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Keeping a place of prostitution is a felony in Wisconsin.  Contact Meyer Van Severen, S.C. for top criminal defense representation.

Keeping a place of prostitution is a felony in Wisconsin.  Upon conviction for this offense, you face a maximum of 6 years in prison and $10,000.00 in fines.  The charge is a Class H felony.

At Meyer Van Severen, S.C. we’re known for the positive results we regularly achieve for clients facing criminal charges.  Frequently those criminal charges are for sex crimes, such as this one.  While facing a felony charge might be scary, and while this charge might embarrass you, those reasons are even more reason to hire a strong ally.  At our firm we focus on getting you through this situation in a way that most benefits the rest of your life.  We understand that this is simply a chapter that you need to put behind you.

Whether you’re looking for representation through jury trial, or simply negotiating for the best result, we have you covered.  Our criminal defense lawyers are specialists.  This is the only kind of work that we do.  To get started, and to start fighting your case, contact us immediately at (414) 270-0202.

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What is keeping a place of prostitution?

Section 944.34 of the Wisconsin Statutes prohibits keeping a place of prostitution.  The law indicates:

Whoever intentionally does any of the following is guilty of a Class H felony:
(1) Keeps a place of prostitution; or
(2) Grants the use or allows the continued use of a place as a place of prostitution.
This law covers two different scenarios.  Firstly, the defendant is the individual responsible for the place.  He or she is usually more active in the keeping of the place.  Secondly, the defendant simply allows someone else to use his or her place for prostitution.  While this scenario involves less-active defendants, they still certainly occur.
Frequently cases involving massage parlor stings result in charges under this section.  For example, let’s assume the owner of a massage parlor understand that prostitution regularly occurs within her business.  This likely satisfies the elements of section 944.34(2), or granting the use of a place, pursuant to Wisconsin Jury Instruction Criminal 1571.

What are the elements of the offense?

Elements are parts of an offense.  All crimes in Wisconsin have elements.  And finally, to sustain a conviction the government must prove all elements beyond a reasonable doubt.  Wisconsin Jury Instruction 1570 describes keeping a place of prostitution:

  • Firstly, there was a place of prostitution; and
  • Secondly, the defendant was a keeper of a place of prostitution; and
  • Finally, the defendant intentionally kept a place of prostitution.

Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction 1571 describes granting the use of a place as a place of prostitution:

  • Firstly, there was a place of prostitution; and
  • Secondly, the defendant granted the use of the place as a place of prostitution. To grant the use of a place of prostitution means to give permission to another person to use a place for prostitution; and
  • Finally, the defendant intentionally granted the use of the place as a place of prostitution.  The intent element requires the defendant acted with purpose and knowledge of the prostitution.

Place of prostitution means any place where persons habitually engage in or offer to engage in nonmarital acts of sexual intercourse or sexual contact for anything of value.

To keep a place is to exercise management or control over its operations.  The element does not require that the defendant owned the place, but does require the defendant maintained management or control over it.

red light district a place of prostitution
Keeping a place of prostitution is a felony in Wisconsin. Contact Meyer Van Severen, S.C. at (414) 270-0202 for help from one of our criminal defense lawyers.

How do we beat my criminal charges?

Keeping a place charges are interesting.  Frequently the first defense we’ll investigate is whether you, as the owner, even knew what was occurring.  We’ve used this defense before.  An owner might be ignorant of the fact that massage therapists are practicing prostitution behind their backs.  Certainly without the knowledge element, the government cannot sustain a conviction against the defendant.

Every case is different, so determining the exact defense to your case is difficult.  Was there entrapment involved in the case against you?  For example, was there a sting involving undercover law enforcement personnel who inappropriately encouraged prostitution?  If the prostitution underlying the keeping a place charge doesn’t stand, it’s conceivable that your charges weren’t.

Finally, did you give any kind of statement admitting involvement?  (And if you haven’t talked to the cops, don’t do it without an attorney.)  If you gave a statement, in certain circumstances the police must read your Miranda rights.  If they didn’t, and you were the subject of custodial interrogation, we may be able to suppress your statement from being used at trial.

Finally, why should I hire Meyer Van Severen, S.C. to help me?

At Meyer Van Severen, S.C. our entire practice focuses on criminal defense.  That means our criminal defense attorneys work on cases just like yours every single day.  And consistently working on the same kind of case helps us identify the issues consistent in criminal cases.

We believe it’s especially important to hire a top criminal defense attorney when facing a sex crime charge.  These cases involve potential loss of liberty, your livelihood and finances, but also your respect in the community.  Cases involving prostitution charges are sensational.  The news loves to cover them.  Hire a strong ally to help get you through this and win your case.

If you’re charged with any kind of crime, contact Meyer Van Severen, S.C. immediately.  Our criminal defense lawyers return phone calls 24/7.  Let’s start fighting your case.