Two women and a man were recently charged in Shelby County in a case of prostitution that involves allegations of human trafficking, The Birmingham News reports.
Birmingham sex crimes are rarely taken lightly by police officers and prosecutors, which is why hiring Birmingham Criminal Defense Lawyers could mean the difference between significant jail or prison time and probation.
According to the Code of Alabama, prostitution is defined as agreeing to have sexual intercourse for money, soliciting for sexual intercourse for money or helping others commit prostitution. The charge is classified as a class A misdemeanor, which means up to a year in jail and up to $6,000 in fines.
In Shelby County, one of those arrested faces a charge of human trafficking that accuses him of benefiting from an activity with ties to sex or servitude, the newspaper reports. The woman are charged with promoting prostitution and obstructing justice.
The newspaper reports that the incident happened at a mobile home park between April and May. Further details of the alleged crime weren’t reported.
And these types of crimes aren’t uncommon: In Mobile recently, eight people were arrested during an undercover sex sting at a local park, CBS News reports. In that case, police conducted a sting after citizens complained of people approaching others for sex.Those arrested were charged with loitering for the purpose of deviant sexual activity.
In the Mobile case, two of the people arrested were public school employees. Now, while loitering is considered a minor crime by most standards, you can imagine the kind of damage an arrest will do to those employees. It’s possible the school district will fire them simply because they have been arrested, without proof of guilty.
This is why a proper sex crimes defense is so important. Many people in the public see an arrest as proof of guilt, but don’t consider that police officers make mistakes just like everyone else. And their misinterpretation of the law can lead to an arrest and a ruined reputation. But successfully defending a case by getting the charges dropped or winning at trial can work to restore a person’s good name.
But as the allegations become more and more serious — from prostitution to an allegation of sexual assault or rape — the reputation becomes less important and fighting the steep penalties take priority. In Alabama, sex crimes can be punishable by decades in prison. Defendants who are convicted may have to register as a sex offender for life, notifying neighbors every time they move that they have a record. They may be restricted about where they can work and live and may not be able to have certain professional licenses. They may have to walk around with electronic monitoring so that someone is tracking their movements at all times.
These charges can alter a person’s life and therefore must be defended properly. Looking into the credibility of witnesses, whether DNA evidence is available and can be challenged as insufficient and other defenses must be explored. If a defendant makes a statement to police, which isn’t advised, it’s possible it can be suppressed so it won’t make it before a jury. Same goes for evidence and how police obtained it. There are many complex legal issues involved in sex cases and they must be handled by a firm with experience in these matters.