NY Criminal Defense – Penal Law Section 230.00: Is it Prostitution if Someone Else is Paid for Your Service

Recently, in People v. Magali Rodriguez, a NY criminal defense lawyer argued in Brooklyn (Kings County) that the complaint alleging Prostitution against his client was facially insufficient and should be dismissed. Specifically, the NY criminal defense attorney argued that the complaint alleged that a third party, and not his client, received payment for the agreed upon sexual services between his client, the alleged prostitute, and the undercover police officer. Therefore, the defendant did not make the actual agreement.

Brooklyn Criminal Court Judge Michael Gerstein disagreed with the criminal defense attorney and denied the suppression. Citing People v. Choi, 18 Misc.3d 1122, (Crim. Ct. N.Y. Co. 2008), Judge Gerstein stated “that the mere fact that an agreement to engage in sex for money was secured through a procurer does not render [a] Complaint [alleging Prostitution] insufficient.”

A person is guilty of Prostitution under NY Penal Law 、230.00 when he or she “agrees or offers to engage in sexual conduct with another person in return for a fee.” The Court further explained that in determining facial sufficiency of a Complaint, the Court need not disregard common sense. In fact, NY Penal Law 、230.00 “does not require allegations that the Defendant received money directly, but merely that he or she agreed to provide sex in exchange for money. The mere presence of a managing structure does not immunize a Defendant who agrees to provide sex in exchange for money…Thus, Prostitution is established where, as here, an Undercover Officer allegedly negotiates a sum, pays up-front, chooses one of several available women and is then turned over to the woman of his choice to receive the wares he purchased.”

As I have stated in previous entries, an experienced criminal defense attorney should be retained to fight for your rights and ascertain whether there are any holes or weaknesses in case against you. While no attorney can guarantee the outcome of his or her motion, an experienced criminal attorney can identify the potential issues, formulate a plan of attack, and implement that plan to get you where you want and need to be.

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