The sex trade has long been a shadow industry with norms and rules that vary widely and little oversight for the health and safety for those involved. Now, a group of sex workers is pushing leaders in New York and Albany to bring the industry out into the light.
Decrim NY is urging lawmakers to remove or significantly reduce the criminal penalties that come with providing sex in exchange for money. It has three goals “decriminalize, decarcerate and destigmatize.”
“We seek to improve the lives of people who perform sexual labor by choice, circumstance, or coercion, people profiled as such, and communities impacted by the criminalization of sex work and sexual exchange,” Decrim NY says on its website.
The organization is already making some strides. State legislators recently introduced a pair of bills that would repeal New York’s loitering for the purposes of prostitution law and expunge the criminal records of people forced into the sex trade through trafficking.
The loitering law, often slammed a vague, makes it a crime just to stand in a public place and talk to people. Statistics also show that minorities largely bear the brunt of arrests on this charge. Meanwhile, many people accused of prostitution have been trafficked into their circumstances.
Despite the new push to decriminalize sex work, the fact is that law enforcement officers and prosecutors take sex crimes very seriously. Whether it’s for prostitution or child pornography, a sex crime conviction can come with serious consequences for everyone involved. That’s why it’s vital that a person charged with—or even suspected of—a sex crime in the Capitol District seek the counsel of an experienced Albany sex crimes attorney.
Prostitution is generally treated as a misdemeanor in New York. It’s punishable by up to three months in jail and as much as $500 in fines. The solicitation of a prostitute, however, comes with as much as a year behind bars and $1,000 in fines. The punishment is increased for repeat offenders and in cases involving a prostitute who is 14 years old or younger.
The good news is that there are a number of possible defenses in these cases. That includes arguing entrapment, or that you were induced by an undercover police officer into committing the crime. To prove entrapment, you usually have to show that the officer persuaded you in a way that would likely make a reasonable person act the similarly under the circumstances.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a sex or other crime in the Capital District, an Albany sex crimes attorney can help.
James E. Tyner is an experienced attorney who has been representing clients in a wide range of criminal cases for more than a decade. Mr. Tyner has a strong track record of getting optimal results for the people that he represents. He is happy to serve clients in Albany, Schenectady, Latham and throughout the state. Contact us online or call 518-363-6303 to schedule a free consultation.
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