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Multnomah County Prostitution Attorney

You probably already knew that Oregon state considers prostitution and prostitution related acts to be criminal. What you may not know however, is that there are cities within Oregon who have their own local “vice laws” in place. A vice crime is a criminal act which offends the morals of a community, vice laws are in place in order to regulate such crimes.

The city of Portland, which cites prostitution related crimes into Multnomah County Circuit Court, has very strict prostitution laws in place, with city code prohibiting any activity that that could be considered related to the crime of prostitution.

Within the state of Oregon, there are some cities which have their own prostitution related city codes in addition to the already existing state wide prostitution crime laws. The city of Portland has so-called “vice crimes”, two of which cover the subject of prostitution: Loitering to Solicit Prostitution (14A.40.040) and Unlawful Prostitution Procurement Activities (14A.40.050). Both laws have broad legal definitions and the charges can be very difficult to navigate without an experienced criminal attorney on your side.

The Criminal Defense law firm of Rhett Bernstein employs former prosecutors, former law enforcement officers, and former forensic experts. Rhett Bernstein defends clients throughout the state of Oregon, including Multnomah County, Clackamas County, Washington County, and all Portland-area municipal courts in the following counties and cities:

Multnomah County

  • Gresham
  • Maywood Park
  • Portland
  • Troutdale
  • Wood Village

In Oregon, many prostitution crimes are a Class A misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of $6,250. The city of Portland and other municipalities also have ordinances prohibiting activities such as "loitering" for the purpose of prostitution, and police in the area frequently conduct stings targeting both alleged johns and alleged prostitutes.

If you have been arrested for prostitution or for violating a municipal prostitution ordinance, you were probably issued a citation instructing you to appear in court at a later date. Now is the time to speak with a lawyer. With experienced and skilled legal representation, it may be possible to minimize the consequences or even get the charge dismissed.

The police and prosecutors are cracking down on prostitution in Portland. This means that there are often sting operations set up throughout the city, which can lure people in and result in criminal charges. If you have been the victim of a prostitution sting in the Portland area, you need an aggressive and experienced criminal defense lawyer in your corner.

Many prostitution cases originate in stings involving female officers pretending to be prostitutes; sometimes street banter between an officer and a civilian is misconstrued as a solicitation. In such cases, law enforcement does not videotape interactions, which means the main witness is an officer, whose word is pitted against an accused person’s word. Cash and/or condoms in a person’s possession can be used as circumstantial evidence.

If you have been charged as part of a prostitution sting, a random arrest, an online interaction or a misunderstanding, get help from a lawyer right away. Do not talk to the police about your case without first obtaining legal advice.

Prostitution is the Class A misdemeanor criminal offense of offering to engage in sexual acts for money or property. You can be arrested for prostitution even if the sexual act itself does not take place. Promoting prostitution is a Class C felony involving the managing of a prostitution enterprise, or inducing or causing a person to engage in prostitution.

Similar to misdemeanor prostitution, you can be charged with promoting prostitution if money or property was received for a sexual act, even if it did not occur. If any force or intimidation was used to compel another person to engage in prostitution, you can be charged with compelling prostitution, which is a Class B felony.

Loitering to Solicit Prostitution

It is unlawful for any person to loiter in or near any street or public place in a manner and under circumstances manifesting the purpose of inducing, enticing, soliciting, or procuring another to commit an act of prostitution. Among the circumstances which may be considered in determining whether such purpose is manifested are that the person repeatedly contacts, stops or attempts to stop pedestrians, or repeatedly stops or attempts to stop motor vehicle operators or passengers by hailing them or gesturing to them. (14A.40.040)

Unlawful Prostitution Procurement Activities

Any conduct by any person that constitutes a substantial step in furtherance of an act of prostitution. Such activity includes, but is not limited to, lingering in or near any street or public place, repeatedly circling an area in a motor vehicle, or repeatedly beckoning to, contacting, or attempting to stop pedestrians or motor vehicle operators.

It is unlawful for any person to engage in any prostitution procurement activity with an intent to induce, entice, solicit, procure, locate, or contact another person to commit an act of prostitution. (14A.40.050)


Portland City Code Penalty
14A.40.040 - Loitering to Solicit Prostitution  
14A.40.050 - Unlawful Prostitution Procurement Activities  

Arrested for Prostitution in Portland? Experienced Defense for Prostitution Related Crimes

A prostitution related criminal conviction can result in jail time, large fines, unemployment, and sex offender registration. This type of crime will have a lasting impact on your life, dictating what type of job you are eligible for and restricting your freedom to choose where you live. If you or a loved one are facing the possibility of prostitution related charge and conviction, you must contact an experienced Clackamas County criminal defense attorney Rhett Bernstein right away. Mr. Bernstein will tell you what to expect during your court appearance and advocate for the best possible outcome in your case.

Legal Disclaimer: Nothing on this site shall be taken as legal advice. For advice on a legal matter, contact attorney Rhett Bernstein immediately for a free, confidential, no obligation consultation.

Criminal Defense attorney Rhett Bernstein is available to practice criminal law anywhere throughout the state of Oregon, including: Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties; as well as most municipal courts throughout the Portland Metro area.