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What are the consequences of solicitation in Maryland?

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2024 | Criminal Defense

It’s embarrassing to be charged with the solicitation of a prostitute – but the consequences of a conviction can be even worse.

In Maryland, solicitation is called “assignation,” and it involves making an appointment with a prostitute or doing anything that furthers the engagement. Far from being something that will garner you a slap on the wrist, you can end up facing up to a year in jail and a fine of $500. If the prostitute turns out to be a minor, however, you could face up to 25 years in prison and a $15,000 fine – and also end up forced to register as a sex offender.

How can the prosecution prove an assignation charge?

It’s important to understand that you do not have to actually engage in a sexual act with a prostitute to be convicted of assignation. With that in mind, prosecutors look for evidence like:

  • Proof that you picked up a prostitute and moved to a relatively private site or a hotel to engage in sexual contact
  • Evidence that you made plans to meet a prostitute for sex through text messages 
  • Bank receipts showing that you withdrew an agreed-upon sum before you met with an escort 
  • Evidence that you verbally propositioned an undercover officer or paid one for what you believed would be a sexual act

One of the biggest things that prosecutors need to prove is that you had intent, so your defense may focus on poking holes in the prosecution’s assumptions about the meaning of your words, challenging the admissibility of certain evidence or even questioning whether you are the victim of entrapment by undercover police officers anxious to make an arrest.

If you’re facing assignation (solicitation) charges, the smart thing to do is to exercise your right to remain silent and focus on your defense options.