What’s the Difference Between Solicitation and Prostitution? Can I Get In Trouble for Talking to a Prostitute?

Police car at night

In Ohio, offering money for sex or vice-versa is a crime whether or not anyone accepts the exchange. You can be charged with solicitation if you offer to pay any person for sexual acts.  They do not have to be a prostitute. There are several other crimes that law enforcement may also charge a person with if they suspect solicitation or prostitution.


  • “Solicitation” means inducing someone to participate in or join in the commission of an illegal act
  • “Prostitute” means a male or female who promiscuously engages in sexual activity for money or goods, regardless of whether the hire is paid to the prostitute or to another person on their behalf.
  • Sexual conduct is defined more specifically in Section 2907.01 – Ohio Revised Code, but generally include sexual touching, oral sex, and sex.  Depending on the specifics, additional charges can also occur.

Criminal Prostitution Charges in Delaware, Ohio

A person can be charged with solicitation if they are caught trying to buy or sell sex when no prostitution occurs. 

  • Solicitation – Ohio Revised Code 2907.24
    • Misdemeanor of the third degree that can result in 60 days in jail and a $500 fine 
    • Felony of the fifth degree if it is the solicitation of a person who is 16 or 17 
    • Felony of the third degree is the person is under 16 or has a disability
    • Felony of the second or third degree after testing positive for HIV

A person will likely be charged with both solicitation and prostitution when sexual acts are committed. 

  • Engaging in Prositution  –  Ohio Revised Code 2907.231
    • Misdemeanor of the first degree 
    • Consequences can include a mandatory treatment course and fine of up to $1500 
    • There are several other charges surrounding prostitution that carry much heftier consequences such as compelling prositution, promoting prositution, conspiracy and trafficking

Law Enforcement will attempt to demonstrate culpability in such a case through the defendant’s possession of criminal tools. Cash, condoms, or similar items can be considered tools. This is an additional charge to solicitation, carrying its own penalties even if no sex acts occur.

  • Possession of Criminal Tools – Ohio Revised Code 2923.24  
    • No person shall possess or have under the person’s control any substance, device, instrument, or article, with purpose to use it criminally.
    • Misdemeanor of the 1st degree that can result in 180 days in jail and a $1000 fine 
    • Felony of the 5th degree if the tools were to be used in the commission of a felony offense

A lesser known crime in Ohio is loitering for the purpose of solicitation. Anyone standing in an area where cars are being called over to offer sex or stopping your car in that area and appearing to wait can be accused of this crime.

  • Loitering to Engage in Solicitation of a Prostitute – Ohio Revised Code 2907.241
    • Misdemeanor of the third degree
    • Felony of the fifth degree if after testing positive for HIV

How Will An Attorney in Delaware, OH Defend My Rights?

After a prostitution charge, it may be difficult to prove your innocence and repair your reputation with family and friends. Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, it is imperative that you contact a criminal defense attorney with experience in sex crimes as early as possible to develop the right strategy for your defense. 

A criminal defense attorney will build a strategic defense based on the specifics of your case. Was there a misunderstanding? Entrapment? Are there details that could significantly affect the burden of proof for the prosecutor?

For more information on acquiring the right attorney to prove your innocence for a solicitation or prostitution charge, visit our office as early on as possible or visit us at https://thelawofficeofbrianjones.com/ to schedule your consultation online.

Written by The Law Office of Brian Jones, LLC


Ohio Revised Code 2907. https://codes.ohio.gov/ohio-revised-code/chapter-2907

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