Solicitation of Prostitution Charges

solicitation of prostitution

In Phoenix, Arizona, being accused of solicitation of prostitution can be a distressing experience. These charges can arise from various situations,


whether it's directly soliciting a prostitute, getting caught in a sting operation, or intending to involve someone in prostitution.


Kolsrud Law Offices, known for their expertise in criminal defense in Phoenix, offers dedicated support for such cases. Their defense attorneys possess a deep understanding of the complexities associated with solicitation and related prostitution charges.


With their proven track record, Kolsrud ensures those facing these allegations receive thorough representation. If you're in need of clarity or defense, Kolsrud Law Offices provides a free consultation to discuss your specific situation.

what is solicitation

What is Solicitation of Prostitution in Phoenix?

In Arizona, the act of solicitation of prostitution is distinct from actual prostitution.


Solicitation specifically targets the propositioning or the agreement to engage in a sexual act in exchange for money or other compensation.


This is outlined in the Phoenix city code Sec 23-52. It's noteworthy to mention that an individual can be charged with solicitation even if the sexual act never takes place. The emphasis is on the intent or agreement


Examples of Solicitation in Arizona:


  • Direct Approach: An individual approaches someone in a public place, like a street or a bar, offering money in exchange for a sexual act.
  • Electronic Communication: Someone uses texting, social media, or online platforms to reach out to another individual, proposing a monetary transaction for intimate services.
  • Third-party Mediation: An individual contacts another person, acting as an intermediary, to arrange a sexual service in return for compensation. This could be through a "middleman" or using coded language.
  • Verbal Agreements: In an establishment, like a massage parlor or nightclub, a person verbally offers extra money for services that go beyond the standard or legal offerings.

While the act of prostitution and the act of solicitation are distinct offenses, both fall under the umbrella of sex crimes in Arizona.

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Prostitution Laws in Arizona

Prostitution, the act of engaging in sexual services for money or other compensation, is illegal in nearly all parts of the United States, with Arizona being no exception.


Arizona's laws surrounding prostitution are explicitly outlined and are aimed at both those offering and those seeking such services. Let's explore the specifics of these laws and their implications in Arizona.


Legality and Prohibitions:

  • Engaging in Prostitution: As stipulated by Arizona Revised Statutes 13-3214, engaging in prostitution, which includes both performing the act and agreeing or offering to do so, is illegal.
  • Profiting from Prostitution: The law doesn't only target individuals directly involved in prostitution. Anyone profiting from the act, like intermediaries or brothel operators, can face legal repercussions.
  • Locations: It's against the law to operate a house of prostitution or to knowingly allow a property to be used for prostitution-related activities.

Other Considerations:

  • Mandatory Testing: Those arrested on charges related to prostitution may be subjected to STD and HIV testing to ensure public health safety.
  • Rehabilitation and Diversion Programs: Arizona emphasizes rehabilitation in addition to punitive measures. As such, certain individuals may have the option to attend programs focused on education and recovery as an alternative to traditional legal consequences.
  • Seizure of Property: In instances where prostitution activities occur within a vehicle, law enforcement has the authority to seize the vehicle involved.

What You Should Know About Sting Operations

Sting operations are covert strategies implemented by law enforcement to apprehend individuals involved in unlawful activities.


As one of the largest cities in the U.S., Phoenix has witnessed many sting operations targeting prostitution and solicitation.


The city's police department and other local law enforcement agencies regularly carry out these operations to deter and reduce such activities.


 Insights and Facts:


  • Rising Numbers: Over recent years, Phoenix has seen an uptick in sting operations, with the police department making several high-profile arrests related to prostitution rings and solicitation.
  • Focus on Hotspots: Areas like Van Buren Street, historically known for prostitution-related activities, have been frequent targets of sting operations in Phoenix.
  • Online Presence: The Phoenix Police Department, recognizing the shift of prostitution to online platforms, has increased its surveillance on websites and apps that are suspected of facilitating such activities.
  • Collaborative Efforts: Phoenix law enforcement often collaborates with other cities in the metro area, as well as federal agencies, to conduct larger sting operations. Such cooperative ventures aim to dismantle expansive prostitution networks.
  • Public Awareness: Phoenix authorities have also made efforts to raise public awareness about the dangers and legal consequences of solicitation and prostitution. These initiatives include publicizing arrests and results from sting operations to deter potential offenders.
  • Entrapment Concerns: As with any sting operation, Phoenix has had its share of controversies related to potential entrapment. While law enforcement aims to act within legal bounds, it's crucial for those accused to know their rights and potential defenses.
arrested during sting operation

What Should I Do If I’m Arrested During a “Prostitution Sting” in Arizona?

An arrest during a prostitution sting can be a distressing and bewildering experience. However, the actions you take immediately after can have profound implications on the outcome of your case. 


 Steps and Recommendations:


  • Stay Calm: Reacting aggressively or resisting arrest can lead to additional charges and complicate your situation.
  • Right to Remain Silent: You are under no obligation to speak to the police or provide any statements. Politely, but firmly, assert your right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in court.
  • Avoid Self-incrimination: While it might be tempting to explain your side of the story, providing details or making admissions can jeopardize your defense. Wait until you can speak with an attorney.
  • Request Legal Representation: As soon as it's feasible, request to speak with an attorney. If you cannot afford one, you have the right to a court-appointed attorney.
  • Document Everything: Once you are in a position to do so, jot down all the details of your arrest – the events leading up to it, the officers involved, any potential witnesses, and any other relevant details.
  • Avoid Signing Documents: Unless your attorney reviews and advises it, refrain from signing any documents presented by law enforcement or the prosecution.
  • Post-Arrest Release: Depending on the circumstances, you might be eligible for release on bail. Your attorney can guide you through this process.

Penalties for Solicitation of Prostitution

In Arizona, the penalties for solicitation of prostitution are outlined under Phoenix city code Sec 23-52


The city takes a stern stance against this offense, and those found guilty can face a range of penalties based on the specifics of the case and any prior convictions.


Here's an in-depth look at the potential consequences one might encounter if convicted of solicitation in Phoenix.


 Penalties Include:

  • First Offense: For a first-time offender, solicitation of prostitution is considered a class 1 misdemeanor. This can result in:
    • Up to 6 months in jail.
    • A fine of up to $2,500, excluding surcharges.
    • Mandatory 15 days of incarceration without the possibility of probation, pardon, suspension, or release.
  • Second Offense: A second violation elevates the penalties significantly. Convicted individuals can face:
    • Mandatory 30 days of incarceration, without any chance for probation, pardon, suspension, or other forms of release.
  • Third Offense: A third conviction carries even harsher repercussions:
    • A minimum of 60 days in jail, without eligibility for probation, pardon, suspension, or any form of release.
  • Subsequent Offenses: For individuals with three or more prior convictions, the penalties increase further:
    • At least 180 days in jail, again with no possibility for probation, pardon, suspension, or other releases.
  • Other Consequences: Beyond the immediate legal penalties, those convicted may also face:
    • Mandatory STD testing and HIV testing.
    • Potential loss of employment.
    • Damage to personal relationships and reputation.
    • Possible vehicle impoundment if the offense occurred within a vehicle.
defenses solicitation charges

Defenses Against Solicitation Charges

  • Lack of Evidence

    •  One of the primary defenses is that the prosecution cannot conclusively prove the defendant's guilt. Without substantial evidence like recordings, witnesses, or physical proof, the charges might be difficult to sustain.

  • Mistaken Identity

    • In some cases, especially those arising from sting operations, it's possible that the accused was mistakenly identified as the offender. This defense requires presenting evidence to show that the accused was not the individual involved in the alleged act of solicitation.

  • Absence of Intent

    • For a solicitation charge to stick, there must be clear intent to engage in a sexual act in exchange for compensation. If it can be demonstrated that there was no genuine intention or that any expressed intent was not serious, it could serve as a viable defense.

  • Entrapment

    • Entrapment occurs when law enforcement officers induce a person to commit a crime that they would not have committed without the officers' intervention. If it's shown that the undercover officer unduly persuaded or coerced the defendant into the act of solicitation, this can form the basis for an entrapment defense.

  • Violation of Constitutional Rights

    •  If the defendant's rights were violated during the arrest or investigation process, such as an unlawful search or seizure, any evidence obtained may be deemed inadmissible in court.

  • Inadequate Understanding

    •  In situations where a language barrier or misunderstanding played a role, and the defendant didn't fully grasp the nature of the agreement, this might be used as part of the defense strategy.

How a Criminal Defense Attorney can Help


Kolsrud Law Offices, recognized for their expertise in criminal defense, are well-equipped to handle the complexities that come with a solicitation of prostitution charge. With a proven track record in criminal defense, especially against felony charges, Kolsrud's team of attorneys offers invaluable counsel to those grappling with the potential consequences, which might range from days in jail to years in prison.


The firm understands that every solicitation charge has its unique intricacies, regardless of whether the act was completed. If you're facing such allegations or need clarification on your situation, Kolsrud Law Offices provides a free consultation, allowing you to better understand your position and potential defense strategies.


Don't hesitate; call us at 480-680-9769 and let our experienced defense lawyer assist you in this challenging time.

An award-winning criminal defense attorney Since 2006

Why Choose Josh Kolsrud

With over 100 trials to his name, and years of experience as a state and federal prosecutor, Josh understands the law, the legal process, and your rights. Josh is also committed to representing every client with utmost integrity and dedication



Josh has prosecuted major crimes on the state and federal level, led a successful anti-human sex trafficking operation that saved lives, and argued before countless juries and justices for his clients



Josh is an expert in both Arizona and federal criminal law, and is ready to put that expertise to work for you.



As a prosecutor, Josh saw far too many defendants lose their livelihood due to poor representation. Josh will always give every client his complete attention and effort

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