As awareness of human tracking continues to increase, prosecutors across Wyoming are adopting a more laid-back approach to prosecuting some prostitution offenses. However, those arrested for soliciting a prostitute are not among those receiving the benefit of this new approach. In Wyoming, it remains a misdemeanor to solicit a prostitute. A conviction for soliciting a prostitute can carry many serious and potentially lifelong consequences, including the requirement to register as a sex offender. What Is Soliciting a Prostitute? In Wyoming, there are three crimes related to prostitution. Prostitution, as defined by Wyoming Statutes Section 6-4-101, occurs when a person “knowingly or intentionally performs or permits, or offers or agrees to perform or permit an act of sexual intrusion… for money or other property.” Wyoming Statutes Section 6-4-102 outlines the offense of solicitation of prostitution. The statute explains that soliciting a prostitute involves knowingly or intentionally paying, or offering or agreeing to pay money or other property to another person” with the intent of having them perform a sex act. Importantly, there is no requirement that you exchange money or even have an explicit agreement. Courts look to the surrounding facts to determine whether there are “circumstances strongly corroborative” of a person’s intent to solicit a prostitute. Both prostitution and soliciting a prostitute are misdemeanor offenses. In each case, a conviction carries a maximum punishment of six months in jail and a fine of up to $750. The most serious prostitution offense in Wyoming, aside from human trafficking, is promoting prostitution. Promoting prostitution involves any of the following actions: Enticing or compelling another person to become a prostitute;Offering to obtain a prostitute for another person;Operating any location used for the purposes of prostitution; andReceiving money from a prostitute, knowing it was earned through prostitution. Promoting prostitution is a felony, which carries a maximum punishment of three years in jail and a fine of not more than $3,000, or both. However, if you promote the prostitution of a person under 18 years old, the crime is punishable by a maximum of five years in jail and a fine of $5,000, or both. Both the solicitation of a prostitute and the promotion of prostitution are registerable sex offenses in Wyoming if the person solicited was a minor under the age of 18. If you face charges related to the solicitation of a prostitute in Wyoming, there are a few important defenses. A dedicated Wyoming prostitution lawyer can help you better understand the allegations against you and what defenses are available in your case. Defenses to Soliciting a Prostitute Charges A court cannot convict you of soliciting a prostitute unless the prosecution proves beyond a reasonable doubt that you intended to induce another to perform a sex act. Most often, solicitation cases are based on an undercover operation conducted by police officers. For example, a police officer may wait on the street pretending to be a prostitute. While police officers are allowed to do this, they cannot convince you to commit a crime. This is called entrapment, and it is a legal defense to soliciting a prostitute. Thus, if an undercover officer approaches you asking if you are interested in paying them to commit a sex act, you may have a defense to any solicitation charges. Another common defense to prostitution charges involves attacking the sufficiency of the evidence against you. The line between innocent flirting and soliciting a prostitute can be a thin one. In most solicitation cases, there is no exchange of money. There may not even be an explicit agreement. Often, prosecutors’ evidence consists of vague statements that may show your intent to hire a prostitute. However, there may be another, non-criminal interpretation of your words that are just as likely true. Essentially, by attacking the sufficiency of the prosecution’s evidence, you argue that the government cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you actually intended to hire a prostitute. Are You Facing Solicitation Charges in Wyoming? If you face Wyoming prostitution charges, contact the dedicated criminal defense lawyers at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense. Cowboy Country Criminal Defense is a boutique criminal defense law firm based in Casper, Wyoming. We represent clients charged with all types of prostitution offenses and other crimes, including sex offenses. We recognize that these cases involve more than your reputation and we do everything possible to secure the best result in every case. As skilled negotiators, we are often able to secure favorable non-trial resolutions to our clients’ cases. However, with significant courtroom experience, we are equally prepared to fight you before the judge or jury. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated Wyoming criminal defense lawyer at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense, give us a call at 307-333-7884 today. You can also reach us through our online form, and we will be in touch shortly. We look forward to serving you.
Under Wyoming law, if a person commits certain sexual offenses, they must register on Wyoming’s sexual offender registry. The sex offender registry is a public database that contains a list of all sex offenders residing in Wyoming required to register with the state. If you are convicted of a sexual offense or have questions about sex offender registration, you should contact a qualified Wyoming criminal defense attorney right away. Who Must Register for Wyoming’s Sex Offender Registry? Under Wyoming Statute 7-19-302, any sex offender residing, attending school, or working in Wyoming must register with the Sheriff in the county where they reside. Registrable sexual offenses include any of the offenses listed in the statute, such as: Sexual abuse of a minor,Possession of child pornography,Taking obscene photos or videos of a child,Sexual assault of a minor,Soliciting sexual relations with a minor, andSexual exploitation of a minor. Sex offenders must also register for certain federal offenses or sexual offenses in other states that are similar to those under Wyoming law. What Does Sex Offender Registration Look Like? If someone is convicted of one of the registerable sexual offenses, they must immediately register with the Sheriff’s department in the county where they reside. Individuals arrested and confined for a sexual offense in Wyoming after July 1, 1999, and sentenced after January 1, 1985, must register before being released from custody. If the person is arrested but not required to serve any jail time, they must register immediately after sentencing. If a person convicted of a registerable offense enters Wyoming, the offender must register with the county within three days of arrival in the state. To register, the offender must be: Photographed,Fingerprinted, andPalmprinted. The offender must also provide the following information to the Sheriff’s office: Name,Address,Date and place of birth,Social security number,Place and physical address of employment,Date and place of conviction,Crime for which they were convicted,The name and address of any school they are attending,License plate number and a description of the vehicle,A DNA sample,The age of each victim,Email address, andPhone numbers. If the offender changes their address, they must notify the law enforcement agency in the new county within three days of moving. In addition, the offender must notify law enforcement if they plan to leave the country, and they must provide a travel itinerary. What Does It Mean to Be Registered? If someone registers on Wyoming’s sex offender registry, any member of the public can access their registered information, including the offender’s: Name,Physical address,Date and place of birth,Crime for which he was convicted,Photograph,Physical characteristics,Employer’s address, andSchool address. For certain offenses, the law enforcement agency must provide notice of the registration to any neighbors who live within at least 750 feet of the offender’s residence. Schools, religious organizations, and youth groups within 750 feet must also receive notice. What Happens If Someone Doesn’t Register? Failing to register as a Wyoming sex offender carries serious penalties, including large fines and jail time. A person who knowingly fails to register as a sex offender faces punishment, including: Fines of up to $1,000 andUp to five years in prison. A second offense includes: Fines up to $1,000 andUp to ten years in prison. Failing to pay required fees is also punishable as a misdemeanor with penalties including a $750 fine and up to six months in county jail. How Can I Get Off the Sex Offender Registry? If someone is convicted of a registerable sex offense, normally, the offender must register on Wyoming’s sex offender registry for the rest of their life. However, under some circumstances, Wyoming law allows registered sex offenders to petition the court to remove their name from the sex offender registry. For less serious sexual offenses, such as third-degree sexual abuse of a minor or possession of child pornography, an offender could remove their name from the registry if the offender: Has been registered for at least ten years, and Has maintained a clean record by avoiding arrest and completing all required probation and parole. For more serious sexual offenses, such as sexual assault or first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, the offender can request to remove their name if the offender: Has been registered for at least 25 years andHas maintained a clean record for all 25 years. The court will review the facts and decide whether to grant the sex offender’s petition. How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help If you qualify to remove your name from the sex offender registry, you must go through a complicated petition process with the court. Before you can file a petition, you must: Serve the petition to the court and the prosecuting attorney,Prove your registration for the required time period,Prove your clean record, andDefend your petition if the prosecutor files a response. If the prosecutor files a response, the judge will hold a hearing to decide your case. These hearings require specialized knowledge of the law and familiarity with legal theory and argument. If you lack legal experience, this can be a daunting and stressful experience. A qualified Wyoming defense attorney can help alleviate that stress and increase the likelihood that the judge will approve your petition. Contact a Qualified Wyoming Criminal Defense Attorney Today The attorneys at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense fight aggressively for our client’s interests. We understand how painful and harmful sex offender registration can be. We will provide you strong legal representation and work to protect your interests. Our experienced sex crimes staff will answer your questions and guide you every step of the way. For a free consultation, contact our offices or call at 307-333-7884 today to get started.