Welcome back to Appelman Law Firm’s “Prostitution in Minnesota” blog series. Last week we enlightened you to the procedures surrounding prostitution stings in Minnesota. In this third installment, we will examine the Minnesota cities and counties in which these prostitution stings occur and the varying consequences specific to each location.
Police and prosecutors who run prostitution sting operations hone in on distinct areas of the Twin Cities metro. Court records reveal the following cities to be the most targeted: Richfield, Bloomington, Minneapolis, Burnsville, Lakeville, Saint Paul, and Plymouth. These cities fall categorically into three counties: Dakota County, Hennepin County, and Ramsey County. The consequences for prostitution offenses vary slightly by county.
Consequences by County for First-Time Prostitution Offenders
- A judge-recommended 10 days in jail
- Completion of a psychosexual evaluation (usually reserved for sex offenders)
- Stay of imposition for vacate & dismissal (The prosecutor will look for you to plead guilty to a prostitution related offense. Upon satisfactory completion of all terms of the judge’s sentence, the plea will be vacated and case dismissed, thus purging your criminal record of the offense).
- Mandatory attendance of a one day prostitution recovery class
There are also state-wide penalties that transcend county lines and affect all prostitution offenders in the state. Generally, a first time prostitution offense is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. In addition, offenders are charged a penalty assessment of $250. A vehicle used to facilitate the crime can also be impounded, held, and ultimately sold by the state with proceeds going to the law enforcement agency responsible for the arrest and vehicle seizure.
As with Minnesota DWIs, a prostitution charge is an “enhanceable offense,” meaning subsequent convictions yield greater penalties. A second time offense in two years is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year imprisonment and/or a $1,500 – $3,000 fine.
Along with the criminal consequences, there are also many civil consequences that come with a prostitution offense. A prostitution conviction stays on an offender’s criminal record. It is possible 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 a number of activities involving children, for example coaching a youth soccer team.
The best possible defense against a prostitution charge is to simply not do it. If you or someone you know is addicted to prostitution, the best course of action is to seek help. The following is a list of several prostitution recovery programs: Minnesota Recovery, Sexual Recovery Institute, Recovery Connection.
Tune in next week for the final installment of Appelman Law Firm’s “Prostitution in Minnesota” blog series, where we’ll explain the best avenues of defense for prostitution charges.