Promoting prostitution in the second degree is a serious crime under Washington law. People commit this offense if they profit from or advance prostitution. The crime is a felony (as opposed to a misdemeanor) punishable by up to five years in state prison. If you or a loved one is facing a prostitution charge, it is critical that you contact a skilled criminal defense attorney now for help.
How Does Washington Law Define “Promoting Prostitution”?
RCW 9A.88.080 is the Washington statute that sets forth the law on promoting prostitution in the second degree. According to this law, it is a crime for a person to:
- Profit from prostitution, or
- Advance prostitution.
“Profiting from prostitution” means you:
- accept or receive money or something of value from a person, and
- do so as a result of an agreement with that person whereby he/she serves as a prostitute.
“Advancing prostitution” means to:
- Cause or aid a person to engage in prostitution,
- Procure or solicit customers for prostitution,
- Provide persons or premises for prostitution purposes,
- Operate or assist in the operation of a prostitution enterprise, and/or
- Engage in any other conduct designed to institute, aid, or facilitate prostitution (including verbal offers or invitations and persuasion designed to further prostitution).
Note that promoting prostitution in the first degree is a sperate offense under Washington law. People commit this crime if they if they force or threaten someone to engage in prostitution.
What are the Penalties?
Promoting prostitution in the first degree is a Class C felony under Washington law. The crime is punishable by:
- Custody in state prison for up to 5 years, and/or
- A maximum fine of $10,000.
In contrast, promoting prostitution in the first degree is a Class B felony. The crime is punishable by:
- Custody in state prison for up to 10 years, and/or
- A maximum fine of $20,000.
Can a Defendant Raise a Legal Defense?
Yes. People accused of promoting prostitution can challenge the accusation with a legal defense. Recall that “profit from prostitution” and “advancing prostitution” have precise legal definitions under Washington law. A defense, then, if for an accused to show that he/she did not technically profit from prostitution or advance it.
Further, people often get falsely accused of promoting prostitution. Someone may lie and allege that you committed this crime out of revenge or jealousy. No matter the specific reason, though, a defendant can always assert that he/she was unjustly blamed for an offense.
Contact Black & Askerov for Help
While a defendant can raise a legal defense to challenge a prostitution charge, it will take a skilled criminal defense attorney to raise the best defense. The experienced attorneys at Black & Askerov have over 30 years of combined experience defending clients on various prostitution related charges. Our Seattle criminal defense lawyers have the skill and commitment that makes all the difference in these cases. Our attorneys will fight tooth and nail for you at every step of your case. Contact us now to get the legal help you deserve!