If you, or someone you know, is facing a Washington State patronizing or prostitution charge, the government must prove the elements of that offense beyond a reasonable doubt. These elements are laid out under the Washington State criminal statutes. Washington State prostitution charges are broad and serious.
Patronizing and prostitution charges range from misdemeanors to felonies. If you have any questions about the elements of the Washington state prostitution charges, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation.
Some of the cities, such as the City of Seattle have their own municipal codes for patronizing a prostitute and prostitution. In Seattle the official name of the charge was changed to "Sexual Exploitation" in January, 2015. The elements of this crime, written in Seattle Municipal Code 12A.10.040 are exactly the same as Patronizing a Prostitute, it is only the name that was changed.
Cities have been very aggressive in pursuing patronizing and prostitution charges. Generally, these patronizing and prostitution codes are very similar to the Revised Code of Washington for both patronizing and prostitution. In the past many of the cities would be willing to continue the case and then later dismiss charges if certain conditions are met. Most of cities are now seeking a criminal conviction for patronizing and are asking for things such as a "John's class"; community service; fines and penalties; HIV test and an "SOAP" or "stay out of areas of prostitution" order.
Revised Code of Washington statutes
Below is the Revised Code of Washington statutes (what the Washington State government most prove beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you of this crime and what we will defend you against):
9A.88.110 Patronizing a Prostitute
(1) A person is guilty of patronizing a prostitute if:
(a) Pursuant to a prior understanding, he or she pays a fee to another person as compensation for such person or a third person having engaged in sexual conduct with him or her; or
(b) He or she pays or agrees to pay a fee to another person pursuant to an understanding that in return therefor such person will engage in sexual conduct with him or her; or
(c) He or she solicits or requests another person to engage in sexual conduct with him or her in return for a fee.
(2) For purposes of this section, "sexual conduct" has the meaning given in RCW 9A.88.030.
(3) Patronizing a prostitute is a misdemeanor.
9A.88.120 Additional Fee Assessments
(1)(a) In addition to penalties set forth in RCW 9A.88.010, 9A.88.030, and 9A.88.090, a person who is either convicted or given a deferred sentence or a deferred prosecution or who has entered into a statutory or non-statutory diversion agreement as a result of an arrest for violating RCW 9A.88.010, 9A.88.030, 9A.88.090, or comparable county or municipal ordinances shall be assessed a fifty dollar fee.
(b) In addition to penalties set forth in RCW 9A.88.110, a person who is either convicted or given a deferred sentence or a deferred prosecution or who has entered into a statutory or non-statutory diversion agreement as a result of an arrest for violating RCW 9A.88.110 or a comparable county or municipal ordinance shall be assessed a one hundred fifty dollar fee.
(c) In addition to penalties set forth in RCW 9A.88.070 and 9A.88.080, a person who is either convicted or given a deferred sentence or a deferred prosecution or who has entered into a statutory or non-statutory diversion agreement as a result of an arrest for violating RCW 9A.88.070, 9A.88.080, or comparable county or municipal ordinances shall be assessed a three hundred dollar fee.
(2) The court may not suspend payment of all or part of the fee unless it finds that the person does not have the ability to pay.
(3) When a minor has been adjudicated a juvenile offender or has entered into a statutory or non-statutory diversion agreement for an offense which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a violation under this chapter or comparable county or municipal ordinances, the court shall assess the fee as specified under subsection (1) of this section. The court may not suspend payment of all or part of the fee unless it finds that the minor does not have the ability to pay the fee.
(4) Any fee assessed under this section shall be collected by the clerk of the court and distributed each month to the state treasurer for deposit in the prostitution prevention and intervention account under RCW 43.63A.740 for the purpose of funding prostitution prevention and intervention activities.
(5) For the purposes of this section:
(a) "Statutory or non-statutory diversion agreement" means an agreement under RCW 13.40.080 or any written agreement between a person accused of an offense listed in subsection (1) of this section and a court, county, or city prosecutor, or designee thereof, whereby the person agrees to fulfill certain conditions in lieu of prosecution.
(b) "Deferred sentence" means a sentence that will not be carried out if the defendant meets certain requirements, such as complying with the conditions of probation.
(1) A person is guilty of prostitution if such person engages or agrees or offers to engage in sexual conduct with another person in return for a fee.
(2) For purposes of this section, "sexual conduct" means "sexual intercourse" or "sexual contact," both as defined in chapter 9A.44 RCW.
(3) Prostitution is a misdemeanor.
9A.88.050 Prostitution — Sex of parties immaterial — No defense
In any prosecution for prostitution, the sex of the two parties or prospective parties to the sexual conduct engaged in, contemplated, or solicited is immaterial, and it is no defense that:
(1) Such persons were of the same sex; or
(2) The person who received, agreed to receive, or solicited a fee was a male and the person who paid or agreed or offered to pay such fee was female.
9A.88.060 Promoting prostitution — Definitions
The following definitions are applicable in RCW 9A.88.070 through 9A.88.090:
(1) "Advances prostitution." A person "advances prostitution" if, acting other than as a prostitute or as a customer thereof, he causes or aids a person to commit or engage in prostitution, procures or solicits customers for prostitution, provides persons or premises for prostitution purposes, operates or assists in the operation of a house of prostitution or a prostitution enterprise, or engages in any other conduct designed to institute, aid, or facilitate an act or enterprise of prostitution.
(2) "Profits from prostitution." A person "profits from prostitution" if, acting other than as a prostitute receiving compensation for personally rendered prostitution services, he accepts or receives money or other property pursuant to an agreement or understanding with any person whereby he participates or is to participate in the proceeds of prostitution activity.
9A.88.070 Promoting Prostitution in the First Degree
(1) A person is guilty of promoting prostitution in the first degree if he or she knowingly advances prostitution by compelling a person by threat or force to engage in prostitution or profits from prostitution which results from such threat or force.
(2) Promoting prostitution in the first degree is a class B felony.
9A.88.080 Promoting Prostitution in the Second Degree
(1) A person is guilty of promoting prostitution in the second degree if he knowingly:
(a) Profits from prostitution; or
(b) Advances prostitution.
(2) Promoting prostitution in the second degree is a class C felony.
9A.88.085 Promoting Travel for Prostitution
(1) A person commits the offense of promoting travel for prostitution if the person knowingly sells or offers to sell travel services that include or facilitate travel for the purpose of engaging in what would be patronizing a prostitute or promoting prostitution, if occurring in the state.
(2) For purposes of this section, "travel services" has the same meaning as defined in RCW 19.138.021.
(3) Promoting travel for prostitution is a class C felony.
9A.88.090 Permitting Prostitution
(1) A person is guilty of permitting prostitution if, having possession or control of premises which he knows are being used for prostitution purposes, he fails without lawful excuse to make reasonable effort to halt or abate such use.
(2) Permitting prostitution is a misdemeanor.
9A.88.130 Additional Requirements
(1) When sentencing or imposing conditions on a person convicted of, or receiving a deferred sentence or deferred prosecution for, violating RCW 9A.88.110 or 9.68A.100, the court must impose a requirement that the offender:
(a) Not be subsequently arrested for patronizing a prostitute or *patronizing a juvenile prostitute; and
(b) Remain outside the geographical area, prescribed by the court, in which the person was arrested for violating RCW 9A.88.110 or 9.68A.100, unless such a requirement would interfere with the person's legitimate employment or residence or otherwise be infeasible.
(2) This requirement is in addition to the penalties set forth in RCW 9A.88.110, 9A.88.120, and 9.68A.100.
9A.88.140 Vehicle Impoundment — Fees and Fines
(1)(a) Upon an arrest for a suspected violation of patronizing a prostitute, promoting prostitution in the first degree, promoting prostitution in the second degree, promoting travel for prostitution, commercial sexual abuse of a minor, promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor, or promoting travel for commercial sexual abuse of a minor, the arresting law enforcement officer may impound the person's vehicle if (i) the motor vehicle was used in the commission of the crime; (ii) the person arrested is the owner of the vehicle or the vehicle is a rental car as defined in RCW 46.04.465; and (iii) either (A) the person arrested has previously been convicted of one of the offenses listed in this subsection or (B) the offense was committed within an area designated under (b) of this subsection.
(b) A local governing authority may designate areas within which vehicles are subject to impoundment under this section regardless of whether the person arrested has previously been convicted of any of the offenses listed in (a) of this subsection.
(i) The designation must be based on evidence indicating that the area has a disproportionately higher number of arrests for the offenses listed in (a) of this subsection as compared to other areas within the same jurisdiction.
(ii) The local governing authority shall post signs at the boundaries of the designated area to indicate that the area has been designated under this subsection.
(2) Impoundments performed under this section shall be in accordance with chapter 46.55 RCW and the impoundment order must clearly state "prostitution hold."
(3)(a) Prior to redeeming the impounded vehicle, and in addition to all applicable impoundment, towing, and storage fees paid to the towing company under chapter 46.55 RCW, the owner of the impounded vehicle must pay a fine of five hundred dollars to the impounding agency. The fine shall be deposited in the prostitution prevention and intervention account established under RCW 43.63A.740.
(b) Upon receipt of the fine paid under (a) of this subsection, the impounding agency shall issue a written receipt to the owner of the impounded vehicle.
(4)(a) In order to redeem a vehicle impounded under this section, the owner must provide the towing company with the written receipt issued under subsection (3)(b) of this section.
(b) The written receipt issued under subsection (3)(b) of this section authorizes the towing company to release the impounded vehicle upon payment of all impoundment, towing, and storage fees.
(c) A towing company that relies on a forged receipt to release a vehicle impounded under this section is not liable to the impounding authority for any unpaid fine under subsection (3)(a) of this section.
(5)(a) In any proceeding under chapter 46.55 RCW to contest the validity of an impoundment under this section where the claimant substantially prevails, the claimant is entitled to a full refund of the impoundment, towing, and storage fees paid under chapter 46.55 RCW and the five hundred dollar fine paid under subsection (3) of this section.
(b) If the person is found not guilty at trial for a crime listed under subsection (1) of this section, the person is entitled to a full refund of the impoundment, towing, and storage fees paid under chapter 46.55 RCW and the five hundred dollar fine paid under subsection (3) of this section.
(c) All refunds made under this section shall be paid by the impounding agency.
(d) Prior to receiving any refund under this section, the claimant must provide proof of payment.