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Robert S. Toale Motto
  • New Orleans Criminal Defense Attorney

Why is prostitution a crime if both parties are willing?

America is often called “the home of the free” and citizens of this country enjoy rights and privileges that do not exist in all other nations. Louisiana residents have rights that stem from state and federal laws; however, they must also respect the prohibitions that those laws place on their actions. While some actions and behaviors are tolerated, others are criminalized and subject to penalties.

Prostitution is one such activity that the state has criminalized. The crime is defined in Louisiana law as the solicitation or practice of engaging in indiscriminate sexual intercourse for compensation. While a first time conviction on prostitution charges can result in a person being fined $500 or jailed for half of a year, subsequent convictions can end with much more serious penalties.

To many people the choice to engage in prostitution or to use the services of prostitutes is personal. A person may feel that if he chooses to utilize such an industry it is something private and part of his personal life. However, concerns for public safety and historical stigmas cause this otherwise apparent exchange of payment for services to be prohibited in modern society.

As with other agreements, there is always the threat that the paying party will not render money after the service is performed. When individuals fail to pay for prostitutes’ services those prostitutes and their associates have been suspected of employing violence in order to procure compensation. Homicide is a crime many communities fear when prostitution moves into their borders.

Additionally, many community governments struggle with the idea of how to tax prostitutes’ income. Since prostitution is a very private business it would be next to impossible for state and federal taxation organizations to regulate the trade. The state of Nevada has tried regulating prostitutes by requiring any worker to work through a brothel to aid in controlling payments and taxes.

Prostitution has opponents and proponents who see good and bad in its legalization. At present it is a crime for a person to work in the industry and it is also a crime to pay for the services of a prostitute. Although both the worker and paying party may both be willing, state law prohibits the activity and imposes criminal penalties on those guilty of violating those laws.

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