The vibrant streets of Las Vegas and other major cities in Nevada witness various crimes daily, which include but are not limited to theft, robbery, drug trafficking, assault, and vandalism. However, prostitution and solicitation are among the most prevalent street crimes in most urban areas of the Silver State, with over 3,500 annual arrests on average.
In 2023, Nevada remains the only US state where prostitution is legal (in 10/17 counties). Many legal (licensed) brothels operate in different municipalities. Unfortunately, hundreds of unlicensed sex workers and clients continue to roam the streets, increasing the rate of illegal prostitution in the state.
Due to this growing trend, local and state law enforcement departments are hypervigilant during patrols. They employ advanced surveillance techniques and undercover operations to infiltrate illegal sex networks, curb transactions, and ensure public safety.
While this shift in tactics has undoubtedly cracked down on illegal prostitution, it has also resulted in a significant rise in wrongful detainment, arrest, and imprisonment cases in Nevada. In other words, anyone can be falsely accused of prostitution or prostitution solicitation in public places by the police.
In this post, we’ll delve into the complexities of false prostitution accusations and share some popular cases in Nevada and other states. We’ll also explain how you can take legal action by hiring a Nevada false arrest attorney if you’re ever arrested for alleged Prostitution or solicitation.
Prostitution vs. Solicitation of Prostitution
Prostitution and the solicitation of prostitution are both criminal activities in Nevada. However, there’s a clear distinction between both terms you must understand to navigate the intricacies of false accusations and wrongful arrests.
Prostitution refers to the exchange of sexual services for compensation (money, goods, or services). Conversely, prostitution solicitation is the act of offering money, goods, or services to persuade a prostitute for sexual services.
Therefore, false prostitution accusations can emerge at both ends of the transaction – engagement and solicitation. Depending on the jurisdiction, the charges for each crime may differ in jail time, penalties, and other punishments.
Consequently, legal recourse against false prostitution and solicitation cases will vary in terms of liability, criminal charges, damage compensation for injuries, defamation, etc.
Popular False Prostitution and Wrongful Arrest Cases
Below are popular examples of cases involving wrongful arrests for alleged prostitution and/or solicitation:
1. Las Vegas Police Department Paid $80,000 to Chentile Goodman for False Prostitution Accusation & Arrest
In 2011, Chentile Goodman was detained for over two hours with her belongings confiscated after being falsely accused of being a prostitute while drinking with her friend and boyfriend. The officers were undercover at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, a popular hotspot for prostitutes and solicitors.
Chentile was released without charge a few hours after the officers learned she had no history of engaging in prostitution. She sued the police department later that year for emotional distress and defamation. The US District Judge Miranda Du gave a verdict in favor of Chentile, prompting the department to pay $80,000 in settlement for the false accusation and arrest.
2. City Worker in Chicago Wrongfully Arrested During a Prostitution Sting
In 2008, Hugo Holmes, a former city supervisor for the Chicago Department of Transportation, was wrongfully arrested during a prostitution sting operation in Chicago. Hugo repeatedly pled his innocence after being accused of soliciting a sex worker without audio or video evidence supporting the undercover officer’s claim.
Hugo was publicly exposed after this incident, which damaged his reputation as a respected field service officer of a government organization. He sued the Chicago police department for false accusations of prostitution solicitation and was rewarded with a settlement of $370,000 by the City Council’s Finance Committee.
Legal Recourse After Getting Wrongfully Arrested in Nevada for Alleged Prostitution or Solicitation
Prostitution or the solicitation of prostitution are both serious crimes. Therefore, the last thing you want is to be wrongfully arrested for false accusations. However, if you find yourself in an unfortunate situation leading to wrongful detainment or arrest, know that you can protect your rights and assert your innocence by hiring a Nevada false arrest attorney to represent you in court.
Here’s a comprehensive guide to navigating the legal recourse for wrongful arrest due to false prostitution or solicitation accusations:
1. Gather Evidence and Relevant Information Related to the Charges
No matter the circumstances, try to remain as calm as possible following a false arrest. You might experience emotional distress, anger, and frustration. However, you must compose yourself to gather evidence and relevant information about the incident. This includes (but isn’t limited to):
- The incident time and date
- Location (Name and address)
- Arresting officer’s name and badge number
- Witnesses (if any)
2. Plead the Fifth
Following the detainment or arrest, the officers may ask you some questions, many of which might be incriminating. You should immediately invoke your right to remain silent instead of pleading your innocence. By politely pleading the Fifth Amendment, you indirectly inform the officers that you know your rights and require legal counsel before engaging in any discussions.
3. Consult with an Experienced False Arrest Lawyer Las Vegas
Once you arrive at the local police department, contact an experienced Nevada attorney specializing in wrongful arrests or cases related to prostitution or solicitation. They can provide proper guidance according to your situation or circumstance. Ensure you share all the details of your case, starting with the events leading to your arrest. Also, discuss your interactions with officers or potential witnesses in the case.
4. Let Your Attorney Get to Work
Following the consultation, your attorney will collect more evidence to build your case, including (but not limited to):
- CCTV/body cam/dash cam footage
- The police report
- Your phone records, including texts, emails, and calls
- Forensic reports
- Character references
- Witness testimonials
- Medical reports, etc.
After gathering the necessary evidence, your attorney will investigate your arrest’s circumstances and look for any irregularities, including signs of police brutality, misconduct, racial profiling, and other forms of discrimination. They will also challenge the prosecution’s evidence and employ different tactics to weaken their case using their own.
5. Explore Legal Options
Your attorney will offer different legal options, depending on their findings and the circumstances leading to your false arrest, including suing the department for economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Personal injuries
- Emotional Distress
- Lost wages or income, etc.
6. Negotiation & Settlement
If your innocence is clear and backed by solid evidence, the prosecution’s attorney may offer a settlement and drop the charges. Your attorney will consult with you again to discuss if the settlement is fair before accepting or rejecting it. If you accept the settlement amount, the charges will be dropped immediately, and you’ll be compensated with the agreed-upon amount. However, rejecting the deal will take your case to trial.
7. Court Proceedings
If your case goes to trial, your attorney will present your evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and challenge the prosecution’s arguments. During the proceedings, you must maintain your innocence to protect your credibility. If the judge drops your charges, the case will be dismissed, and your arrest record will be expunged. You may be able to receive court awarded compensation for your wrongful arrest claim.
Contact a Nevada Wrongful Arrest Attorney Right Away!
Wrongful arrests are among the most concerning issues within our law enforcement departments. Fortunately, our legal system has regulations to protect your rights, especially if you’re innocent.
Even unlawful detainment or arrests for minor crimes like alleged traffic violations can be stressful, so we understand how distressing a wrongful arrest for serious crimes like alleged prostitution or solicitation can be.
The Bourassa Law Group is at your service to help you navigate false prostitution and solicitation accusations leading to wrongful arrests. Our capable team of false arrest and police misconduct attorneys will gather all the necessary evidence to prove your innocence and secure maximum compensation for damages.
So, get in touch now for a free consultation at 800-870-8910. We’ll discuss your case and get started ASAP!