The lawyers at Ashbach Law Offices, LLC provide aggressive, strong defense for those charged with Prostitution allegations throughout Skagit, Snohomish, King and Whatcom Counties. Our goal is to aggressively protect you, your family and your interests from the prosecution, saving jail time, licenses, occupations and reputations. With offices in Marysville and Mill Creek, Washington, we are available to meet you discuss your case. We help good people in bad situations. Let us help you.

Like most states, Washington has penalized prostitution. However, in Washington prostitution is only a misdemeanor, meaning it is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and $1000 in fine. Even so, most people understandably would like to prevent this sort of conviction from being on their record.

¬†Under RCW 9A.88.030, 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. “Sexual conduct” means “sexual intercourse” or “sexual contact,” both as defined in chapter 9A.44 of the RCW.

Prostitution is the engaging in, agreement to or offer to engage in sexual conduct with another person in exchange for a fee. Prostitution is a Simple Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1000 fine.

The gender of any party involved is immaterial.

Many courts also require a person convicted of this offense to have an HIV/AIDS test. Courts also routinely issue SOAP Orders (Stay Out of Areas of Prostitution), the alleged violation of which is a separate criminal offense. SOAP Orders are geographical in nature, but may relate to specified days and times. Being present at a restricted location during restricted hours triggers a possible arrest and criminal charge.

Affirmative Defenses to Prostitution
In any prostitution case, it is an affirmative defense that the actor committed the offense as a result of being a victim of trafficking, RCW 9A.40.100, promoting prostitution in the first degree, RCW 9A.88.070, or trafficking in persons under the trafficking victims protection act of 2000, 22 U.S.C. Sec. 7101 et seq. This affirmative defense must be proven by the person charged at trial by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not).

Promoting Prostitution in General
In general, Promoting Prostitution is the knowing advancement of, or profiting from, Prostitution. What acts alleged determines what degree is charged. Either degree is classified as a Felony.

A person “advances prostitution” if, acting other than as a prostitute or as a customer thereof, he or she 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.

A person “profits from prostitution” if, acting other than as a prostitute receiving compensation for personally rendered prostitution services, he or she accepts or receives money or other property pursuant to an agreement or understanding with any person whereby he or she participates or is to participate in the proceeds of prostitution activity.

Promoting Prostitution First Degree
Chargeable as a Class B Felony, Promoting Prostitution First Degree is the knowing advancement of Prostitution by either:

a) compelling a person by threat or force to engage in prostitution or profits from prostitution which results from such threat or force, or
b) compelling a person with a mental incapacity or developmental disability that renders the person incapable of consent to engage in prostitution or profits from prostitution that results from such compulsion.

Assuming no sentencing enhancements, a first-time offender faces a standard prison sentence range of 21-27 months.

Promoting Prostitution Second Degree
Promoting Prostitution Second Degree is chargeable as a Class C Felony. It is defined as knowingly profiting from prostitution, or simply advancing prostitution.

Assuming no sentencing enhancements, a first-time offender faces a standard jail sentence range of 1-3 months.

Additional Information

In addition to criminalizing Patronizing a Prostitute, Chapter 9A.88 of the RCWs criminalizes the act of prostitution, as well as Promoting Prostitution. Promoting Prostitution, regardless of degree, is punished more severely than prostitution. Additional charges include promoting travel for prostitution and permitting prostitution.

Ashbach Law Offices, LLC, aggressively represents clients throughout the Washington I-5 corridor, covering Skagit, Snohomish, King and Whatcom Counties. Regular courts of practice include, but are not limited to, Anacortes, Arlington, Bellevue, Bellingham, Blaine, Burlington, Edmonds, Everett, Issaquah, Lynnwood, Marysville, Monroe, Mount Vernon, Mountlake Terrance, Redmond, Seattle, Sedro Woolley and Shoreline.