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House Bill 546 — Patronizing a prostitute fines

House Bill 546 — Patronizing a prostitute fines

Wayne Hoffman
February 25, 2020

Bill description: House Bill 546 would impose fines for the existing crime of patronizing a prostitute. 

Rating: -1

Does it directly or indirectly create or increase penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for nonviolent crimes? Conversely, does it eliminate or decrease penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for non-violent crimes?

This legislation would impose higher penalties for the misdemeanor crime of patronizing a prostitute. In Idaho, patronizing a prostitute is a misdemeanor when it occurs on the first or second offense. It results in a $1,000 fine, as outlined by Idaho Code 18-113, which provides for misdemeanor penalties not otherwise specified in statute. The new law would increase the fine to $2,000 for a first offense and up to $5,000 for a second offense. In both cases, the crime would remain a misdemeanor. The felony provision in the existing statute, for third offenses and beyond, remains unchanged.


Analyst's Note: If House Bill 546 passes, the higher penalties would exceed those for assault, battery, sexual exploitation by a medical care provider, and a first-offense violation of a no-contact order, among other crimes. 

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