Tennessee Prostitution Laws
In Davidson County, Tennessee, the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department aggressively prosecutes patronizing prostitution charges. The Nashville Police Department primarily enforces a prostitution charge in two (2) methods:
First, the police employ undercover agents to work known prostitution areas such as sections of Dickerson Road, Murfreesboro Road, and Gallatin Road. The undercover female police officer will wear an electronic recording device and walk the street hoping to entice someone to solicit them for sex. If the undercover officer can induce a sexual solicitation; a takedown unit will be summoned to arrest the unsuspecting victim.
Secondly, the Metro-Nashville police department places ads on craigslist and backpage.com advertising sexual services. Once an ad is placed, the police officers will use a confidential informant to act as a prostitute. Commonly, they set up in hotels near Opryland hotel to meet their patron. Once sexual activity is alleged, the Metro Police will press charges by issuing an arrest warrant or criminal citation.
What is Patronizing Prostitution?
Patronizing prostitution is soliciting or hiring another person with the intent that the other person engage in prostitution, or entering or remaining in the house of prostitution for purposes of engaging in sexual activity.
Prostitution is engaging in, or offering to engage in sexual activity as a business or being an inmate in a house of prostitution or luring in a public place for the purpose of being hired to engage in sexual activity.
Sexual activity is any sexual relations including homosexual sexual relations.
Criminal Citation & Booking Process
Most individuals charged are issued a criminal citation. A citation may be issued in lieu of an arrest under certain situations. Once you are issued a citation you are given a booking date. Booking takes place in the Justice A.A. Birch Building located at 408 2nd Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37201. The booking process is slow and tedious. I would recommend you get there as early as possible in order to avoid the long lines and delays in the courtroom.
During the booking process, you are fingerprinted, photographed, and your record is checked for any outstanding arrests. Then you will be ushered to the courtroom where you will wait your turn in line to speak to the Assistant District Attorney if you have not retained an attorney.
Hiring an attorney will speed up this process.
Penalties for Patronizing Prostitution in TN
Patronizing Prostitution is a Class B misdemeanor that carries a punishment up to six (6) months in jail and a fine up to Five-Hundred dollars ($500). Engaging in this activity within 1,000 feet of a church or within 1.5 miles of school is a Class A misdemeanor that carries up to 11 months and 29 days in jail. A person convicted of the charge within 1.5 miles of a school, in addition to any other authorized punishment, shall be sentenced to at least seven (7) days incarceration and be fined at least one thousand dollars ($1,000).
Defenses for Patronizing Prostitution Charge
One of the main defenses to a charge is that the defendant did not engage in sexual activity. In some occasions, no direct sexual act is alluded to and that can be a main area of defense. Secondly, in certain cases the defense of entrapment is available. In order for the entrapment defense to be available, the following elements must be established:
- Law enforcement officials, acting either directly or through an agent, induced to persuade a person into an unlawful act
- Such person was otherwise unwilling or had no previous intention to commit the unlawful act.
In order for the entrapment defense to be applicable, there must be some evidence of inducement. If there is no inducement, there can be no entrapment.
Can a Patronizing Prostitution Case be Expunged or Dismissed?
In certain circumstances, it is possible to get your case dismissed and/or expunged. A criminal case in the state of Tennessee can only be expunged if the case is dismissed, retired, nolled prosequi granted, or you are placed on judicial diversion. If you plead guilty you will have a criminal conviction on your record for the rest of your life. If you wish to know more about defending these cases, you can contact me for a personal and confidential interview to discuss our office's strategy to avoid a conviction.
Our Team is Here to Defend You Against Charges
Our office understands that such a case is a delicate matter. In every case, we attempt to get the charge dismissed without undergoing a public trial. Secondly, we have all court correspondence forwarded to our address to avoid any correspondence from the courts such as payment for court costs and/or probation letters being sent to an unwanted address.
Please call (615) 265-6383 or contact us here to schedule a confidential meeting to discuss your options.