. Prostitution is the oldest profession and one of the most frequently committed crimes in America. Although some States have legalized an regulated it, all aspects of prostitution are illegal in New Jersey. Different activities and conduct fall under the Prostitution Statute, including: Prostitution, Promoting Prostitution, Loitering for Purposes of Prostitution and, depending on your role, you could face jail time, license suspension and even be required to register as a sex offender. Below is an overview of the law and penalties for prostitution in New Jersey:
Statute: N.J.S.A.. 2C:34-1
What activity or conduct is Prohibited
- either offering or accepting;
- sexual activity;
- in exchange for something of value; and
- both people had the intent to commit prostitution or solicitation.
Sexual Activity means: Any kind of sexual relation including traditional sexual intercourse, oral sex, masturbation, touching in a sexual area or even on the buttocks.
Payment means: Money or anything of value in exchange for the sexual services is sufficient i.e., property
2. Loitering for Purposes of Prostitution:
repeatedly gesturing to or stopping people on the streets or in cars, or
repeatedly attempting to stop others or engage them in conversation.
3. Promoting Prostitution:
- owning, controlling, managing, supervising or otherwise keeping, alone or in association with another, a house of prostitution or a prostitution business;
- procuring an inmate for a house of prostitution or place in a house of prostitution for one who would be an inmate;
- encouraging, inducing, or otherwise purposely causing another to become or remain a prostitute;
- soliciting a person to patronize a prostitute;
- procuring a prostitute for a patron;
- transporting a person into or within New Jersey promote that person's engaging in prostitution , or procuring or paying for transportation with that purpose; or
- knowingly leasing or otherwise permitting a place controlled by a pimp, alone or in association with others, to be regularly used for prostitution or promotion of prostitution , or not making a reasonable effort to stop such use by ejecting the tenant, notifying law enforcement authorities, or other legally available means.
First offense: Disorderly persons offense, up to six (6) months in jail and up to a $1,000
Second and subsequent offense: fourth degree, up to 18 months in prison and fines.
If a person uses a vehicle to commit prostitution, the court must also suspend the person’s driver’s license for six months.:
2. Loitering: Disorderly persons offense, up to six (6) months in jail and up to a $1,000
3. Promoting: Depending on the circumstances, can be a 3rd or 4th degree offense,
from 18 months to 5 years in jail and $10,000-$15,000 in fines
If a minor is involved (under 18 years old): third degree crime, 3 to 5 years in prison and fines.
* If convicted of promoting child prostitution, you will be required to register in sex offender registry.
In addition to the penalties imposed by this statute, you should be aware that a conviction for prostitution can affect you in other ways:
(a) if you engage in sex with a minor, you could be charged with Statutory Rape, and it doesn't matter if you didn't know that the person was a minor, or that they told you they weren't.
(b) loss of your job or job opportunities
(c) loss or inability to obtain some professional or business licenses
(d) loss of child custody/visitation
(e) eviction from your rental home (in certain circumstances)
(f) humiliation from family and friends
(g) loss of your personal relationships
Law enforcement regularly conducts sting operations at places and businesses known or suspected of engaging in such activity, including massage parlors, out-call massage and escort services, strip clubs, websites and publications.
There are defenses to a prostitution charge, and I've successfully represented numerous client, both sex workers and customers over the years.
If you've been charged with prostitution, call me for a free consultation. I'll explain the charges and ow I can help you.
All the Best!
Randy C. Redden