Individuals who rent apartments must be careful of who is select as a tenant. When individuals decides to rent a location to an individual who engages in prostitution related services, an individual can be found guilty of a crime even though the individual does not personally engage in prostitution.
Even if you were not directly involved in prostitution, law in the state of Alabama makes it illegal for an individual to provide persons or premises for the purposes of prostitution. To be convicted of this offense, an individual must have possession or control of a premise which the individuals knows is being used for the purposes of prostitution. The individual must also fail to take efforts to prevent such activity.
Proof that a landlord is aware of prostitution can be either constructive or actual. An example of constructive proof would be if a reasonable person would have known that prostitution was occurring at the premise, while actual proof would be any documentation like a text message that demonstrates the landlord was aware of prostitution at the location.
Providing premises that are used for prostitution is considered a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to six thousand dollars.
Individuals should be cautious that providing a premise for prostitution does not rise to the level of soliciting prostitution, which can result in even more significant penalties. Landlords also need to be aware of other elements that increase penalties that can be faced by this charge.
Some additional aggravating factors include when a landlord rents a premise that is used by two or more premises, the prostitute in question is compelled by force or intimidation to engage in prostitution, or the prostitute is under the age of eighteen.
Defending Against Such A Charge
The most common way that individuals defend against charges of providing a premise to be used for prostitution is arguing that the individual was not aware that prostitution was occurring at the location. Landlords can also argue that law enforcement has failed to prevent a sufficient enough amount of evidence to demonstrate that the landlord was aware prostitution was occurring. Another common defense is arguing that prostitution did not actually occur at the premise. Other times, landlords are able to defend against such charges by arguing that the law enforcement investigation in question violated the landlord's constitutional rights and that evidence about the offense was unlawfully obtained. Landlords are unable to defend against such a charge by arguing that the landlord did not benefit from the act of prostitution.
Contact An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
If you face charges arising from a providing a premise for prostitution offense, you require the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney like Steve D. Eversole who knows how to craft a strong legal defense and fight aggressively on your behalf.