An interesting article in the Seattle Times today outlines why the Seattle City Attorney’s decision to change the name of a certain crime has caused havoc in folks’ lives. Outside of Seattle the crime is known as ‘Patronizing a Prostitute’. In the City of Seattle it is known as ‘Sexual Exploitation’. Exactly the same crime, but with a different name; the elements of both are the same. When it comes to both background checks and immigration issues, however, the name of the crime makes all the difference in the world. This is so because Sexual Exploitation shows up as a sex based felony offense, and Patronizing a Prostitute appears as simply a non-sex based misdemeanor offense.
The City of Seattle changed the crime of Patronizing a Prostitute to Sexual Exploitation in 2015, and the collateral consequences of the change did not really come to light until relatively recently. The City Attorney’s Office does recognize that the name change may have caused some unintended consequences, but claims the new name better describe a defendant’s conduct because many women are forced, or otherwise coerced, into prostitution, and the City prosecutor wants to hold sex buyers accountable for creating the demand for the sex trade in Seattle.
If you or a loved one is cited or charged with a law violation, you should immediately seek the advice and/or assistance of a qualified Seattle criminal defense attorney. The Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle criminal defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested or charged for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether you are cited with an infraction or arrested and/or charged with misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or a felony, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900.