What Are The Prostitution Laws And Penalties In Arizona Under 13-3214?
In today’s video, we’re talking about prostitution. In another video, we had spoken about what the definition of prostitution is, whether it’s sexual conduct, what constitutes sexual conduct.
There’s a number of different variables in there.
There’s a lot of definitions stacked on top of that. But, if you fall within those that definition, if you fall within the purview of the definition statute and the activity that is alleged is considered prostitution, well then, what makes that illegal?
We were just talking about definitions. Now we’re talking about the actual law.
To get an understanding of how that works, we need to look to the ARS, the Arizona Revised Statutes. It is 1332.14.
It’s the prostitutions section of the ARS. It’s pretty bland. It’s pretty basic in terms of what it prohibits. It says right here it is unlawful for a person to knowingly engage in prostitution.
This is all under Section A. And so you can see it’s not real clear.
That’s why we look to the definition to say, “What is prostitution?”
So you can make some good defenses based on the definitions portion of the statute, which I, again I addressed in another video.
In this video, we’re looking at a couple things. Knowingly engaging in prostitution.
That is the statute, okay? Is a very serious charge in Arizona, surprisingly. Even if it’s a first offense. Arizona is a conservative state. They really like to criminalize certain activity, in particular sexual contact, contact or conduct. They like to really penalize it, and so that’s what we see here.
So if you are convicted of this portion of the statute, you meet the definitions, this was something that you knowingly engaged in, and it is considered prostitution, these are the penalties.
So, first of all, it’s a class one misdemeanor in Arizona.
Class one misdemeanor is the highest level of misdemeanor that we have. It’s not a felony, but it is a misdemeanor.
And so, if it’s a first offense, that’s where it’s going to fall. And for a first time charge, either way, whether you are committing prostitution or soliciting prostitution, if it’s not reduced, if you’re charged under this statute, the penalty for prostitution is 15 days of jail. You can see here the first offense is 15 days. That means it’s mandatory. It’s written in the law. If you’re convicted of it, the judge doesn’t have authority to not give you jail time. You’re going to go to jail, which is why it’s so important.
If you’ve been charged with prostitution, you don’t get convicted of it. There’s a number of ways that we can deal with that. We’ll put that in a different video. But for here, we’re talking about the penalties.
A second offense, so somebody is charged again with prostitution or convicted again and they’ve got a prior prostitution conviction, penalty goes up to 30 days.
A third conviction, 60 days. This is all written in the statute. It’s law. It’s mandatory.
A fourth offense or an additional offense, that’s going to become a felony now.
So up here for first offense, second, and third offenses, those are all misdemeanors with increased aggravated jail. But if you’re convicted a fourth time, or further times, it’s going to be a felony.
Now, if you’re convicted of felonies, if you have prior felonies, it’s going to bump you up in terms of the severity of what category you’re in for sentencing purposes, so you could theoretically go to prison for a very long time if you’ve got prior offenses.
So, it’s important to know that. So, if it is a fourth or higher offense, you have to do a minimum of 180 days in jail.
Can’t do any less than that, so that’s also written into the law. Prior felony convictions, as I said, can bump you up in terms of sentencing.
And then, finally, the court can add other penalties for it. So even if it’s a first offense, they can add education, they can add treatment programs, they can add probation.
So, this can really linger around for a very long time. And certainly, prostitution is one of those charges that is, you know, it’s a sensitive thing. People obviously don’t want that on their record. They don’t want to go to jail. They want to make sure that they can clear this stuff up. A lot of the times, the people that we work with are very good people, just caught up in kind of a bad situation. And they don’t deserve any of these penalties.
So, how can we help them through that? That’s what we do every single day.
Have another video on the defenses and what evidence they need, but this is just a quick overview on how it works. If you’ve been charged with prostitution, as you can see, the penalties are quite serious.
So it is important you give us a call. We offer free case evaluation, meaning you come into our office, no pressure. We’ll sit down, we’ll talk with you, we’ll make sure you have a good understanding of how this works as it applies to your case.
Make sure you have a good plan to move forward. So give us a call, come on in, sit down with us. We look forward to speaking with you soon.
Thanks for watching.
Prostitution in Arizona is a very serious crime, requiring mandatory jail even for a first-time conviction!
Arizona law on prostitution can be found in A.R.S. § 13-3214. The language of the actual statute is relatively bland regarding what it prohibits.
A.R.S. § 13-3214(A) states: “It is unlawful for a person to knowingly engage in prostitution.”
As can be seen, the statute is not very specific. However, the charges for prostitution in Arizona are very serious. Arizona is a very conservative state, and there are certain activities that are heavily criminalized, particularly concerning sexual conduct. If someone is convicted of violating A.R.S. § 13-3214, the penalties are severe.
It is also important to note that in order to violate this statute, one only needs to engage in prostitution. This means that it does not matter if you were committing or soliciting prostitution. If you knowingly engage in prostitution, you can be charged and convicted of A.R.S. § 13-3214.
Knowingly engaging in prostitution is a class 1 misdemeanor in Arizona. Class 1 is the highest-level misdemeanor. While not a felony, a class 1 misdemeanor is a serious charge.
A.R.S. § 13-3214(E)(1) states: “A person who is convicted of a first violation of this section shall be sentenced to serve not less than fifteen consecutive days in jail and is not eligible for probation or suspension of execution of sentence until the entire sentence is served.”
Because the penalty is explicitly written in the statute, that means the sentence is mandatory if convicted. Not even a judge has the authority to reduce the jail time. If you are convicted of engaging in prostitution in Arizona, you are going to jail. Therefore, if you are charged with prostitution, it is extremely important that you are not convicted. There are several different ways to deal with a prostitution charge, but if you are convicted, there is nothing that can be done at that point.
A.R.S. § 13-3214(E)(2) and (E)(3) are both written exactly like (E)(1), except they address second and third-time offenses, both of which result in 30 and 60-day minimum sentences, respectively.
A.R.S. § 13-3214(E)(4) states: “A person who has previously been convicted of three or more violations of this section and who commits a subsequent violation of this section is guilty of a class 5 felony, shall be sentenced to serve not less than one hundred eighty consecutive days in jail and is not eligible for probation or suspension of execution of sentence until the entire sentence is served. This paragraph does not prohibit a person from being sentenced to serve a period of incarceration in the state department of corrections.”
A fourth conviction of prostitution constitutes a felony. If you have prior felonies, it will affect the severity of what category you will be in for sentencing purposes, so you could theoretically go to prison for a very long time if you have prior offenses.
As with the other sections, the minimum 180-day sentence is written into the law and is unavoidable if you are convicted.
Additionally, the court can add other penalties on top of what the law prescribes, even if it is a first-time offense.
Because of the nature of the law toward prostitution, it can have effects that linger on for a very long time. Prostitution is a sensitive issue, and people do not want it on their record. In most cases, people who are charged with prostitution are very good people simply caught in a bad situation and are certainly undeserving of the severe penalties that a conviction would carry.
Therefore, it is important to contact an attorney immediately if you have been charged with prostitution.