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New York Prostitution Lawyer

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An arrest or potential conviction for prostitution-related charges can put your whole future at stake. You may question where to go for help, potential financial burdens, and worry about the impact on your personal and professional reputation.

At the Law Offices of Mehdi Essmidi, we understand the sensitive nature of prostitution-related charges and the importance of having experienced legal representation at your side.

As a former New York City prosecutor, attorney Mehdi Essmidi is uniquely equipped to defend your rights and interests. An in-depth understanding of the prosecution’s strategies enables him to build strong defenses tailored to each client. Contact us for a free consultation.

Prostitution Under New York Penal Law

The New York Penal Law § 230 outlines several prostitution-related offenses, each with penalties and potential consequences. It’s essential to understand these charges to prepare an effective defense strategy.


Prostitution charges involve engaging, agreeing, or offering to engage in sexual activity with another person in exchange for a fee, which carries legal consequences, such as fines, probation, and even imprisonment.

Being charged with prostitution-related crimes can result in a criminal record if convicted. This record can have long-lasting consequences, such as difficulties finding employment, housing, and potential impacts on immigration status and future travel.

Patronizing a Person for Prostitution

Patronizing a prostitute, often called “solicitation,” involves paying or agreeing to pay another person for sexual conduct. Laws related to patronizing a person for prostitution specify varying penalties based on the ages of those involved and where it happened.

The severity of penalties for patronizing a person for prostitution increases when an eighteen or older patronizes someone younger than fifteen. Penalties escalate further if the person patronized is less than eleven years old.

A distinct provision has also been established for prostitution in a school zone. If a person aged twenty-one or older patronizes someone under eighteen in a school zone area, they face more severe penalties.

Aggravated Patronizing a Minor for Prostitution

New York Law defines three degrees of aggravated patronizing a minor for prostitution, each based on the offender’s age and how young the minor was. In the third degree, individuals aged twenty-one or older are guilty if they patronize minors under seventeen for prostitution. Penalties escalate if an eighteen-year-old patronizes a minor under fifteen for prostitution. For more severe offenses, a person is guilty if they patronize a child under eleven for prostitution.

Promoting Prostitution

New York Law defines various degrees of promoting prostitution. At its core, a person advances prostitution when they knowingly facilitate or aid another person to engage in prostitution. This includes activities like operating brothels or soliciting clients for prostitutes.

A separate distinction, profit from prostitution, involves gaining financially from the act without directly providing the service. More severe penalties are imposed if these actions occur in school zones.

Furthermore, the gravity of the charges escalates depending on the age of the prostitute, with the most severe punishment for advancing or profiting from the prostitution of someone under thirteen years old.

Sex trafficking

The legislation stipulates that an individual might be charged with sex trafficking if they deliberately benefit from or promote prostitution through specific means:

  • Administering drugs to impair the judgment of a patronized person.
  • Providing false information to coerce someone into prostitution.
  • Confiscating identification to restrict freedom of movement.
  • Forcing someone into prostitution to settle a debt.
  • Using threats of physical harm, damage to property, other felonies, legal consequences, public humiliation, or immigration status.

If you’re facing any of these charges, seek a New York prostitution attorney to help protect your rights.

Potential Consequences of a Prostitution Conviction

A prostitution conviction in New York carries consequences that can vary based on the severity of the charges. The penalties for these convictions can include jail time, fines, a permanent criminal record, and, in some cases, mandatory sex offender registration.

Common Defenses Against Prostitution Charges

In prostitution cases, common defenses can be employed to protect your rights and reputation. Each defense strategy is unique to the individual case and circumstances, and a skilled New York prostitution lawyer can help you evaluate the best approach for your case. Here are common defenses:

  • Challenging the credibility of witnesses: Involves questioning the reliability and ulterior motives of the people testifying.
  • They were a victim: Involves demonstrating that the defendant was a victim of compelling prostitution or sex trafficking, accounting for the fact that many individuals involved in prostitution-related offenses are often themselves victims of more severe crimes, like trafficking.
  • Scrutinizing the evidence’s reliability: Involves closely examining the evidence presented by the prosecution to check for inconsistencies.
  • Proving lack of evidence: Involves demonstrating that the prosecution does not have sufficient evidence to prove that solicitation or payment for sexual conduct occurred.
  • Did not have reasonable grounds to believe that the person was less than the age specified: If the defendant genuinely believed, based on reasonable grounds or evidence available to them at the time, that the person they patronized was above a certain age, their belief might be used as a defense.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

If you are facing prostitution charges in New York, contact the Law Offices of Mehdi Essmidi P.L.L.C. for a free consultation to discuss your case. Attorney Mehdi Essmidi leverages his experience as a former prosecutor to anticipate and counter the strategies that might be used against you, ensuring the best possible outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you go to jail for prostitution-related charges in NY?

Yes, you can be sentenced to jail for prostitution-related charges in New York. The amount of time can range from months to many years, depending on the specific circumstances of your case and the charges you are facing.

How does New York differentiate between prostitution and promoting prostitution?

A prostitution offense includes engaging, agreeing, or offering to engage in sexual activity with another person in exchange for a fee. On the other hand, promoting prostitution involves facilitating or profiting from prostitution. Promoting prostitution can include running a brothel, pimping, or advertising prostitution services.