s all you need to know about the law in Colorado surrounding patronizing a prostitute.
What is Patronizing a Prostitute?
In Colorado, someone commits the offense of patronizing a prostitute if:
- They participate with a prostitute in sexual acts such as sexual intercourse
- They go into a place of prostitution with the intention of participating in sexual acts
Patronizing a prostitute differs from soliciting a prostitute in one very important way since it occurs when the physical sexual contact with the prostitute takes place, not simply the exchange of money for the act.
Another important element of the crime of patronizing a prostitute occurs through the remaining in or entering a place of prostitution. You may have heard of spas or massage centers that are fronts for prostitution.
If a person is aware the business is merely a front for a prostitution business and remains there, then they can be charged with patronizing a prostitute as well.
Penalties for Patronizing a Prostitute
In the state of Colorado, patronizing a prostitute is a Class 1 misdemeanor. If convicted, one could face up to 18 months in jail in addition to up to $5,000 in fines.
Colorado also has something called the prostitution enforcement cash fund, which can result in an additional $5,000 fine. This fund was created in 2019 to help those accused of low-level prostitution and drug crimes with community support for recovery.
Common Defenses Against Patronizing a Prostitute
There are some very common defenses against charges of patronizing a prostitute that can be used to defend a person in court. Since one of the main elements in patronizing a prostitute is engaging in a sex act, it’s a solid defense to claim that sex never took place.
A few other common defenses include:
- The sex engaged in was not with a prostitute
- The defendant was unaware that the person they were having sex with was a prostitute
- No payment was made in exchange for sex
- The defendant was unaware they were entering a place of prostitution
- Police entrapment or misconduct was involved in the case
- A place of prostitution was entered but for a purpose other than sex
Remember, to prove a case against a defendant in court, the elements of the crime must be met. If a person can mount a strong defense that disproves one or both of the elements of this morality crime, then it is more difficult to be convicted.
Sometimes a person can find themselves in a situation they never anticipated, such as being charged with patronizing a prostitute. When it comes to sex especially, intentions can be misinterpreted, which means that a skilled attorney is necessary to navigate the case.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been recognized by countless legal organizations for his exemplary defense work, including Avvo, Best DWI Attorneys, Expertise, Lawyers of Distinction, The National Trial Lawyers, and others. He was also named one of the 10 Best in Client Satisfaction in Colorado by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys for 2020 and is Lead Counsel rated.