Thompson & Hiller Defense Firm

Prostitution<br />

Prostitution Overview

Facing charges related to prostitution in Columbia, SC, can be a deeply stigmatizing and legally complex experience. South Carolina law takes a strict stance on prostitution and related offenses, which can result in severe penalties, including fines, imprisonment, and a lasting criminal record that can impact your future opportunities. At Thompson and Hiller, we understand the sensitive nature of these charges and offer discreet, compassionate, legal representation. Our goal is to guide you through the intricacies of the legal system, protecting your rights and working towards the most favorable outcome possible.

Initial Consultation

Attorney meets with the client to discuss the details of the case

Investigation & Evidence Gathering

Collecting all relevant evidence, talking to witnesses, and reviewing police reports and other documents

Pre-Trial & Negotiations

Defense can negotiate with the prosecution for plea deals or even get some charges dropped

Trial & Beyond

Defense attorney represents the client in court, presenting evidence, cross-examining witnesses, and making closing arguments

Prostitution and Law


For discreet and compassionate representation in Columbia, SC prostitution cases, look no further than Thompson and Hiller.

Prostitution Charges in South Carolina

Navigating the complexities of prostitution charges in Columbia, SC, can be overwhelming and emotionally draining. At Thompson and Hiller, we focus in providing legal defense for those facing such charges, ensuring that your rights are protected every step of the way.

Legal Definition Under South Carolina Law:

Prostitution is defined as the act of engaging in sexual activity for money or other goods. This includes offering, agreeing to, or engaging in sexual services for compensation.

Activities Considered Prostitution:

Beyond the act itself, solicitation, advertising sexual services, and running a brothel are also considered prostitution-related activities under South Carolina law.

Related Offenses

  • Solicitation:
    This involves offering money or goods in exchange for sexual services. It is a separate but related charge to prostitution.
  • Pimping and Pandering:
    These charges involve promoting or facilitating prostitution, such as acting as a middleman or running a prostitution enterprise.
  • Human Trafficking:
    This is a severe offense involving the forced or coerced involvement in prostitution and carries heavy penalties.

Legal Punishments

Misdemeanor Charges

Fines: Fines can range from $200 to $1,000 depending on the specifics of the case.

Jail Time: Convictions can result in up to 30 days in jail for first-time offenders.

Felony Charges

Fines: Fines can exceed $5,000 for more severe offenses like human trafficking.

Prison Time: Felony convictions can result in several years of imprisonment.

Additional Consequences

  • Permanent criminal record
  • Loss of employment opportunities
  • Social stigma and damaged reputation

The Legal Process

Arrest and Booking

What to Expect: After arrest, you’ll be taken to the police station for booking, which includes fingerprinting and photographing.

Your Rights: You have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. Exercise these rights immediately.

Initial Hearing

What Happens: The judge will read the charges against you and may set bail.

How to Prepare: Consult with your attorney to understand the charges and potential defenses.

Discovery and Pre-Trial

Gathering Evidence: Your attorney will collect evidence, interview witnesses, and prepare your defense.

Legal Strategies: Options may include plea bargains, motions to dismiss, or preparing for trial.


Court Proceedings: Both the prosecution and defense present their cases, and a jury or judge will render a verdict.

Defense Tactics: Your attorney will cross-examine witnesses, challenge evidence, and present your defense.


Possible Outcomes: If convicted, you could face fines, imprisonment, or other penalties.

Appeals Process: You have the right to appeal the verdict, but this is a complex process that requires legal advice.

How an Attorney Can Help

Legal Consultation

Importance of Early Consultation: The sooner you consult an attorney, the better your chances of building a strong defense.

What to Expect: Your attorney will review your case, explain your rights, and discuss potential defense strategies.

Defense Strategies

Challenging Evidence: Your attorney can question the validity of evidence against you.

Plea Bargains: In some cases, your attorney may negotiate a plea deal to reduce charges or penalties.

Navigating the Legal System

Importance of Representation: An experienced attorney can guide you through the legal maze, ensuring that your rights are protected.

How an Attorney Can Make the Process Easier: From filing paperwork to representing you in court, an attorney can handle the complexities of the legal process.

Confidentiality and Compassion

The Discreet Nature of Legal Assistance: Your case will be handled with the utmost confidentiality and discretion.

Emotional and Psychological Support: Facing prostitution charges can be emotionally taxing; your attorney provides not just legal but also emotional support.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What Constitutes Prostitution Charges in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, prostitution charges can arise from various activities, including offering, agreeing to, or engaging in sexual acts for money or other goods. The law also penalizes those who solicit or procure prostitution services. Understanding the legal intricacies is crucial for anyone facing such charges, as the penalties can be severe, including fines and imprisonment.

2. What Are the Penalties for Prostitution Charges in South Carolina?

Penalties for prostitution charges in South Carolina can vary based on the severity of the offense and prior convictions. Generally, first-time offenders may face fines and short jail terms, while repeat offenders could face more severe penalties, including longer imprisonment. Legal representation is highly recommended to navigate the complexities of the South Carolina legal system.

3. Can I Fight Prostitution Charges in South Carolina?

Yes, fighting prostitution charges in South Carolina is possible with the right legal strategy. Defenses may include lack of evidence, entrapment, or mistaken identity. Consulting experienced attorneys like Thompson and Hiller can provide you with the best chance of reducing or dismissing the charges.

4. How Can a Lawyer Help with Prostitution Charges in South Carolina?

An experienced lawyer can offer invaluable assistance when facing prostitution charges in South Carolina. From challenging the evidence to negotiating plea deals or representing you in court, legal guidance can assist you through the complex legal process, potentially reducing penalties or even getting charges dropped.

5. What Are the Long-Term Consequences of a Prostitution Conviction in South Carolina?

A prostitution conviction in South Carolina can have long-lasting implications beyond legal penalties. It can affect your employment opportunities, social standing, and even housing options. Therefore, it’s crucial to seek professional legal advice to mitigate the long-term consequences.


Types of Prostitution Charges Explained

Understanding the various types of prostitution charges in South Carolina is crucial for anyone who finds themselves entangled in a legal situation involving such offenses. This guide aims to shed light on the different categories of prostitution charges, what they mean, and the legal intricacies behind each one.

Engaging in Prostitution

What It Means: Engaging in prostitution refers to the act of performing sexual services in exchange for money or goods.

Legal Details: In South Carolina, this is generally considered a misdemeanor for first-time offenders. Penalties can include fines and up to 30 days in jail. Repeat offenses can lead to more severe penalties, including longer jail terms.

Solicitation of Prostitution

What It Means: Solicitation involves offering money or goods in exchange for sexual services. This charge can apply to both the person offering the services and the person seeking them.

Legal Details: Solicitation is also typically a misdemeanor in South Carolina. First-time offenders may face fines and a short jail term, while repeat offenders could face more stringent penalties.

Promoting Prostitution (Pimping and Pandering)

What It Means: Promoting prostitution involves facilitating the act of prostitution for financial gain. This can include acting as a “pimp” or “madam” who arranges clients for prostitutes.

Legal Details: Promoting prostitution is a more serious offense and can be classified as a felony, depending on the circumstances. Penalties can include significant fines and imprisonment for multiple years.

4. Operating a Brothel

What It Means: Operating a brothel involves running a business where prostitution services are offered. This can also include “massage parlors” that offer sexual services.

Legal Details: Operating a brothel is illegal in South Carolina and is usually considered a felony. Convictions can lead to substantial fines and several years of imprisonment.

5. Online Prostitution and Solicitation

What It Means: Online prostitution involves using the internet to offer or solicit sexual services. This can occur through websites, social media, or specialized forums.

Legal Details: Online prostitution is treated similarly to traditional forms of prostitution and solicitation but may also involve additional federal charges related to internet crimes.


Understanding the types of prostitution charges in South Carolina is the first step in navigating the legal complexities of such cases. Penalties can range from fines and short jail terms for misdemeanors to significant imprisonment for felonies. Legal representation is highly recommended to help you understand your rights and options.


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