A first-time prostitution offense in Minnesota is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Additionally, offenders are charged a penalty assessment of $250. Any vehicle used to facilitate the crime can also be impounded, held, and sold by the state.
Minnesota Prostitution Charges
As with a Minnesota DWI offense, a prostitution charge is an “enhanceable offense,” which means subsequent criminal convictions will result in increased sentencing and penalties. A second prostitution offense in two years is a gross misdemeanor which can result in up to one year in jail and/or a maximum fine of $3,000.
Along with the criminal consequences, there are also numerous civil consequences that come with a prostitution offense. A prostitution conviction stays on an offender’s criminal record. Offenders will have to explain the charge when applying for jobs or renting an apartment. Likewise, a person with a prostitution conviction is barred from certain activities involving children, for example—coaching a youth soccer team.
Minnesota County-Specific Penalties
In some areas, there are additional penalties specific to the county in which the prostitution offense was committed. Here are the specific punishments for three Minnesota counties in which prostitution is most prevalent:
- A judge-recommended 10 days in jail
- Completion of a psychosexual evaluation (typically reserved for sex offenders)
Ramsey & Hennepin County
- Stay of imposition for vacate & dismissal (The prosecutor will ask you to plead guilty to a prostitution offense. Upon completion of all terms of the judge’s sentence, the plea will be vacated and case dismissed, thus cleaning your criminal record of the offense)
- Mandatory attendance of a one day prostitution recovery class
Prostitution of Minors
It is illegal to engage in, hire, or agree to hire a minor to engage in prostitution. The younger the victim is, the more serious the penalties. A person may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both if they intentionally do any of the following:
- Engage in prostitution with an individual between the ages of 16 and 18
- Hire, or agree to hire an individual between the ages of 16 and 18 to engage in sexual penetration or sexual contact
Prostitution Crimes Committed in School or Park Zones
Acts of prostitution that occur near schools or parks are punished most severely. The crime is enhanced in the following ways if committed near these zones:
- If the crime committed is a felony, the statutory maximum for the crime is three years longer than the statutory maximum for the underlying crime
- If the crime committed is a gross misdemeanor, the person is guilty of a felony and may be sentenced to imprisonment for no more than two years and/or to payment of a fine of not more than $4,000
- If the crime committed is a misdemeanor, the person is guilty of a gross misdemeanor
MN Prostitution Lawyer
All prostitution charges are serious offenses that often result in grim consequences including prison time and large fines. A Minnesota prostitution lawyer can help you through your case and determine the best possible defense.