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What are the penalties for prostitution and solicitation in Iowa?

Most people know that prostitution is basically defined as exchanging sex for money, and that it's illegal. Many also know that solicitation of prostitution is defined as asking or encouraging another person to engage in prostitution. The most common form of solicitation of prostitution is offering money in exchange for sexual acts. Promoting prostitution -- also known as pimping -- is also illegal in Iowa. What are the penalties involved?

When the alleged prostitute is 18 or older, both prostitution and solicitation of prostitution are aggravated misdemeanors in Iowa. The penalties include:

  • A fine of between $625 and $6,250
  • Up to 2 years in prison

When the alleged prostitute is under 18, both the prostitute and the "John" could be convicted of a Class D felony. However, the county attorney may choose to refer the underage prostitute to the Iowa Department of Human Services as a child in need of assistance.

Someone who is convicted of soliciting an underage person could face penalties including:

  • A fine of between $750 and $7,500
  • Up to 5 years in prison

Additionally, a person convicted of soliciting a minor to engage in any illegal sex act must register as a sex offender in Iowa. For a first offense, this is a tier II registration.

Pimping is defined as soliciting a patron for a prostitute, knowingly taking earnings from a prostitute, or knowingly furnishing a room or other location for prostitution to take place, regardless of whether they received compensation.

When the alleged prostitute is 18 or older, pimping is a Class D felony punishable by $750-$7,500 in fines and up to 5 years in prison.

When the alleged prostitute is under 18, pimping is a Class C felony. The penalties include:

  • A fine of between $1,000 and $10,000
  • Up to 10 years in prison

Although these crimes appear straightforward, there are many situations where guilt is not so clear. Unfortunately, even an accusation of prostitution, solicitation or pimping can ruin your reputation and put you at risk for serious penalties. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and fight to mitigate the damage from these allegations.

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