In the state of Illinois, prostitution is prohibited by 720 ILCS 5/11-14. Prostitution is defined by Illinois law as a crime committed when a person who knowingly performs, offers or agrees to perform any act of sexual penetration as defined in Section 11-0.1 of this Code for anything of value, or any touching or fondling of the sex organs of one person by another person, for anything of value, for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification.
Under Illinois law, both the prostitute and the customer can be charged. Since the law criminalizes an offer or agreement, it is enough for either the prostitute or the customer to make an offer or reach an agreement for that person to be charged with prostitution.
Illinois law provides defense for those charged with prostitution, which relate to whether the prostitution was voluntary, and also whether the accused was over the age of 18. Those and other defenses make it important that a person accused of prostitution not speak to the police without their attorney present, as any statements made can cause harm to the accused’s ability to raise such defense later.
Prostitution is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois, meaning that maximum penalty is a year in the county a jail, a fine of $2,500, and/or probation. In addition to the criminal consequences for a prostitution conviction in Illinois, there can be other serious negative consequences relating to employment, housing, and reputation. For those reasons, a person charged with prostitution in Illinois should promptly retain an attorney to address the matter.