Promoting prostitution is actually more serious than prostitution itself, in that regular Prostitution is a B misdemeanor (punishable by up to 90 days in jail), whereas Promoting Prostitution is an A misdemeanor (punishable by up to 1 year in jail). The charges pertaining to promoting criminal prostitution can be felonies depending on whether certain aggravating factors are present. For example, Promoting Prostitution in the Third Degree (Penal Law 230.20, a Class D felony) involves two or more prostitutes being promoted or a prostitute under the age of 19. Promoting Prostitution in the Second Degree (Penal Law 230.30, a Class C felony) applies where the prostitute is under 16 years of age or where coercive force or intimidation is used on the prostitute. Promoting Prostitution in the First Degree (Penal Law 230.32, a Class B felony), applies to situations in which the prostitute is less than 11 years old.
New York Penal Law Section 230.04 on Patronizing a prostitute in the third degree, states that: A person is guilty of patronizing a prostitute in the third degree when he or she patronizes a prostitute. Patronizing a prostitute in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor.