Prostitution : New Jersey

If you have been arrested and charged in New Jersey with prostitution, you may be facing  jail time, a criminal conviction on your record, steep fines, along with the embarrassment of an unwanted public disclosure. Oddly enough, a conviction can also result in a lengthy license suspension. As a New Jersey criminal defense attorney, I routinely defend those arrested and charged with prostitution. Even in seemingly indefensible situations, I have been able to achieve great success for my clients, and in most cases, helping them to avoid a criminal conviction and the harsh penalties that can result if convicted. There are numerous defense strategies that may be employed, and I will demand that the state be held to its proofs. If a trial ensues, I will be ready. If negotiations are in order, I will work doggedly to get you the best possible plea bargain. Please review the following information to better understand your particular offense.

N.J.S.A. 2C:34-1 is the New Jersey Statutory provision that penalizes prostitution. One can commit an offense as described in the NJ Prostitution statute by either engaging in a sexual act with another in exchange for something of economic value or the offer or acceptance to engage such an act. This means that you do not necessarily have to follow through with the act to be charged. However, solicitation offenses may be charged as a lesser crime under the loitering provisions of N.J.S.A. 2C:34-1.1.

In addition, one may be arrested and charged with the offense of prostitution for promoting the same. Promoting, as defined by the statute, encompasses a wide range of activities. Basically, any activity that promotes prostitution is covered by the statute. This includes transporting, procuring, soliciting a person to patronize a prostitute, knowingly leasing property regularly used for prostitution, procuring an inmate for a house of prostitution, running/managing/owning/supervising, etc. a house of prostitution.

In many circumstances, the act of promoting prostitution is punished more harshly that simply engaging in the act itself.  Under subsection b. of the prostitution statute a person commits an offense if:

  • The actor engages in prostitution.
    • Typically a disorderly persons offense. A second or subsequent conviction is a fourth degree offense. If a car was used in commission of the offense, the court will suspend driver’s license for 6 months.
    • The actor promotes prostitution
      • Third degree offense if
        • Managing/owning/supervising, etc. house of prostitution
        • Procuring an inmate for house of prostitution
        • Encourage, induce, purposely cause another to become or remain a prostitute.
  • Otherwise a crime of the fourth degree
  • Knowingly promotes prostitution of a child under 18, whether or not the actor believes the child is under 18. Basically, it is no defense that that the actor did not know the child was under 18 even if it was reasonable to believe so.
    • Second degree offense
  • Knowingly promotes prostitution of the actor’s child or of any other person for whose care the actor is responsible.
    • Second degree offense
    • Compels another to engage in prostitution
      • Third degree offense
      • Promotes prostitution of the actor’s spouse
        • Third degree offense
        • Engages in or solicits an act of prostitution with a person under 18, whether or not it was reasonable to believe that the person was 18 or older.
          • Third degree offense

The prostitution statute provides defense lawyers with many grey areas, around which winning defense strategies can be developed. You may be hesitant to seek legal counsel, but hiring the right attorney could mean the difference between jail and freedom, conviction and dismissal, a criminal record and a slap on the wrist. Call today for a free consultation.


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