Solicitation

Thompson & Hiller Defense Firm

Solicitation in SC

Solicitation Overview

Facing a charge of solicitation in Columbia, SC, can be a daunting experience that carries severe legal repercussions. At Thompson and Hiller, our seasoned attorneys are dedicated in defending clients against solicitation charges, leveraging years of knowledge in South Carolina’s complex legal landscape. Whether you’re wrongly accused or seeking to understand the intricacies of solicitation laws in Columbia, our legal team offers comprehensive guidance and aggressive representation to safeguard your rights and reputation. Don’t let a solicitation charge in Columbia derail your life; consult Thompson and Hiller for personalized, effective legal solutions.

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

Balanace
Courtroom
Court and Gavel

Solicitation

If you’re facing solicitation charges in Columbia, SC, understanding the legal process is crucial. This comprehensive guide aims to demystify what solicitation means and walks you through the legal steps you may encounter. With Thompson and Hiller by your side, you can navigate this challenging time with confidence.

What is Solicitation?

Solicitation in Columbia, SC, refers to the act of offering, agreeing to, or engaging in sexual services in exchange for money or goods. This charge can apply to both the person offering and the person seeking these services.

Common Scenarios: Solicitation can occur in various settings, including on the street, in hotels, or online through websites and social media platforms.

Legal Consequences of Solicitation

Penalties

In South Carolina, solicitation is generally a misdemeanor for first-time offenders, with penalties that may include fines ranging from $200 to $1,000 and up to 30 days in jail. Repeat offenses can lead to more severe penalties, including longer jail terms.

Long-Term Impact

A conviction can have long-lasting effects, including a criminal record that may affect employment opportunities, housing applications, and even your social standing within the community.

The Legal Process Explained

Arrest and Booking

After an arrest for solicitation, you’ll be taken to the local police station for booking. This involves recording your personal information, the charges against you, and possibly taking fingerprints and photographs.

Arraignment

During the arraignment, you’ll appear before a judge who will inform you of the charges and ask for your plea. This is a critical stage where having an attorney can make a significant difference.

Pre-Trial and Trial

Your attorney will engage in discovery, gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses. They may also negotiate with the prosecution for a plea deal. If no agreement is reached, the case will proceed to trial, where your attorney will present your defense.

Types of Solicitation

Referencing the definition above, solicitation in South Carolina, refers to the act of offering, agreeing to, or engaging in sexual services in exchange for money or goods. This charge can apply to both the person offering and the person seeking these services.

Online Solicitation

The digital age has moved many activities online, and solicitation is no exception. Online solicitation occurs when individuals use websites, social media platforms, or specialized forums to offer or seek sexual services. This form of solicitation can be more discreet but is not any less illegal. In South Carolina, online solicitation is treated similarly to traditional forms but may also involve additional federal charges related to internet crimes, such as the use of interstate facilities to transmit information about prostitution.

Brothel Solicitation

Brothel solicitation involves offering or seeking sexual services in an establishment specifically designed for such activities, often disguised as massage parlors or spas. While some may believe that conducting activities indoors may be safer or more discreet, South Carolina law does not differentiate much between street and brothel solicitation. Operating or patronizing a brothel is illegal and can lead to severe penalties, including imprisonment and hefty fines.

Third-Party Solicitation (Pimping and Pandering)

Third-party solicitation, often referred to as pimping or pandering, involves facilitating the act of prostitution for financial gain. This can include acting as a “middleman” who arranges clients for prostitutes or running a service that advertises sexual services. In South Carolina, this is considered 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.

Legal Consequences of Solicitation

In South Carolina, solicitation is generally considered a misdemeanor for first-time offenders. However, the penalties can vary depending on the type of solicitation and whether it’s a first-time or subsequent offense. Penalties can range from fines to imprisonment, or both.

Penalties by Type

Street Solicitation

First Offense: Conviction may result in up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine ranging from $200 to $1,000.

Subsequent Offenses: Repeat offenders could face up to 6 months in jail and/or higher fines, along with mandatory community service.

    Online Solicitation

    First Offense: Similar to street solicitation, penalties may include up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of $200 to $1,000.

    Subsequent Offenses: Repeat offenses can lead to up to 6 months in jail and/or higher fines.

    Federal Charges: In some cases, you may also face federal internet crime charges, which can result in additional penalties.

    Brothel Solicitation

    First Offense: Penalties can include up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine ranging from $500 to $2,000.

    Subsequent Offenses: Repeat offenses may result in up to 3 years in jail and/or higher fines.

    Third-Party Solicitation (Pimping and Pandering)

    First Offense: Conviction can lead to up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.

    Subsequent Offenses: Repeat offenses can result in up to 10 years in prison and/or higher fines.

    Frequently Asked Questions 

     

    1. What is Considered Solicitation in South Carolina?

    Answer:

    In South Carolina, solicitation refers to the act of offering, agreeing to, or engaging in sexual services in exchange for money or goods. This can apply to both the person offering and the person seeking these services. The state law governing this is mainly found under South Carolina Code Section 16-15-90.

    2. What are the Penalties for Solicitation in South Carolina?

    Answer:

    The penalties for solicitation in South Carolina can vary depending on the type of solicitation and whether it’s a first-time or subsequent offense. Generally, first-time offenders may face up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine ranging from $200 to $1,000. Repeat offenses can lead to more severe penalties, including longer jail terms and higher fines. In some cases, you may also face federal charges.

    3. Can I Fight a Solicitation Charge in South Carolina?

    Answer:

    Yes, it’s possible to fight a solicitation charge in South Carolina. Common defenses include lack of evidence, entrapment, or mistaken identity. An experienced attorney can help you explore these and other defense strategies to either reduce the charges or get them dismissed altogether.

    4. What is the Legal Process for a Solicitation Charge in South Carolina?

    Answer:

    The legal process for a solicitation charge typically begins with an arrest and booking, followed by an arraignment where you’ll be informed of the charges against you. Your attorney will then engage in discovery, gathering evidence and possibly negotiating a plea deal with the prosecution. If no agreement is reached, the case will proceed to trial, where your attorney will present your defense.

    5. How Can a Conviction for Solicitation Affect My Future?

    Answer:

    A conviction for solicitation can have long-lasting consequences beyond immediate legal penalties. It can result in a criminal record, affecting your employment opportunities, housing applications, and even your social standing. In some cases, it may also lead to the suspension of your driver’s license or disciplinary action against any professional licenses you may hold.

    Immediate Steps to Take When Facing Solicitation Charges

    If you or a loved one is facing solicitation charges in South Carolina, it’s crucial to act quickly and wisely. Here’s a step-by-step guide on what you should do and how Thompson and Hiller can assist you through the legal process.

    Immediate Steps to Take

    1. Remain Silent: Exercise your right to remain silent when arrested. Anything you say can be used against you in court.
    2. Contact an Attorney: Reach out to Thompson and Hiller as soon as possible. The sooner you have legal representation, the better your chances of building a strong defense.
    3. Document Details: Make a note of all the events leading up to and following your arrest. This information can be crucial for your defense.

    Questions to Ask Thompson and Hiller

    1. What are the potential penalties I’m facing?
    2. What defense strategies can be used in my case?
    3. What is the likely timeline for my case?
    4. Will my case go to trial, or is a plea deal advisable?
    5. How will a conviction affect my future, and what can be done to mitigate the impact?

    How the Legal Process Will Unfold with Thompson and Hiller

    1. Initial Consultation: We’ll start with a thorough consultation to understand the specifics of your case.
    2. Case Evaluation: Our team will review all the evidence and charges against you to develop a tailored defense strategy.
    3. Discovery Phase: We’ll gather additional evidence, interview witnesses, and possibly negotiate with the prosecution for a plea deal.
    4. Pre-Trial Motions: We may file motions to dismiss certain evidence or even the entire case based on legal technicalities.
    5. Trial: If no settlement is reached, we’ll represent you in court, presenting a robust defense aimed at reducing or dismissing the charges.
    6. Post-Trial: If convicted, we’ll explore options for appeal or sentence reduction.

    Want to Speak With an Attorney Today?

    Get your free initial consultation set up today by reaching out via phone, email, or text. Have Thompson & Hiller on your side today.

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