Visiting Escorts in Indiana Could Land You in Jail

August 04, 2022

By Keffer Hirschauer LLP

Visiting Escorts in Indiana Could Land You in Jail

Prostitution is a profession as old as time, however, it is still very much illegal in 49 of 50 states, including Indiana. If you’re thinking of visiting an escort, remember that the cost of being convicted of solicitation is harsh. Soliciting escorts in Indiana is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of $5,000. In addition to fines levied as part of your sentencing, you may have to pay legal fees and court costs that could run into the thousands.

If you’ve been charged with a prostitution-related crime, it would be wise to speak with an experienced Indiana criminal defense attorney today. The founding partners at Keffer Hirschauer LLP are both former prosecutors with extensive experience prosecuting solicitation crimes. They understand the strategies the prosecutors’ office will use against you and the most effective defenses for ensuring an optimal outcome on your behalf.  

Laws Regarding Escorts in Indiana 

In Indiana criminal law, there are three different charges that address sexual transactions: prostitution, promoting prostitution, and making an unlawful proposition. The charge of prostitution would apply to the Indiana escort themselves while the promotion of prostitution would apply to the procurer (more commonly known as a pimp or madam). Making an unlawful proposition (or what’s more commonly known as solicitation) applies to the person (commonly known as johns) who purchased or agreed to purchase the services of escorts in Indiana. 

Prostitution in Indiana

Indiana Code 35-45-4-2 states that “a person at least eighteen (18) years of age who knowingly or intentionally: (1) performs, or offers or agrees to perform, sexual intercourse or other sexual conduct (as defined in IC 35-31.5-2-221.5); or (2) fondles, or offers or agrees to fondle, the genitals of another person; for money or other property commit prostitution, a Class A misdemeanor. However, the offense is a Level 6 felony if the person has two (2) prior convictions under this section.”  

In a basic legal sense, this means that if you advertise, agree to, or provide sexual services as an Indiana escort in exchange for money or property, you may be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor for prostitution. If convicted, you could serve up to one year in jail and incur a fine of up to $5,000. If you’re convicted of prostitution-related offenses more than twice, you’ll face a Level 6 Felony with carries a penalty of up to 2.5 years in jail and fines of up to $10,000. 

Promoting Prostitution in Indiana

Indiana Code 35-45-4-4 basically outlines the illegality of what is more commonly known as being a “pimp,” “madam,” or “brothel owner.” Charges relating to the promotion of prostitution may stem from actions such as: 

  • Enticing or compelling another person to become a prostitute or escort in Indiana 
  • Procuring an escort for another person 
  • Having control over a place where the services of escorts in Indiana can be utilized 
  • Receiving compensation or property from an escort that was earned from an act of prostitution 
  • Directing a person to a dwelling for the purpose of prostitution  

If charged with promoting prostitution, you will face a Level 5 Felony, which could carry a penalty of one to six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Furthermore, if the person you enticed or compelled is under the age of 18 years old, you will face a Level 4 Felony, punishable by two to twelve years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.  

Unlawful Proposition (a.k.a. Solicitation) in Indiana

Indiana Code 35-45-4-3 explicitly demonstrates that it is illegal to pay, offer to, or agree to pay or trade property with an escort in Indiana in exchange for engaging in sexual conduct. It states further that it is not an adequate defense that the victim provided consent when engaging in the act of prostitution, or that the intended victim of the offense is a law enforcement officer.  

If charged with making an unlawful proposition, you may face a Class A Misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to one year in prison, and a fine of up to $1,000. If you’re charged more than twice with prostitution-related offenses, you’ll face a Level 6 Felony with carries a penalty of up to 2.5 years in jail and fines of up to $10,000.

The Trial Process for Prostitution-Related Charges

Knowing when and how to protect your rights is key in any criminal defense case. If you are arrested for soliciting escorts in Indiana, remember: 

  • You have the right to stay silent, except to declare that you won’t answer questions without an attorney present 
  • If you wish to have counsel, ask to call your attorney 
  • Anything you say on a police station phone line can be heard and recorded by law enforcement 
  • Wait for your attorney to arrive before engaging in conversation with anyone 

Typically, the process after an arrest for prostitution-related charges goes as follows:  

  • Initial Hearing 
  • The judge informs you of the specific charges 
  • The judge informs you of your rights 
  • You have the chance to enter a plea, typically guilty or not guilty 
  • Defense counsel and prosecutors begin investigation and discovery 
  • Evidence and witnesses are obtained 
  • Witness lists and statements are shared 
  • Police reports and statements by complaining witnesses are shared 
  • Defense counsel or prosecutor may file pre-trial motions to try to suppress evidence that was illegally obtained or interrogations that were held illegally 

If you’ve been charged with soliciting an escort in Indiana, or another prostitution-related crime, sex crimes defense would be ideal for aggressively protecting your rights and increasing the chances of an optimal outcome. If you need quality representation, an Indianapolis sex crime lawyer from Keffer Hirschauer LLP can be reached at (317) 648-9560 

Defense Strategy for Prostitution-Related Charges

It is easy to feel hopeless or defeated when facing charges related to prostitution, promoting prostitution or solicitation of escorts in Indiana. However, a skilled criminal defense attorney can work alongside you to build a sound legal defense and/or explore other legal avenues to have your charges reduced or dismissed  

Possible Defense for Prostitution in Indiana 

To successfully convict you of prostitution charges, the prosecution must prove several elements listed in Indiana Code 35-45-4-2. They must first prove that you engaged in an act of prostitution by selling sexual conduct and that you communicated a financial arrangement with the person who solicited the sexual conduct. Furthermore, both parties involved must have agreed on the transaction. 

In prostitution cases, a skilled defense attorney may attempt to demonstrate that you were entrapped by law enforcement and that you would not have engaged in the conduct had the officer not been so aggressive in encouraging the activity. If entrapment is not a viable strategy, a defense attorney may then try to show a lack of evidence supporting the prosecution’s case. Showing a lack of evidence is quite common as charges of prostitution tend to be based on circumstantial evidence of intent or behavior. 

Additionally, if you are under the age of 18 or a victim of human trafficking, you cannot be charged with prostitution. Proving your age is straightforward. However, proving that you are a victim of human trafficking can be more complicated and would require the services of an Indiana attorney familiar with the laws related to human trafficking. 

Possible Defense for Promoting Prostitution in Indiana 

When compared to prostitution and unlawful proposition, charges related to promoting prostitution are much more severe. They also tend to involve people who go beyond the traditional idea of a “pimp,” or “madam.” In today’s world, promoting prostitution charges are levied against business owners, landlords, or anyone else who is responsible for or financially benefitting from another person’s act of prostitution. Furthermore, promoting prostitution charges often are accompanied by other charges like money laundering or human trafficking. 

If you face charges of promoting prostitution in Indiana, you will require a very experienced and skilled criminal defense attorney. They will need to take an in-depth look at your case, and the facts surrounding your charges. If possible, they will try to identify any potentially improper actions by law enforcement, weak points in the prosecution’s case, or any other facts that may demonstrate your innocence.  

Possible Defense for Soliciting Escorts in Indiana  

If you have been charged with the unlawful proposition of escorts in Indiana (more commonly known as solicitation), you should call an Indiana criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. There are many defenses when it comes to an unlawful proposition, and a skilled attorney could help reduce or completely dismiss the charges levied against you. Some of the most common defenses for solicitation of an escort in Indiana include:  

  • Entrapment: In cases where law enforcement forced an individual to commit a crime that they never intended to engage in, entrapment could be a successful defense. Regarding solicitation, entrapment can occur when police or other law enforcement officers use persuasion or other means (such as posing as an escort) likely to cause you to engage in illegal conduct that you otherwise were not predisposed to engage in. However, as stated in Indiana Code 35-41-3-9, “conduct merely affording a person an opportunity to commit the offense does not constitute entrapment.”  
  • Lack of Evidence: As in all criminal cases, a lack of evidence to successfully charge you with a crime is an effective defense. For example, if you spoke with an escort in Indiana but never agreed to or offered payment (verbally, in writing, or by bodily gesture) for sexual activity, there may be insufficient evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you made an unlawful proposition.  
  • Mistake: While it seems outlandish, it is not unheard of for mistakes to happen when it comes to arresting and charging someone with solicitation. For example, someone may offer a ride to a person they believe to be stranded or in need of help, only to find out the person is a prostitute. If this sort of situation applies to your case, you may have a solid defense.  

Charged with Hiring an Escort in Indiana? Call Keffer Hirschauer LLP.  

Facing prostitution-related charges can be both frightening and embarrassing, but it doesn’t always have to affect the rest of your life going forward. With the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney, you can mount a sound defense against the charges levied against you by the state. The criminal defense team at Keffer Hirschauer LLP is made up of former prosecutors who now fight to preserve the rights of criminal defendants. Our unique background and experience allow us to better serve and protect your rights under the Indiana Criminal code. If you need an advocate in your corner, contact us online or at (317) 648-9560 to set up a free, no-risk consultation.  

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