Law enforcement officials in Arizona will be on the lookout for those who they think are committing a sex crime. Being labeled a "prostitute" or being accused of patronizing a prostitute can have a serious effect on a person's personal and professional life. Therefore, it is important to know what constitutes the crime of prostitution in Arizona.
Under Arizona law, prostitution occurs when someone engages in sexual conduct, offers to engage in sexual conduct or agrees to engage in sexual conduct in exchange for a fee or other items of value. To prove the crime of prosecution was committed, the prosecution must prove three elements. First, there must be an offer to pay a fee or give someone an item of value. This payment must be intended to be in exchange for sexual conduct. Then, a substantial act in accordance to the offer must have been committed. Therefore, even if sexual conduct never actually occurred, if an act was taken in furtherance of the offer, a person could be charged with prostitution.
The penalties for being convicted on prostitution charges depend on how many times the person committed this offense. For example, if it is a person's first offense, this is a class one misdemeanor. The person will be sentenced to at least 15 days in jail. However, if it is a person's fourth or more offense, this is a class five felony. The person will be sentenced to at least 180 days in jail.
The crime of prostitution becomes more serious the more often a person is convicted of it. It is illegal in every state in the U.S., except for Nevada. Whether a person on the street is accused of prostitution or whether the prostitution was allegedly committed through an escort service, police will not hesitate to arrest and charge those who they believe are engaging in this crime. In Arizona, the alleged "prostitute," the alleged customer and any alleged middleman can all face prostitution charges. Therefore, those who are facing accusations of this sex crime will want to do all they can to defend themselves to avoid a conviction and the subsequent jail time.