2012 District of Columbia Code
Section 22-2701

Engaging and soliciting for prostitution prohibited

(a) It is unlawful for any person to engage in prostitution or to solicit for prostitution.

(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a person convicted of prostitution or soliciting for prostitution shall be:

(A) Fined not more than $500, imprisoned for not more than 90 days, or both, for the first offense; and

(B) Fined not more than $1,000, imprisoned not more than 180 days, or both, for the second offense.

(2) A person convicted of prostitution or soliciting for prostitution who has 2 or more prior convictions for prostitution or soliciting for prostitution, not committed on the same occasion, shall be fined not more than $4,000, imprisoned for not more than 2 years, or both.

(c) For the purposes of this section, a person shall be considered as having 2 or more prior convictions for prostitution or soliciting for prostitution if he or she has been convicted on at least 2 occasions of violations of:

(1) This section;

(2) A statute in one or more other jurisdictions prohibiting prostitution or soliciting for prostitution; or

(3) Conduct that would constitute a violation of this section if committed in the District of Columbia.

CREDIT(S)

(Aug. 15, 1935, 49 Stat. 651, ch. 546, § 1; June 9, 1948, 62 Stat. 346, ch. 428, title I, § 102; June 29, 1953, 67 Stat. 93, ch. 159, § 202(b); Dec. 10, 1981, D.C. Law 4-57, § 3, 28 DCR 4652; Nov. 21, 1985, D.C. Law 6-62, § 2, 32 DCR 4581; Dec. 1, 1987, D.C. Law 7-44, § 2, 34 DCR 5310; May 24, 1996, D.C. Law 11-130, § 3(a), 43 DCR 1570; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-306, § 211(a), 53 DCR 8610; Dec. 10, 2009, D.C. Law 18-88, § 211, 56 DCR 7413; Apr. 20, 2012, D.C. Law 19-120, § 202, 58 DCR 11235.)

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Prior Codifications
1981 Ed., § 22-2701.
1973 Ed., § 22-2701.
Effect of Amendments
D.C. Law 16-306 rewrote the section, which had read as follows:
“(a) It shall not be lawful for any person to invite, entice, persuade, or address for the purpose of inviting, enticing, or persuading, any person or persons in the District of Columbia for the purpose of prostitution or any other immoral or lewd purpose. The penalties for violation of this section shall be a fine of $500 and no less than one day but no more than 90 days imprisonment for the first offense, a fine of $750 and no less than one day but no more than 135 days imprisonment for the second offense, and a fine of $1,000 and no less than one day but no more than 180 days imprisonment for the third and each subsequent offense. Any person convicted of a violation of this section may be sentenced to community service as an alternative to, but not in addition to, any term of imprisonment authorized by this section.
“(b) Inviting, enticing, persuading, or addressing for the purpose of inviting, enticing, or persuading, for the purpose of prostitution includes, but is not limited to, remaining or wandering about a public place and:
“(1) Repeatedly beckoning to, stopping, attempting to stop, or attempting to engage passers-by in conversation for the purpose of prostitution;
“(2) Stopping or attempting to stop motor vehicles for the purpose of prostitution; or
“(3) Repeatedly interfering with the free passage of other persons for the purpose of prostitution.”
D.C. Law 18-88 rewrote the section, which had read as follows:
“It is unlawful for any person to engage in prostitution or to solicit for prostitution. The penalties for violation of this section shall be a fine of $500 or not more than 90 days imprisonment, or both, for the first offense, a fine of $750 or not more than 135 days imprisonment, or both, for the second offense, and a fine of $1,000 or not more than 180 days imprisonment, or both, for the third and each subsequent offense.”
D.C. Law 19-120, in subsecs. (b) and (c), substituted “prostitution or soliciting for prostitution” for “prostitution”.
Emergency Act Amendments
For temporary amendment of section, see § 2 of the Safe Streets Anti-Prostitution Emergency Amendment Act of 1995 (D.C. Act 11-133, August 11, 1995, 42 DCR 4680) and § 2 of the Safe Streets Anti-Prostitution Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1995 (D.C. Act 11-153, November 9, 1995, 42 DCR 6567).
For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 211(a) of Omnibus Public Safety Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-445, July 19, 2006, 53 DCR 6443).
For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 211(a) of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-490, October 18, 2006, 53 DCR 8686).
For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 211(a) of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-10, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1479).
For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 211(a) of Omnibus Public Safety Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-25, April 19, 2007, 54 DCR 4036).
For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 203 of Crime Bill Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-129, June 29, 2009, 56 DCR 5495).
For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 211 of Omnibus Public Safety and Justice Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-181, August 6, 2009, 56 DCR 6903).
For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 211 of Omnibus Public Safety and Justice Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-227, October 21, 2009, 56 DCR 8668).
For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 202 of Receiving Stolen Property and Public Safety Amendments Emergency Amendment Act of 2011 (D.C. Act 19-261, December 21, 2011, 58 DCR 11232).
For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 202 of Receiving Stolen Property and Public Safety Amendments Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-326, March 19, 2012, 59 DCR 2384).
Legislative History of Laws
For legislative history of D.C. Law 4-57, see Historical and Statutory Notes following § 22-2701.01.
Law 6-62, the “Prostitution Enforcement Amendment Act of 1985,” was introduced in Council and assigned Bill No. 6-261, which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. The Bill was adopted on first and second readings on June 25, 1985 and July 9, 1985, respectively. Signed by the Mayor on July 16, 1985, it was assigned Act No. 6-66 and transmitted to both Houses of Congress for its review.
Law 7-44, the “Penalty for Prostitution Amendment Act of 1987,” was introduced in Council and assigned Bill No. 7-74, which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. The Bill was adopted on first and second readings on June 16, 1987 and June 30, 1987, respectively. Signed by the Mayor on July 23, 1987, it was assigned Act No. 7-59 and transmitted to both Houses of Congress for its review.
Law 11-77, the “Safe Streets Anti-Prostitution Temporary Amendment Act of 1995”, was introduced in Council and assigned Bill No. 11-422. The Bill was adopted on first and second readings on July 29, 1995, and October 10, 1995, respectively. Signed by the Mayor on October 26, 1995, it was assigned Act No. 11-147 and transmitted to both Housed of Congress for its review. D.C. Law 11-77 became effective on January 24, 1996.
Law 11-130, the “Safe Streets Anti-Prostitution Amendment Act of 1996,” was introduced in Council and Assigned Bill No. 11-439, which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. The Bill was adopted on first and second readings on February 6, 1996, and March 5, 1996, respectively. Signed by the Mayor on March 15, 1996, it was assigned Act No. 11-237 and transmitted to both Houses of Congress for its review. D.C. Law 11-130 became effective on May 24, 1996.
For Law 16-306, see notes following § 22-404.
For Law 18-88, see notes following § 22-404.
Law 19-120, the “Receiving Stolen Property and Public Safety Amendment Act of 2011”, was introduced in Council and assigned Bill No. 19-215, which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. The Bill was adopted on first and second readings on November 1, 2011, and December 6, 2011, respectively. Signed by the Mayor on December 21, 2011, it was assigned Act No. 19-262 and transmitted to both Houses of Congress for its review. D.C. Law 19-120 became effective on April 20, 2012.

Current through September 13, 2012

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