In 2013, Illinois changed the classification for the crime of prostitution from a felony to a Class A misdemeanor. Conviction for prostitution carries with it a possible jail sentence of up to 12 months and/or a fine of up to $2,500.00.
Under the current law, the crime of prostitution is defined as, knowingly performing, offering or agreeing “to perform any act of sexual penetration as defined in Section 11-0.1 of this Code for anything of value, or any touching or fondling of the sex organs of one person by another person, for anything of value, for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification.” However, an individual can also be arrested for just the act of soliciting.
The City of Chicago even has a law in its municipal code that allows a person to be charged for the attempted solicitation of prostitution. That law reads, “Any person who remains or wanders about in a public place and repeatedly beckons to, or repeatedly stops, or repeatedly attempts to stop, or repeatedly attempts to engage passersby in conversation, or repeatedly stops or attempts to stop motor vehicles, or repeatedly interferes with the free passage of other persons, for the purpose of pandering” is considered to be in violation of the law. Anyone found guilty under that statute faces a jail sentence of up to six months and/or a fine of between $750.00 to $1,500.00.
However, a recent announcement by Cook County just may eventually change the way all charges of prostitution are handled in the state. Beginning this month, any person who is charged with prostitution will have their case handled by the Prostitution and Trafficking Intervention Court. The goal of the court is to treat those who are engaging in prostitution as victims instead of criminals.
Many women and men who are arrested for prostitution are often victims of human sex trafficking and are unable to escape. Proponents of the new court say that by offering these victims access to social services, such as housing, mental health and substance abuse programs, and other resources will help them begin a new life. Defendants who successfully complete the program – which will be based on individual assessment – will have their charges dismissed.
If you have been arrested for prostitution, or any other sex crimes, contact an experienced Wheaton criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Salvatore C. Miglore & Associates at 630-933-8400 today for a free consultation.