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Felony Prostitution Charges in Oklahoma

Under Oklahoma law engaging in simple prostitution becomes a felony if it occurs within one thousand (1,000) feet of a school or a church. Felony prostitution carries a possible sentence from 0 to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500 for the first conviction, $5,000 for a second conviction and $7,500 for a third conviction. ( See Oklahoma Statute Title 21 Section 1031 (C))

Most of the prostitution cases filed in and around Tulsa result from arrest made by municipal police departments. Most municipal police departments such as Broken Arrow and Tulsa have a group of undercover officers that investigate drugs and or prostitution. I have never seen an undercover sting conducted by a county sheriff's office as a result I have never seen a prostitution arrest where the location of the offense was not within a city limits.

Most defendants charged with prostitution will receive probation, at least in Tulsa County District Court. That is not to say that a defendant with multiple prostitution convictions does not risk a prison sentence.

Avoiding a Felony Prostitution Charge in Tulsa

A person that engages in prostitution could avoid a felony prostitution charge by simply ensuring that they are not engaging in prostitution within one thousand (1,000) feet of church or a school. In the City of Tulsa lots of women are arrested for felony prostitution in the area of 31st and Memorial. This area has a lot of hotels, but there is also a school, Tulsa Technology Center, located by these motels. Lots of women are also arrested around 29th and Memorial for felony prostitution because there are a number of churches located across I-44.

The City of Tulsa Police Department spends a lot of time and resources prosecuting prostitution cases for some reason and as a result there are a lot of prostitution cases prosecuted in Tulsa Municipal Court and/or Tulsa County District Court. Other police departments focus their attention on drugs and violent crimes and do not focus on prostitution cases as much. For example in Creek County prostitution cases are rarely prosecuted.

Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act

Another statute that is used to to turn what would otherwise be a misdemeanor into a felony is the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act. The Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act makes it unlawful to "communicate with, store data in, or retrieve data from a computer system or computer network for the purpose of using such access to violate any of the provisions of the Oklahoma Statutes". (See Oklahoma Statutes Title 21 Section 1958) A violation of the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and not more than a $5,000 fine. Under the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act it would be a violation to use a computer (or a smart phone) to advertise services for prostitution.

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