If you’re like most people, you’ve probably seen plenty of television shows where police set up sting operations involving prostitution. Often, in those shows, the people who are arrested claim, “I was only talking to her!” But is talking to a prostitute a crime, and if it’s not, when does it become one? This guide explains.
Is it a Crime to Talk to a Prostitute in Illinois?
It is absolutely not a crime to talk to a prostitute in the state of Illinois. You can stand on the street corner all day and converse. Talking is not a crime. However, police often have a valid reason to become suspicious about solicitation (which is a crime) when you spend time talking with a prostitute.
When Does Talking to a Prostitute Become a Crime?
Talking to a prostitute becomes a crime when solicitation is involved. A person who engages in solicitation – that is, offering to exchange something for sex or a sexual act – can be charged with and found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in the county jail, and you could be ordered to pay up to $2,500 in fines.
Technically, the law says that solicitation means the offer for sex in exchange for money, property, tokens, objects, articles or other things of value.
Note: Soliciting a sexual act from a minor under the age of 18, or from someone with a profound intellectual disability, is a Class 4 felony. Felonies are far more serious crimes than misdemeanors are. This type of felony is punishable by one to three years in prison.
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