Michigan Prostitution and Solicitation Laws

It may be “the oldest profession,” but that doesn’t necessarily make it legal (at least for the 49 states other than Nevada, Michigan included). Prostitution can include anything from streetwalkers to escort services, brothels to call-girl services. There can be some differences, however, in the way certain states describe prostitution in their statutes, and in the way those statutes are interpreted and enforced. Here is a brief summary of prostitution and solicitation laws in Michigan.

Prostitution and Solicitation Laws

In Michigan, prostitution is the act of offering, performing, or consenting to sexual conduct for payment, while solicitation is the act of seeking sexual services for hire. Both the prostitute and the customer, frequently known as a "John," can be prosecuted under the law. The following table highlights the main provisions of Michigan's prostitution and solicitation laws.

Michigan Prostitution and Solicitation Statutes

Code Section

Michigan Penal Code, Prostitution and Solicitation, Sections 750.448 - 750.462 (PDF)

What is Prohibited

Prostitution: Engaging in sexual activity for money or payment.

Solicitation: Seeking sexual services for hire.

Penalties

Misdemeanor, penalties depend on the nature of the act and prior criminal history, including misdemeanor offenses could result in up to 93-day jail sentence and a fine of $500, probation, community service, and possible lifetime registration as ex-offender for solicitation crimes.

Enhanced felony penalties for third conviction of either crime.

Who Can Be Prosecuted

The prostitute and the customer (or "John")

What is Considered Payment?

Money, gifts, favors, and other compensation

Solicitation is sometimes enforced as a subset of prostitution. While prostitution generally requires that the sexual activity actually be committed and payment change hands, you can be charged with solicitation for merely agreeing to exchange money for sex and taking some action (like getting money from an ATM) to further the agreement. Michigan also prohibits pimping or pandering, the act recruiting prostitutes, arranging a situation for others to practice prostitution, or deriving income from the earnings of a prostitute.

Michigan Prostitution and Solicitation Laws: Related Resources

State laws on prostitution could change and without much notice. If you would like more general information on this topic, you can continue your research by visiting FindLaw's sex crimes section. If you have been charged with a crime or if you want to understand the law and your rights, it may also be a good idea to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney in Michigan to discuss your specific situation.

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