Know your rights!

What to do if you are visited or stopped by the police. First, and most important, in an encounter with the police:

  • DO NOT physically resist or threaten the officer(s) in any way. 
  • DO NOT try to leave until an officer tells you that you are free to go.
  • DO NOT give the officer any information about any of your activities.
  • DO NOT consent to any search.

The bottom line:


KEEP IT SIMPLE.  Don’t lie.  Don’t be a smart ass.  Don’t try to be friends with the officer.

Simply refuse to answer any of the officer's questions.  Each time he/she asks a question, respond with the question "Am I free to go?"  This will probably result in such frustration for the officer that they may arrest you anyway...but better to be arrested with little or no evidence, than to give the officer information they may use to file charges and for those charges to stick!

It’s all a game.  But the rules of the game (the Constitution of the United States) are in your favor.  You cannot be punished more severely, just because you refused to risk incriminating yourself during a police investigation (no matter what an officer says).


If you are not free to go, then you have the right to remain silent.

Know what to expect if stopped or visited by the police!

You will be asked for identification (if you are driving, you may be asked for your registration and insurance info, as well).  You are required to provide this information.  Then the “investigation” will start.  The conversation might go something like this:

Officer:  Do you have any ID on you?

You:  Yes sir.  (or ma’am)

Officer:  May I see it?

You:  Certainly Officer.  May I reach into my pocket to get it?

Officer: Yes…Is this your current address?

You: Yes sir.

Officer:  What are you doing out here tonight?

You:  Officer, am I free to go?

Officer:  Not yet.  What are you doing out here tonight?

You:  If I’m not free to go, then I’m going to exercise my right to remain silent.

The officer will then try everything he/she can think of to get you to start talking.  They’ll try to convince you that you’ll be in more trouble if you don’t cooperate.  They’ll try to convince you that you’re not under arrest, so there’s nothing wrong with cooperating.  They may yell at you, or play good cop/bad cop.  Most police officers are moderately skilled interrogators.  One thing is sure: they practice interrogation techniques a LOT more than you practice being interrogated.  So don’t try to outsmart them. 

Your refusal to cooperate will be very frustrating to the officer.  He/she wants to put a prostitution bust on their arrest stats…particularly if they are assigned to Van Buren or any other “high vice” area.  They will pull out all the stops to get you to tell them what they need to arrest you.  Below are some of the interrogation techniques they may try:

  1.  Appeal to your innate desire to be honest and “come clean.”  They’ll tell you that they already know a crime has been committed (they may tell you that the other person is spilling their guts) and that if you simply tell the truth, they’ll let you off the hook, or that they’ll still have to arrest you but they’ll “put in a good word for you with the prosecutor or judge.”  This is complete crap.  Police officers do not influence judges.  They investigate crimes, and then provide testimony to a court regarding that investigation.
  2.    Intimidate you.  The officer or officers will gang up on you.  Get in your face.  Surround you.  Tell you that you have no choice but to cooperate.  They may even yell at you, or knock you around a little.  Yelling at, and/or using ANY kind of physical force on a detainee who is not physically resisting, is unprofessional behavior and can get the officers into deep doo-doo.  Get at least one of their names and ID #s and report them to the Professional Standards Division of the department they work for!
  3.  You may find yourself in a “good cop/bad cop” situation, where one officer will pretend to be your friend and give you advice about how to get out of this mess, while the other officer pretends to pressure the friendly officer to arrest you and get it over with.  This is just a combination of the first two techniques described above.  Sometimes a single cop will play both roles.  He/she will tell you that if you don't do what he tells you to do, that he won't be able to be such a nice guy and you will force him to arrest you.
  4.     Threaten to embarrass you.  If you're married, have a girlfriend, kids, job, friends, etc. and it would be hard to explain why you were arrested, the police will use this to scare you into talking.  A police officer detained me once and then called my wife at 2:00 am to "verify my address," telling her that he had stopped me on Van Buren.  Of course, what he was really doing was trying to embarrass me into talking.

The main tool the cops use is interrogation technique #4 (threaten to embarrass)...If you've got six cops surrounding you and you think you're going to jail, and a wife is waiting at home who will eventually find out what you got arrested for, most people will panic and do anything they think will get them out of the mess. Unfortunately this will backfire on them and they will be prosecuted even more vigorously because of the info they will give the officers. Then, not only will they have to explain getting arrested, they'll also have to explain getting found guilty of the charges!

Know the law!

While some of this discussion is about street hookers which we do not support due to the public nuisance element the ideas apply also to private consenting adult sexworkers.  John Crockett says:
According to ARS 13-3211:

"Prostitution" means engaging in or agreeing or offering to engage in sexual conduct with another person under a fee arrangement with that person or any other person.

"Sexual conduct" means sexual contact, sexual intercourse, oral sexual contact or sadomasochistic abuse.

In order to arrest you, the police officer must establish that a reasonable person would believe a crime has been committed. Even if you DID make an offer for prostitution, unless the officer actually heard the conversation, then the only information the officer has, is that a person driving down the street, picked up another person who was walking down the street; or that a person was inside another person's home for a period of time; or maybe that there are many male visitors to a female's home; etc.   You may have gone to a hotel with someone, or maybe just pulled off on a side street and spent some time in your car.  You may even have gotten caught in the act of having sex with the other person. Having sex (even with strangers) is NOT illegal!

However, the police may suspect that you made (or accepted) an offer of sex for money, especially if any of these things occurred in a “known high-vice area” like Van Buren.  Detaining you at this point is already skating on the ragged edge of violating your rights.  Don’t stand for it!

When the police stop, detain, and interrogate people, without having any real knowledge that a crime has been committed, we get a little closer to being denied the basic freedom to conduct our lives as our conscience guides us.  Freedom is not just won in wars…the fight for freedom begins with each citizen and his or her daily response to government oppression.

If you engaged in an act of prostitution (as defined by the statute, above), then you DID break the law.  However, you are under NO obligation to admit to a law enforcement officer that you broke the law, or to cooperate with any investigation aimed at finding out if a law has been broken.

 About the author John Crockett:

I am not a lawyer and this is not intended as legal advice.   However, I have shown this to several lawyers who agree that its contents are true and useful.  I decided to produce this document after having my own civil rights violated by a group of Phoenix police officers.  The information here is not intended to encourage illegal activity.  I simply mean to exercise my right to free speech by educating as many people as possible on ways to avoid being taken advantage of by the police.

Want to contact me?  Call (480) 223-8250 or

Dave's adds additional Suggestions:

Paying for sex is illegal in the U.S. unlike most of the world.  But paying for time and companionship, exchanging non sexual massage, hugging, lying together naked non-sexually caressing body is not sex and not illegal under the law.   Separately from the paid session and for no compensation as consenting adults you can enjoy the natural desire for sexual sharing.  As long as no money is paid for the sexual activities.

If I was a provider I would say upon meeting a first time clients, "I just want to make it clear for our legal protection I don't accept money for sex, my $200 fee is for my time and companionship.  I might decide to enjoy sex with you but if so, there is no cost, we would just be friends.  Is that agreeable?"

In most police agencies it is against their policy to get naked with you or even more if they initiate sexual contact which may be entrapment.   You might ask, would you like to get more comfortable.   You might even lay in bed nude with him, give him a massage but don't touch genitals - let him take the imitative on anything sexual not you. He is not paying you for sex just for being with him.

Even if you are arrested by aggressive LE, if you didn't get paid for sex but time and companionship based on what you said and did with undercover LE, your case may not be prosecuted if the facts aren't clear.  Prostitution is usually a relatively low priority case and often the cases are tossed unless they are obviously easy convictions.  Courts, Judges and other public resources should be directed more towards real crime with victims vs. in private morality crimes.  Yet LE often is aggressive in enforcing morality crimes but prosecutors are not as aggressive unless again looks like a easy win. 

The Supreme Court in Lawrence vs. Texas said that morality in private can not be a basis for laws.  But the case has never been tested in a prostitution case or with the new "Bush" Supreme Court.

For example of about 100 arrests of both gals and guys by Sheriff Joes' massive entrapment sting a few years ago ALL the cases were dismissed!  Being arrested of course is traumatic for the non criminal just sharing pleasure in private but even if caught in a sting chances are good that if you are careful in what you have said and done the case will be dismissed.