Know Your Rights. . . Know the Law

The NYPD is both  skilled and savvy in their investigation of Prostitution and Escort Services. The police department consists of dedicated men and women who are doing their best to uphold the law and keep us safe. That being said, there are times when individuals, as in all areas of life, do not play by the rules. Even when everything is "by the book" you still need to protect your rights and make sure you never incriminate yourself. So, what should you know? How will you protect your rights? After all, the person whose top priority is protecting your rights is...you.
  • If you are arrested politely ask for an attorney. Do not try to talk yourself out of anything because you will inevitably get yourself into more trouble. Other than giving your own personal information (name, date of birth, etc.), do not share anything else as to your alleged criminal conduct.
  • Generally, if you are suspicious that you are the target of undercover police officers or there is a prostitution sting, it is important to know that as a general rule the police cannot take off their underwear.
  • Save any "evidence." Although the police cannot take off their underwear, those accused of these crimes have stated that the undercover went further. In such a case make sure you save that evidence as best as you can. Alternatively, try to recall tattoos or other marks.
  • Lap dancing is usually acceptable conduct, but there have been cases where excessive rubbing of the genitals constituted prostitution. If there is more than rubbing and exposure, you are likely in violation of the law.
  • There are prior court decisions that hold that being paid a fee for an autoerotic dance or to allow someone to touch your breast or buttocks is probably not "sexual conduct" for the purpose of prostitution. Obviously, each incident must be examined on a case by case basis. Regardless, this is risky and potentially criminal behavior.
  • If you manage or supervise a house of prostitution it is clearly illegal. The degree of the crime, Promoting Prostitution, may depend on the age of the prostitutes. It is important to note that if a prostitute is less than 19, 16 or 11 years old (therefore higher level crimes) it does not matter that you, the manager, did not know his or her age. Failure to know the age is not a defense.
  • For the purpose of Patronizing a Prostitute in the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Degree, it is a defense that the defendant did not have reasonable grounds to believe that the person was less than the age specified in the statute (this differs from Promoting Prostitution).
  • If you are being arrested, you don't have to allow the police to search your entire premises or your car. Generally, with certain exceptions, a search warrant is required.
  • In the event property is recovered from you, whether you consented or not, your criminal defense attorney may seek to obtain a Mapp Hearing where he can challenge the recovery of those items.
  • If you are identified by an undercover police officer after an alleged sexual transaction, your criminal defense attorney may seek to obtain a Wade Hearing where he can challenge the basis and validity of your identification.
  • Lastly, if you ignore the first thing mentioned above, that is, you spoke to the police beyond your request for an attorney and providing them with your personal information, your criminal defense attorney may seek to obtain a Huntley Hearing where he can challenge the admissibility of the statement/admission you allegedly made.
The above bullets are not a guide to avoid prosecution, a list of how to conduct yourself, legal advice on your case or an exhaustive analysis of Prostitution, Escort Services, Unlicensed Massage and related crimes. Each case requires its own review. However, other than avoiding any potential criminal activity, reading the criminal statutes and understanding the law in relation to any matter is the best way to protect your rights. To get a full grasp and understanding of this, or any area of law, consult with an attorney.

Call us at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

  
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