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I was at bike week in Ocean City Md Saturday evening, I was

bored and playing with my...
I was at bike week in Ocean City Md Saturday evening, I was bored and playing with my phone, I noticed a pretty girl on craigslist with the heading, Let Us Ride, being a biker I asked if she would like to go riding, she said she would like to meet and told me it would be 60 for hh, sex was never mentioned by either of us, I said that's fine and possibly more depending on initial encounter. For all I knew she needed help with bills. Anyway, I went to the hotel and told her I was there, and waited to see if she was the person in the picture, I care about my safety and I don't like to be told stories. That's when I was surrounded by police officers saying I was being arrested for prostitution. My intent wasn't about sex and the text messages from me don't say anything about sex, what will happen?
JA: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And when did this happen?
Customer: It was in Ocean City Maryland Saturday the 16th
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: I have Legal Shield and they are trying to find me a Lawyer in Ocean City but, I haven't heard anything yet.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: This ad was originated from the OCPD
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Answered in 9 minutes by:
9/20/2017
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 28,053
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Hi,

I'm Zoey.

I've reviewed your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and it also takes time to compose and type a reply.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Ok, thank you

You fell for a police sting. They can arrest you for keeping the assignation, and what your intent was when you made the date would be a question of fact for a judge or jury to consider if you choose to fight the charges all the way to trial. The state must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. So to the extent that a judge or jury believes you could have misunderstood what "Let Us Ride" meant and why she'd charge you to go biking with her, you couldn't get convicted of the crime.

But can they charge you? You bet.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I have a hearing 11/3/17,what is that about?

If it's your first court date, it's your arraignment. That's where the charges are formally read into the record and you are asked how you plead. You would enter a plea of not guilty. That would keep all of your rights open so that you/your lawyer could either negotiate a plea or you could fight the case, all the way to an eventual trial.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
They took my phone, what happenswith that?

If it was used to text or call the woman to set up the assignation, they can hang on to the phone for evidence and if you're convicted, they can keep it as the means by which you committed the crime. If you beat the case, you could ask for a release from the prosecutor when the case is over.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I understand that but, as I said, there was no mentionof sex in that conversation, why would they pursue this? They may have placed the ad as a sexual thing but, I saw it as a riding friend since it was bike week.

They would pursue it because they only need a reasonable belief that you may have been committing a crime in order to prosecute you. They need proof beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict you.

It's illegal for a prostitute to advertise that she's offering sex for money. So code words are used. Thus the reference to a "ride" and the fee of $60 hh which stands for half hour. These are standard terms of the trade.

Is it possible you just didn't get the code words? If you say so, I'm not going to argue with you about that. A judge or jury would decide that after the close of all the evidence. But from the police perspective, you agreed to paying for sex, and the state can choose to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
You're correct, I didn't know about code words so, for ignorance I may be prosecuted, the penalty is 1 YR and/OR $500.00

That's correct. You can be prosecuted. That doesn't mean you'd have to be convicted because the burden of proof much higher for that. But it all hangs on whether the finder of fact believes you didn't understand what the ad was about.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
What are the chances of just paying a fine and everything going away?

I'm sure the state would let you pay a fine, but you'll have a solicitation conviction on your record. I doubt you want that, so you should get a lawyer and see if he can negotiate a plea to a different charge, such as disorderly conduct if he can't get you a dismissal. Outright dismissals on these types of cases are rare.

Incidentally, a conviction on this charge would not require you to register as a sex offender, unless the ad said she was under 18.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
No, she said she was 29 and kept asking me if I was cumming then sent a picture, they really wanted to arrest someone I guess?

Yes. That's why they set up the ad. Prostitution is illegal and it's a way for the police to round up people who would break the law.

Police are allowed to arrange stings and it's not considered entrapment. So sayeth the US Supreme Court.

I'm going to turn in for the night. If you have a further follow up, I'll see to it in the morning. On the other hand, if I have addressed all of your concerns, please take the time to rate my service to you by selecting 3, 4, or (hopefully) 5 stars on the rating scale, as that is the only way that JustAnswer gives us Experts credit for our work. You would still be able to post further follow ups on this question thread about this for no additional cost, even after I've been rated.

Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 28,053
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Verified
Zoey_ JD and 87 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you very much for your advice, have a good night.
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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 28,053
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Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.

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