Prostitution Laws in Illinois

Updated on 10/04/2023 / Under

Prostitution laws in Illinois are very strict. Prostitution is the exchange of sexual services for money or other forms of compensation. Prostitution is illegal in most parts of the United States, including Illinois. In Illinois, it is a felony offense to either solicit prostitution services or provide them.

Under Illinois law, a person commits the crime of prostitution when they knowingly engage in "sexual conduct" for money or something else of value. This means that a person can be found guilty of prostitution even if they don't engage in sexual penetration with someone, as long as they are exchanging something of value for a sexual arousal act.

The penalties for solicitation and prostitution vary depending on the offender's criminal history and the circumstances of the offense. Generally, solicitation is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year of jail time, a fine of up to $2,500, and a criminal record. Providing prostitution services is a Class 4 felony, punishable by one to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

While Illinois law criminalizes prostitution, the state has also taken steps to reduce the stigma and danger associated with it. In 2019, Illinois passed a law that decriminalized certain aspects of prostitution for adults who are engaging in consensual transactions. This includes providing immunity from arrest or prosecution for those in possession of condoms, which can help reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections among sex workers.

Overall, prostitution is illegal in Illinois and is punishable by both criminal and civil penalties. Furthermore, the state has taken steps to reduce the stigma associated with prostitution and ensure that those involved in prostitution are protected from exploitation or other harm.

Ktenas Law's skilled criminal defense attorneys are here to build a strong defense for your case. Call today for a free consultation regarding your criminal defense case.

What Is Soliciting a Prostitute?

Soliciting a prostitute refers to the act of offering something of value in exchange for sexual acts or intercourse. This type of lawbreaking could result in a Class A misdemeanor conviction for those caught engaging in it. In Illinois, any discussion that points toward this illegal activity may constitute a solicitation and be charged as such by the state's court system.

Soliciting a prostitute could entail providing money, objects, or property with the intended use being that of fulfilling some type of sexual arrangement between the two parties involved. The action itself is seen as morally wrong and could receive harsh punishments if caught and convicted.

Alex Ktenas, Illinois criminal defense attorney

Those who are accused of this crime could face up to one year in prison along with a fine of up to $2,500. Therefore, it's important to understand what soliciting a prostitute is—and how to avoid it legally—to protect yourself from both criminal charges and unwanted consequences associated with it.

What About Patronizing a Prostitute?

In the state of Illinois, patronizing a prostitute is considered a separate criminal offense from soliciting a prostitute. According to Illinois law, it is prohibited to engage in any form of sexual contact, including penetration, touching, or fondling of sex organs, with a prostitute, as well as entering and remaining at any location associated with prostitution for such purposes.

This offense is categorized as a Class 4 Felony, and it may be elevated to a Class 3 Felony if committed within 1,000 feet of a school or if the perpetrator has prior convictions for similar prostitution-related crimes.

It’s important to understand that patronizing and soliciting a prostitute are distinct offenses that can both be charged in connection with the same incident. It is possible to face both charges depending on the specific circumstances which is why it’s important to seek help from an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately if you believe you may be charged with either one.

Is It Illegal to Talk to a Prostitute in Illinois?

Talking to a prostitute in Illinois is not illegal, although it is important to be aware of the laws governing solicitation and prostitution. No matter what you discuss with a prostitute, an officer or an undercover officer may suspect you of breaking the law if this conversation takes place in a public area and the theme of the conversation suggests possible criminal activity.

Therefore, it is important to not give any impression or suggestion that you wish to buy their services or that you are involved in prostitution in some way.

a criminal defense attorney working on a case with scale, gavel and books on his desk

Engaging in discussions with prostitutes can often appear suspicious, so it pays to exercise your best judgment and always ensure that your interactions are not interpreted as soliciting illegal activities of any kind. As long as the conversation remains general talking points and not about criminal acts, then there should be no problems.

Additionally, both parties should be aware of the consequences of prostitution.

What is Pimping?

Pimping is the act of managing and/or controlling a prostitution business. It includes arranging customers for prostitutes, recruiting prostitutes, protecting them from law enforcement and other risks, and providing resources such as clothing or transportation. Pimping can also include taking money from the prostitutes in exchange for protection or services. In Illinois, pimping is considered a felony offense, punishable by up to five years in prison.

Promoting Prostitution in Illinois

Promoting prostitution is a serious crime in the state of Illinois. Under 720 ILCS 5/11-14.5, promoting prostitution is defined as knowingly and intentionally profiting from or otherwise facilitating another person’s engagement in prostitution. This includes activities such as procuring customers for prostitutes, setting up places where prostitution can occur, and providing transportation to areas where prostitution services are available.

Promoting Juvenile Prostitution in Illinois

In Illinois, promoting juvenile prostitution or individuals with an intellectual disability is a serious offense that carries severe penalties. It is considered a form of human trafficking and is thus treated differently than adult prostitution in the eyes of the law.

law books with a statue and a gavel next to them

Promoting juvenile prostitution includes activities such as enticing or encouraging someone under 18 to engage in the commercial sex trade, transporting minors for purposes of prostitution, and profiting from any involvement with underage sex workers. In Illinois, promoting a juvenile prostitute is a Class X felony with penalties that can include up to 60 years in prison. Speak to an experienced sex crime lawyer today at Ktenas Law.

The Penalties for Crimes Involving Prostitution in Illinois

Illinois has tough laws when it comes to crimes involving prostitution. These crimes can be grouped into four different classes; a Class A misdemeanor, a Class 4 Felony, a Class 3 felony, and a Class 2 felony. Each of these classes carries stiff penalties if the offender is convicted of soliciting sexual acts in exchange for money.

A conviction on a Class A misdemeanor prostitution charge would result in up to 12 months behind bars and fines reaching as high as $2,500. If the crime is upgraded to a Class 4 Felony due to subsequent offenses, prison terms may extend up to three years, and fines may reach $25,000.

Additionally, those charged with a Class 3 felony are facing potentially three years in prison followed by fines of up to $25,000. Lastly, those convicted of committing a Class 2 felony may spend up to seven years in a correctional facility and be forced to pay fines up to $25,000.

FAQ: How much does a criminal defense lawyer cost in Illinois?

These punishments show that Illinois takes prostitution crimes seriously and offenders can expect harsh consequences if caught engaging in such activities or activities related to prostitution.

Defenses to Prostitution Charges

When facing a charge of prostitution, it is important to get the right kind of legal representation and explore all options for defense. Common defenses that are used against these charges can involve proving that the accused was not performing prostitution services or that there was duress or coercion involved in the situation. For example, an individual may have been coerced or under duress due to threats of harm if they did not perform the requested service.

Additionally, one might argue that they did not intend to commit a crime as they were unaware of the local laws relating to sex laws in exchange for money. Furthermore, ignorance can be argued as a viable defense by showing a lack of willful intent or knowledge of any wrongdoing on behalf of the accused. Although each case is unique, utilizing any one of these common defense strategies may help you secure a win during your trial or have your charges downgraded so that you can receive leniency from the prosecutor or judge.

Gray Areas of Prostitution Laws in Illinois

The issue of prostitution in the state of Illinois is complex and far-reaching, and many gray areas remain relatively untouched by case law, commentaries, and treatises. For instance, some may argue that high-end escorts or courtesans who offer “time and companionship” in exchange for money should not be classified as prostitutes. This same argument can be made about services such as “sugar daddy” websites whereby wealthy older men pay large sums of money for dating relationships with younger women. The logic offered by these services is that they do not exchange sex for money, but instead a consensual agreement between adults that any sexual activity should be undertaken gratuitously.

a gavel sitting on a desk with scales in the background

Due to a lack of analysis on the matter from legal professionals or scholars, it remains unclear how Illinois law would classify these activities. In addition to the ambiguity surrounding the legality of these transactions within Illinois law, the lack of precedential cases creates further difficulties when attempting to make determinations regarding said issues. Jurists must take into consideration this important topic to provide unambiguous guidelines to ensure fair application of our laws.

Call Ktenas Law Today for a Free Consultation!

If you have been accused of the crime of solicitation or prostitution in Illinois, it is important to seek experienced legal advice as soon as possible. At Ktenas Law, we understand the complex issues surrounding prostitution and solicitation crimes and are here to provide an affirmative defense on your behalf.

Illinois law makes certain activities related to prostitution illegal. These activities include engaging in prostitution, soliciting someone to engage in prostitution, and promoting prostitution. If you are facing charges related to prostitution or soliciting a person in exchange for money, it is crucial to seek legal representation promptly. The team at Ktenas Law is ready to offer a strong defense on your behalf. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation.