Prostitution is the exchange of a sexual act for money or items of value. It is probably no secret that prostitution is illegal in Michigan. What people may not know is just how many crimes are covered by the Michigan prostitution law:
People aged 16 or older caught prostituting themselves will likely face criminal charges in Michigan. First offenders face misdemeanor charges with up to 93 days in jail, a $500 fine, or both. Second offenders face misdemeanor charges with up to 1 year in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. Third and subsequent prostitution offenders in Michigan face felony charges with up to 2 years in prison, a $2,000 fine, or both.
Those hiring prostitutes will also face Michigan criminal charges. First offenders face misdemeanor charges with up to 93 days in jail, a $500 fine, or both. Second offenders face misdemeanor charges with up to 1 year in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. Third and subsequent offenders face felony charges with up to 2 years in prison, a $2,000 fine, or both.
People aged 16 or older who assist prostitues or people hiring prostitutes can also be charged with prostitution. If convicted, the person’s maximum potential penalties are the same as those of the actual prostitute or man hiring the prostitute.
Maintaining a house of prostitution, described under Michigan law as keeping, maintaining, operating, or assisting in keeping, maintaining, or operating “a house of ill-fame, bawdy house or any house or place resorted to for the purpose of prostitution or lewdness,” is a crime in Michigan. Those convicted of this felony crime face up to 5 years in prison or a fine of up to $2,500.
Knowingly leasing a house used for prostitution is another Michigan prostitution crime. If a landlord knowingly rents an apartment or house to a tenant who intends to use it as a prostitution house, the landlord can be charged with this misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 6 months in jail or a fine of up to $750.
Placing one’s wife into prostitution using force, fraud, intimidation, or threats is a serious Michigan crime. Men convicted of this felony offense face up to 20 years in prison.
Knowingly accepting the earnings of a female prostitute or a loan from her “pimp” is a felony crime in Michigan. Those convicted face up to 20 years in prison.
Detaining a female in a prostitution house because of debt she incurred while staying in the prostitution house is a Michigan felony. People convicted of this crime face 2 to 20 years in prison.
Transporting a female for prostitution is also a felony under Michigan law. This crime covers a person who knowingly transports a female for prostitution or for enticing or compelling her to become a prostitute. This crime is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. There are separate federal crimes for interstate transportation of a person for the purpose of prostitution.
Allowing a person who is under 16 years old to work or stay at a house of prostitution is a crime under Michigan law. First offenders face misdemeanor charges with up to 93 days in jail, a $500 fine, or both. Second offenders face misdemeanor charges with up to 1 year in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. Third and subsequent offenders face felony charges with up to 2 years in prison, a $2,000 fine, or both.
People engaged in prostitution are sometimes caught during a law enforcement prostitution sting. Michigan prostitution law specifically states that law enforcement officers are allowed to engage in some of the above behavior in performance of their duties as police officers. Thus, police departments sometimes dress up their female officers to entice men to come up and solicit prostitution. Alternatively, police departments may send undercover police officers to streets known to be frequented by prostitutes to see if a prostitute will offer sex for money.
A defense attorney may consider using the defense of entrapment in these prostitution sting arrest cases. Entrapment is when an otherwise law-abiding person is enticed by the conduct of law enforcement officers to commit a crime that the person was not otherwise predisposed to commit. This would apply if a female officer pretending to be a prostitute entices a male to hire her for sex if the male can prove he was never intending to do so and never would have if it weren’t for the sexual advances of the officer. Entrapment is a very technical legal defense that is best left in the hands of a skilled defense attorney.
Sometimes, a person engaged in prostitution can be charged with other sex crimes along with the prostitution charges. One example of this is when prosecutors add a gross indecency charge for sex acts that occur in public. Depending on the age of the victim involved, a conviction for gross indecency could land offenders on the Michigan sex offender registry for 25 years or life. Also, a defendant can be charged for federal sex crimes on top of their Michigan charges. Therefore, when you choose your attorney, you will want one who is experienced at fighting all types of state and federal sex crimes. The right attorney is critical to your case.
Hiring a a criminal defense attorney for your prostitution case
It is imperative to hire a top notch sex crime defense attorney if you are being investigated for, or have been charged with, any sex crime or a Michigan crime related to prostitution. This holds true both for people charged with a 93-day prostitution misdemeanor and people charged with a 20-year prostitution felony.
At Kronzek & Cronkright, we have been aggressively defending sex crime allegations for many, many years. We have courtroom experience all across Michigan and are not afraid to fight hard for our clients. We have delivered many positive outcomes to our clients. Let us help you. When you hire us, you are hiring Michigan’s premier sex crime attorneys.
Contact us today: 866-7-NoJail (1 866-766-5245) or email us.