For many people, the nature of exchanging money for sex is entirely transactional. You purchase a product or service, and in return you pay money. Why should sex be any different, as it surely it counts as a service that can be bought and paid for, right?
Nope, wrong! Here in Michigan it’s illegal to buy or sell sex or sex acts, regardless of what you may think of it’s transactional nature. However, did you know, there’s actually a difference between offering someone money for sex, and exchanging money for sex in Michigan?
Solicitation and prostitution are not the same crime.
Technically, offering someone money in return for sex, and actually having sex with someone in exchange for money, are two different crimes in Michigan. One is called Solicitation and the other is Prostitution. Curious about the difference? Let’s take a look:
Solicitation for Sex:
You don’t have to have had sex with anyone in order to be charged with this crime. The simple act of offering someone money for sex, or asking them if they would be willing to be paid for sex, can count as solicitation. In Michigan, solicitation is a misdemeanor if it’s your first offense, and it’s punishable by up to 93 days in jail, a fine of $500, or both.
However, if this is your second (or third or fourth, etc…) offense, the punishment becomes more serious. It’s still a misdemeanor, but the jail time goes up to one year, and the fines go up to $1,000.
Prostitution refers to the actual exchange of money for sex. Just like with solicitation, prostitution is a misdemeanor, at least for the first and second offenses. (This is actually interesting, because many other associated crimes, like Pandering, Sharing in the Earnings of a Prostitute, or Maintaining a House for Prostitution, are all felonies!)
However prostitution itself is a 93 day/$500 misdemeanor the first time you get convicted. Just like with solicitation, a second offense means a year in jail and a $1,000 in fines. However, if you get convicted at any point after that for the same crime, you’ll be looking at felony charges!
There doesn’t have to be money for it to count as a crime!
Remember, while the traditional view of prostitution involves an exchange of money for sex, it doesn’t have to be money offered or given as payment for it to count as prostitution. Offering someone favors, items, gifts of value, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, rent money, help, future employment, discounts on payments or purchases, or anything else of value, still counts as payment.
Have you been accused of a sex crime in Michigan?
If you or a loved one have been accused of a sex crime in Michigan, whether it’s solicitation, prostitution, or any other sex crime, you’re going to need help from a highly skilled and experienced defense attorney who’s had success defending against sex crime allegations in Michigan. If that sounds like your situation, call 866 766 5245 (866 7No Jail) today and get the help you need! When you want the best criminal defense attorneys, call The Kronzek Firm PLC.