Sevier County has stepped up enforcement of unlicensed massage parlors. The result can be embarrassing criminal charges for both the owners and patrons of the establishments.

It’s easy for small business owners to run afoul of Tennessee’s business licensing requirements. When the business is a massage parlor, operating without a license can be far more serious, since law enforcement officers often associate these businesses as fronts for prostitution.

Consequences faced by patrons

The consequences of a conviction for a sex-related offense can be extremely high. Prostitution and soliciting a prostitute are typically charged as a low-level misdemeanor in Tennessee. However, there are no minor sex crimes when it comes to the damage the charge can do to your reputation, your employment, and your family relationships.

Pleading guilty to misdemeanor charge will result in the stigma of a lifelong criminal record. That record will be visible to employers, banks, insurance companies, universities or anyone else who conducts a background check on you.

Consequences faced by owners

Owners of massage parlors accused of promoting prostitution can face serious felony charges, including human trafficking. A felony conviction can result in a lengthy prison sentence and loss of civil rights.

Take steps now to protect your future

To protect your future, seek legal advice from an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible if you are accused of a sex-related offense. The law firm of Hindman & Associates defends clients charged with misdemeanor and felony sex charges in the Knoxville area.