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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23188
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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is it illegal to solicit a prostitute over the phone, when

Customer Question

is it illegal to solicit a prostitute over the phone, when i have no intentions of going?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.
Hello Jacustomer,

Yes, it can be, if she's an undercover officer taping the conversation.

According to Section 230 (1)(b), a person is guilty of soliciting a prostitute when "He pays or agrees to pay a fee to another person pursuant to an understanding that in return therefore such person or a third person will engage in sexual conduct with him;

So actually showing up and completing the act is irrelevant.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

how can i be charged with pursuant to an understanding that in return, when i know for sure, I'm not going to show up, also if heard of such a casebeing charged just for phone use?


Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.

Hello Fred,

Did you read the section of the law I sent you? That's how. Just the offer to pay for sex is enough. Again, the person you talked to would have to be an undercover officer because I can't imagine the hooker reporting it herself. But the particular subection of the law I linked you to does not require intent. If she's agreed to have sex with you for money and you've agreed to pay her that's sufficient to find that you were soliciting.

It doesn't take much to get charged with a crime. All they need is probable cause and your statement would make that out. It takes a whole other thing to get a conviction as they'd have to prove that this call came from you beyond a reasonable doubt.

As a practical matter, I doubt that anything would happen to you as having to trace who and where you are once you don't show up is probably more than the crime is worth. But you didn't ask how likely it was that you'd be arrested. You asked if charges were possible when you never showed up, and the answer is yes.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

so how likely arrest? and have you heard of an arrest based on these circumstances

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.
I don't think it's likely you'll be arrested, and I don't know of anyone who was prosecuted under your circumstances. The closest I've seen to this were times when the man did show up, spotted a possible stake out before he could even leave his car and drove straight away. He was followed, pulled over, and picked up.