Legal Issues in Portland's Vice Laws
Prostitution is defined as either (1) engaging or offering to engage in sexual activity in return for a fee or: (2) paying or offering to pay a fee in exchange for sexual activity. The making of the agreement – money for sex- is the crime; not the actual sex act itself.
While Oregon state law prohibits prostitution and other prostitution related criminal activities, many Oregon cities and municipalities have their own laws regulating such "vice crimes." The city of Portland has particularly strict anti-prostitution laws. The city code prohibits many otherwise innocent behaviors that could be construed as steps in furthering acts of prostitution.
For example, under the City of Portland Code it is unlawful to "loiter" in a public place "under circumstances manifesting the purposes of inducing, enticing, soliciting, or procuring another to commit and act of prostitution." Such "circumstances" are defined to include, cruising in a motor vehicle, repeatedly trying to stop pedestrians and repeatedly contacting persons on the street. Similarly, Portland prohibits the following prostitution procurement activities: lingering in or near any street or public place, repeatedly circling an area in a motor vehicle, or repeatedly beckoning to, contacting, or attempting to stop pedestrians or drivers.
City ordinances like Portland's are more broad than Oregon state laws. By making a wide range of otherwise lawful activity illegal, they make it easier for law-abiding citizens to get caught up in investigations, stings and law enforcement sweeps. It means that entirely innocent persons are more likely to be falsely charged under these laws.
If you have been charged with Prostitution, Unlawful Prostitution Procurement Activity (UPPA), Loitering to Solicit Prostitution, Patronizing a Prostitute or any other prostitution or vice-related crime, it is important to have a sound and experienced criminal defense to protect your rights and minimize your exposure to the penalties imposed by the city or state. Although these crimes are misdemeanors, they can carry severe collateral legal and social consequences.
Misdemeanor prostitution crimes may be subject to expungement. First time offenders are also sometimes allowed to participate in diversionary programs that may allow the avoidance of either a criminal sentence, a criminal conviction or both.
Felony prostitution crimes in Oregon include: Promoting Prostitution, a class C felony, and Compelling Prostitution, a class B felony and Measure 11 offense that carries a mandatory minimum 70 month prison sentence upon conviction.
An Oregon Vice and Criminal Defense Attorney
At Kohlmetz, Steen & Hanrahan, P.C., our Portland attorneys have more than 70 years of experience providing clients with strong defenses against a variety of sex crime charges. We defend persons charged with prostitution and vice crimes that range from Class A misdemeanors to Class B felonies. Conviction on these crimes could result in jail or prison time, lengthy probation and significant fines. The crime of compelling prostitution, in particular, as a Measure 11 offense may result in pre-trial incarceration or a significant bail amount of $50,000.00 or more per count being imposed. It is important to begin defending yourself as soon as possible if you are facing charges such as these. Our lawyers can assist you.
Call a Hillsboro and Portland Prostitution Lawyer
Our law firm is committed to providing the highest-quality defense at reasonable rates and is dedicated to protecting our clients' rights. We offer a free initial consultation. Call a Portland vice defense lawyer toll free at 1-888-311-2016 or send us an e-mail.