Prostitution Attorneys in Portland
Understanding & Fighting Prostitution Charges in Oregon
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 misconstrued 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 soliciting, enticing, inducing, or procuring another to commit an act of prostitution. Such circumstances are defined to include repeatedly contacting persons on the street, repeatedly trying to stop pedestrians, and cruising in a motor vehicle.
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
- Repeatedly beckoning to, contacting, or attempting to stop pedestrians or drivers.
Strict & Complex Prostitution Laws
City ordinances like Portland's are broader 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 proficient and experienced criminal defense attorney 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 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 (class C felony) and compelling prostitution (class B felony). The latter is also a Measure 11 offense that carries a mandatory minimum 70-month prison sentence upon conviction.
Our Portland Prostitution Attorneys
At Kohlmetz, Steen & Hanrahan, P.C., our Portland attorneys have more than 60 years of experience with 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 of 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 pretrial 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 Kohlmetz, Steen & Hanrahan, P.C.
Our law firm is committed to providing high-quality legal representation at reasonable rates. We are also dedicated to discretion and protecting our clients' privacy to the greatest extent possible as they move through the criminal justice system. Call us today at (503) 303-0771 or feel free to contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation.