Innocent people can be arrested due to mistakes or police misconduct. One form of police misconduct that could possibly be used as a defense in a prostitution case is entrapment.
Police often rely on sting operations to make prostitution arrests. Officers pose as prostitutes or customers. However, officers must follow very strict guidelines when conducting prostitution stings. In this article, our Seattle criminal defense attorney explores entrapment as a possible defense to prostitution charges in Washington.
Using Entrapment as a Defense to Prostitution Charges in Washington
Entrapment is an affirmative defense in a criminal case. You must raise the defense at trial and prove the legal elements required to prove the police misconduct.
The Revised Code of Washington §9A.16.070 states that entrapment is a defense to the prosecution of a crime that:
- The crime originated in the mind of the police officer or someone acting under their direction; AND,
- The defendant was induced or lured to commit a crime they had not otherwise intended to commit.
It is not enough to show that the police officer offered a person the opportunity to commit a crime. The officer must have tempted or persuaded the person to commit the crime.
Therefore, walking up to an undercover police officer and asking for sex in exchange for money probably will not stand the test for an entrapment defense. On the other hand, an undercover police officer approaching you without any invitation to offer sex could be the beginning of a defense. You might have said no several times, but the undercover officer used forceful and compelling arguments to persuade you to have sex for money.
It is crucial to understand that prostitution stings are not solely performed on the street. Undercover copies can pose as customers or prostitutes online, in chat rooms, or on Craig’s List. It is also wise to remember that an undercover cop does not need to admit they are a police officer if you ask them.
What Should I Do if I Am Arrested on Prostitution or Prostitution-Related Charges?
Prostitution is a sex crime. You could face severe criminal penalties depending on the person’s age and other factors. Talking with the police is not your best option in this situation.
Instead, you should remain silent except for asking for a lawyer.
Trying to talk your way out of a prostitution charge will likely worsen matters. If you have a valid entrapment defense to prostitution charges in Washington, you do not want to mess up the defense by giving officers statements they can use against you in court.
Call a lawyer and only discuss the matter with the attorney. An attorney can investigate the charges against you, including analyzing the state’s evidence. Your lawyer develops the best defense strategy based on the evidence in your case, including using all potential defenses available to help you beat the charges or negotiate a fair plea agreement.
Call Now for a Free Consultation With a Seattle Criminal Defense Attorney
Were you arrested for prostitution in Seattle, Washington? If so, do not plead guilty or accept a plea deal until you talk with an experienced Seattle criminal defense attorney. You could be innocent of the charges based on entrapment. Contact Jennifer today for a consultation to discuss your case.
DISCLAIMER: This post is intended to share my perspective, insights and some general information on various aspects of criminal law. It is not legal advice and is not intended to substitute for legal advice. You should consult an attorney to obtain legal advice for your individual situation and case.