Loitering for the purpose of engaging in prostitution is a charge that is less frequently encountered in Somerset County and Hunterdon County than in urban areas of the state. It is an offense that is nevertheless filed by police departments in municipalities throughout the region and usually as a component of a broader prostitution case. Our office, The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is one of the largest criminal firms in the state and features a team of former prosecutors and other experienced defense attorneys who have defending individuals arrested for loitering for the purpose of prostitution for over 100 years combined. A lawyer on our staff is prepared to do whatever is necessary to help you anywhere in the state including in Raritan Township, Manville, Hillsborough, South Bound Brook and Bernards. An attorney is available immediately in our Bridgewater Office at 908-722-1011 for a free initial consultation.
Charged With Loitering for Prostitution Under N.J.S.A. 2C:34-1.1
New Jersey has adopted a specific law that is directed at those who loiter in order to promote prostitution. The statute is contained at N.J.S.A. 2C:34-1.1 and provides as follows:
2C:34-1.1. Loitering for the purpose of engaging in prostitution
a. As used in this section, “public place” means any place to which the public has access, including but not limited to any public street, sidewalk, bridge, alley, plaza, park, boardwalk, driveway, parking lot or transportation facility, public library or the doorways and entrance ways to any building which fronts on any of the aforesaid places, or a motor vehicle in or on any such place.
b. A person commits a disorderly persons offense if he:
(1) wanders, remains or prowls in a public place with the purpose of engaging in prostitution or promoting prostitution as defined in N.J.S. 2C:34-1; and
(2) engages in conduct that, under the circumstances, manifests a purpose to engage in prostitution or promoting prostitution as defined in N.J.S. 2C:34-1.
c. Conduct that may, where warranted under the circumstances, be deemed adequate to manifest a purpose to engage in prostitution or promoting prostitution includes, but is not limited to, conduct such as the following:
(1) Repeatedly beckoning to or stopping pedestrians or motorists in a public place;
(2) Repeatedly attempting to stop, or repeatedly attempting to engage passers-by in conversation;
(3) Repeatedly stopping or attempting to stop motor vehicles.
d. The element described in paragraph (1) of subsection b. of this section may not be established solely by proof that the actor engaged in the conduct that is used to satisfy the element described in paragraph (2) of subsection b. of this section.
How This Law Works
Although the law is somewhat lengthy, the statute can be boiled down to three (3) elements that must be established in order for you to be convicted of this offense. The prosecutor must first prove that you were in a public place. Second, you must have been wandering, remaining or prowling for the purpose of engaging in prostitution or promoting prostitution. Third, you must have engage in words or other conduct to attract an individual(s) interested in prostitution. For purposes of this violation, “public place” is defined as any place to which the public has access, including but not limited to any public street, sidewalk, bridge, alley, plaza, park, boardwalk, driveway, parking lot or transportation facility, public library or the doorways and entrance ways to any building which fronts on any of these places, or a motor vehicle in or on any these places. Examples of conduct found to manifest a desire to attract sex partners for hire include flagging passing motorists and repeatedly engaging passing pedestrians. A conviction for loitering for prostitution is a disorderly persons offense that results in a maximum county jail sentence of six (6) months and fine up to $1,000.
Loitering for the Purpose of Prostitution Offense Defense Attorneys
A N.J.S.A. 2C:34-1.1 charge is nothing to take lightly because the prosecutors and judges do not have any patience for those who encourage prostitution. So whether you were arrested and charged in Franklin, Bridgewater, Readington, Bernardsville, Warren or another municipality in New Jersey, you need to consult a lawyer as soon as possible. The defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are happy to assist you in this role and initial consultations are without charge. Call us in Bridgewater any time of day or night at 908-722-1011 for immediate assistance.