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Four Ways You Could Face Charges For Prostitution

Prostitution is the crime of exchanging sexual intercourse, sexual favors, or other sex acts for remuneration, usually in the form of money. While there’s a saying that prostitution is the “world’s oldest profession,” the truth of the matter is it’s against the law in Tennessee, and being involved in it could land you in serious trouble with the law.

Image of a man handing a women cash from his car window as possible payment for prostitution.

There are actually four different types of prostitution charges, and each one could have dramatically different consequences if you’re found guilty of engaging in it in a criminal court. In this blog, we’ll discuss these different charges, including how they differ and what you can expect if you’re charged with one.


Soliciting a prostitute is the act of seeking out or searching for someone to engage in prostitution with, usually as the “buyer” of sorts. Those who solicit (or “patronize” as it’s also commonly known) prostitutes are commonly referred to by law enforcement as “johns” and many of them are caught by sting operations conducted by undercover officers.

Soliciting a prostitute in Tennessee is generally considered a Class B misdemeanor, which means you could be subjected to up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500, though it’s somewhat rare for first-time offenders to be given jail time if they’re defended by a Murfreesboro sex crimes attorney. However, in some instances, the charges could be bumped to a Class A misdemeanor, subjecting you to a mandatory minimum of seven days in jail and $1,000 in fines.


Engaging in prostitution is the other side of an act of prostitution, or agreeing to engage in sexual intercourse or other sexual acts in exchange for remuneration, usually money. Engaging in prostitution is viewed through a similar lens to soliciting a prostitute, and thus carries the same Class B misdemeanor penalties. However, much like solicitation, certain circumstances can bump the crime of engaging in prostitution up to a Class A misdemeanor and possibly subject those convicted to a mandatory minimum of seven days in jail.


Aggravated prostitution is a law designed to help stop the spread of HIV through sexual transmission, which is a serious risk when engaging in prostitution. Aggravated prostitution occurs when someone who knows that they have been infected with HIV willingly engages in sexual activity as a business, solicits a prostitute or loiters in a public place in order to be hired for prostitution. The law does not require that HIV is transmitted and that the individual who did not have the infection be found to have contracted the disease in order for the crime to be charged.

Aggravated prostitution is a Class C felony, which means you could face up to a maximum of 15 years in prison and a fine of more than $10,000.


Promoting prostitution is the act of encouraging or facilitating prostitution or sex-for-money exchanges. This can be a number of different things, including:

  • Owning, managing, or supervising a prostitution business
  • Finding or securing customers to engage in prostitution
  • Encouraging or recruiting someone to become a prostitute
  • Finding someone to work at a house of prostitution or brothel
  • Finding a prostitute for someone
  • Soliciting or receiving any benefit as a result of any of the above activities

Promoting prostitution is also commonly known as “pimping and pandering” and is considered a Class E felony in Tennessee, which means you could face up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $3,000.

Likewise, those who are accused of a prostitution-based crime of any kind could face the possibility of being required to register as a sex offender, which could have even further and greater consequences on their life.

Contact The Clarke Law Firm today by dialing (615) 796-6299 and speak with our Murfreesboro sex crimes lawyer to request a case evaluation if you have been charged with a prostitution crime.