Prostitution generally refers to the sale of sexual services. The sale of sexual services is when there is an exchange for something of value for sexual activity. There are two types of criminal acts involved with prostitution: engaging in an act of prostitution and soliciting prostitution.

How is Patronizing a Prostitute Defined Washington State?

Washington State defines patronizing a prostitute in one of three ways:

  • Paying a fee to someone as compensation to engage in sexual conduct with them, paying either the alleged prostitute or a third party;
  • Agreeing to pay or actually pay someone a fee with the understanding they will engage in sexual conduct; or
  • Requesting or soliciting someone to engage in sexual conduct with them for something of value.

What is the Charge for Patronizing a Prostitute?

In Washington State, patronizing a prostitute is charged as a misdemeanor.

What is the Punishment for Patronizing a Prostitute in Washington State?

A defendant convicted of patronizing a prostitute will face up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of $1,000.

Is Patronizing a Prostitute Ever a Felony Crime?

Yes. The crime increases from a misdemeanor to a class B felony when the alleged prostitute is a juvenile. If convicted, a defendant can face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000. The convicted defendant may also have to register for as a sex offender for 10 years.

Is Patronizing a Prostitute the Same as Promoting Prostitution?

No, it’s not the same. Promoting prostitution is knowingly advancing prostitution by threatening or forcing another person to engage in prostitution. Patronizing a prostitute is limited to the act of paying for sex.

Do I Need a Criminal Lawyer for a Prostitution Charge?

Yes. If you are accused of patronizing or soliciting a prostitute, you should speak to a Washington lawyer. Speaking with a lawyer allows you to learn more about your rights, defenses and how to navigate the complicated legal system.