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Prostitution: California Penal Code 647(b) 

Prostitution (CA Penal Code 647(b)) is the California law that prohibits engaging in the act of prostitution, soliciting prostitution, and agreeing to engage in prostitution. Under penal code 647(b) law enforcement officers may arrest the prostitute, the customer, and when necessary the middleman, also known as a pimp.

In California the crime of prostitution is a misdemeanor, if it's a first time offense. Penalties if convicted of prostitution include, a jail sentence of up to three months, and a fine of up to one thousand dollars.

Under CA Penal Code 647(b) there are three different ways you may be charged with a prostitution offense. The facts the prosecutor must prove in order for you to be convicted depend on which specific offense the prosecutor has charged you with, below we will go into some detail on each offense.

1. Soliciting Prostitution

California law defines soliciting prostitution as the act of soliciting another person to engage in an act of prostitution, and doing so with the intent to engage in an act of prostitution. This offense may be charged against a prostitute or the customer depending on who initiated the solicitation.

In order to be found guilty of soliciting prostitution, there must be evidence that you had the specific intent to engage in an act of prostitution. This evidence is usually an offer to pay money in exchange for sexual acts.

2. Agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution.

This offense is the other party's involvement in the solicitation of prostitution. In order to be found guilty of this offense, the prosecutor must prove that you agreed to engage in an act of prostitution, that you had the specific intent of engaging in an act of prostitution, and that you performed an act in furtherance of prostitution.

What makes this charges unique is that the prosecutor must prove that you performed an act in furtherance of prostitution, this means you must do something more than just accepting the solicitation. A few examples of acts in furtherance of prostitution are, driving to a location were the sexual activity will take place, handing over payment, and withdrawing money from an ATM in order to pay the prostitute.

3. Engaging in an act of prostitution

Under California Law prostitution is defined as engaging in sexual intercourse or any lewd act with another person in exchange for money or other goods (commonly drugs.) In order for you to be found guilty of prostitution, the prosecutor must prove that you engaged in an act of prostitution, and that you did so willfully.

At the Law Offices of David S. Chesley we have the best attorneys in California with the knowledge and experience to  protect your rights. Common defenses used when facing prostitution offenses include:

Entrapment

Because of most prostitution arrest are made by undercover officers, entrapment can be a very valuable defense against a prostitution charge. These officers usually pose as prostitutes, but may sometimes pose as customers. Often undercover officer may unfairly lure a law abiding citizen into a prostitution offense. Because of this entrapment should be considered as a defense.

Insufficient evidence

This defense can be of use if perhaps there was no act in furtherance of prostitution, or if there was no specific intent. Perhaps there was an agreement to engage in sex before you were arrested, but there was no agreement that it would be in exchange for money.

Mistake of Fact

If you had no specific intention to engage in prostitution, you are not guilty of a prostitution offense. This can happen if you were arrested after speaking with a prostitute, or for being in a location known for prostitutes.

Attorney David Chesley along with the assistance of the other criminal defense attorneys in his law firm have helped many clients fight prostitution charges successfully. If you have been charged with any sex crime we invite you to contact us for a free consultation.

CA Penal Code 647

647.  Except as provided in subdivision (l), every person who
commits any of the following acts is guilty of disorderly conduct, a
misdemeanor:
   (a) Who solicits anyone to engage in or who engages in lewd or
dissolute conduct in any public place or in any place open to the
public or exposed to public view.
   (b) Who solicits or who agrees to engage in or who engages in any
act of prostitution. A person agrees to engage in an act of
prostitution when, with specific intent to so engage, he or she
manifests an acceptance of an offer or solicitation to so engage,
regardless of whether the offer or solicitation was made by a person
who also possessed the specific intent to engage in prostitution. No
agreement to engage in an act of prostitution shall constitute a
violation of this subdivision unless some act, in addition to the
agreement, is done within this state in furtherance of the commission
of an act of prostitution by the person agreeing to engage in that
act. As used in this subdivision, "prostitution" includes any lewd
act between persons for money or other consideration.
   (c) Who accosts other persons in any public place or in any place
open to the public for the purpose of begging or soliciting alms.
   (d) Who loiters in or about any toilet open to the public for the
purpose of engaging in or soliciting any lewd or lascivious or any
unlawful act.
   (e) Who lodges in any building, structure, vehicle, or place,
whether public or private, without the permission of the owner or
person entitled to the possession or in control of it.
   (f) Who is found in any public place under the influence of
intoxicating liquor, any drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any
combination of any intoxicating liquor, drug, controlled substance,
or toluene, in a condition that he or she is unable to exercise care
for his or her own safety or the safety of others, or by reason of
his or her being under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any
drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any combination of any
intoxicating liquor, drug, or toluene, interferes with or obstructs
or prevents the free use of any street, sidewalk, or other public
way.
   (g) When a person has violated subdivision (f), a peace officer,
if he or she is reasonably able to do so, shall place the person, or
cause him or her to be placed, in civil protective custody. The
person shall be taken to a facility, designated pursuant to Section
5170 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, for the 72-hour treatment
and evaluation of inebriates. A peace officer may place a person in
civil protective custody with that kind and degree of force which
would be lawful were he or she effecting an arrest for a misdemeanor
without a warrant. No person who has been placed in civil protective
custody shall thereafter be subject to any criminal prosecution or
juvenile court proceeding based on the facts giving rise to this
placement. This subdivision shall not apply to the following persons:
   (1) Any person who is under the influence of any drug, or under
the combined influence of intoxicating liquor and any drug.
   (2) Any person who a peace officer has probable cause to believe
has committed any felony, or who has committed any misdemeanor in
addition to subdivision (f).
   (3) Any person who a peace officer in good faith believes will
attempt escape or will be unreasonably difficult for medical
personnel to control.
   (h) Who loiters, prowls, or wanders upon the private property of
another, at any time, without visible or lawful business with the
owner or occupant. As used in this subdivision, "loiter" means to
delay or linger without a lawful purpose for being on the property
and for the purpose of committing a crime as opportunity may be
discovered.
   (i) Who, while loitering, prowling, or wandering upon the private
property of another, at any time, peeks in the door or window of any
inhabited building or structure, without visible or lawful business
with the owner or occupant.
   (j) (1) Any person who looks through a hole or opening, into, or
otherwise views, by means of any instrumentality, including, but not
limited to, a periscope, telescope, binoculars, camera, motion
picture camera, camcorder, or mobile phone, the interior of a
bedroom, bathroom, changing room, fitting room, dressing room, or
tanning booth, or the interior of any other area in which the
occupant has a reasonable expectation of privacy, with the intent to
invade the privacy of a person or persons inside. This subdivision
shall not apply to those areas of a private business used to count
currency or other negotiable instruments.
   (2) Any person who uses a concealed camcorder, motion picture
camera, or photographic camera of any type, to secretly videotape,
film, photograph, or record by electronic means, another,
identifiable person under or through the clothing being worn by that
other person, for the purpose of viewing the body of, or the
undergarments worn by, that other person, without the consent or
knowledge of that other person, with the intent to arouse, appeal to,
or gratify the lust, passions, or sexual desires of that person and
invade the privacy of that other person, under circumstances in which
the other person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.
   (3) (A) Any person who uses a concealed camcorder, motion picture
camera, or photographic camera of any type, to secretly videotape,
film, photograph, or record by electronic means, another,
identifiable person who may be in a state of full or partial undress,
for the purpose of viewing the body of, or the undergarments worn
by, that other person, without the consent or knowledge of that other
person, in the interior of a bedroom, bathroom, changing room,
fitting room, dressing room, or tanning booth, or the interior of any
other area in which that other person has a reasonable expectation
of privacy, with the intent to invade the privacy of that other
person.
   (B) Neither of the following is a defense to the crime specified
in this paragraph:
   (i) The defendant was a cohabitant, landlord, tenant, cotenant,
employer, employee, or business partner or associate of the victim,
or an agent of any of these.
   (ii) The victim was not in a state of full or partial undress.
   (k) In any accusatory pleading charging a violation of subdivision
(b), if the defendant has been once previously convicted of a
violation of that subdivision, the previous conviction shall be
charged in the accusatory pleading. If the previous conviction is
found to be true by the jury, upon a jury trial, or by the court,
upon a court trial, or is admitted by the defendant, the defendant
shall be imprisoned in a county jail for a period of not less than 45
days and shall not be eligible for release upon completion of
sentence, on probation, on parole, on work furlough or work release,
or on any other basis until he or she has served a period of not less
than 45 days in a county jail. In all cases in which probation is
granted, the court shall require as a condition thereof that the
person be confined in a county jail for at least 45 days. In no event
does the court have the power to absolve a person who violates this
subdivision from the obligation of spending at least 45 days in
confinement in a county jail.
   In any accusatory pleading charging a violation of subdivision
(b), if the defendant has been previously convicted two or more times
of a violation of that subdivision, each of these previous
convictions shall be charged in the accusatory pleading. If two or
more of these previous convictions are found to be true by the jury,
upon a jury trial, or by the court, upon a court trial, or are
admitted by the defendant, the defendant shall be imprisoned in a
county jail for a period of not less than 90 days and shall not be
eligible for release upon completion of sentence, on probation, on
parole, on work furlough or work release, or on any other basis until
he or she has served a period of not less than 90 days in a county
jail. In all cases in which probation is granted, the court shall
require as a condition thereof that the person be confined in a
county jail for at least 90 days. In no event does the court have the
power to absolve a person who violates this subdivision from the
obligation of spending at least 90 days in confinement in a county
jail.
   In addition to any punishment prescribed by this section, a court
may suspend, for not more than 30 days, the privilege of the person
to operate a motor vehicle pursuant to Section 13201.5 of the Vehicle
Code for any violation of subdivision (b) that was committed within
1,000 feet of a private residence and with the use of a vehicle. In
lieu of the suspension, the court may order a person's privilege to
operate a motor vehicle restricted, for not more than six months, to
necessary travel to and from the person's place of employment or
education. If driving a motor vehicle is necessary to perform the
duties of the person's employment, the court may also allow the
person to drive in that person's scope of employment.
   (l) (1) A second or subsequent violation of subdivision (j) is
punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year,
or by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by both
that fine and imprisonment.
   (2) If the victim of a violation of subdivision (j) was a minor at
the time of the offense, the violation is punishable by imprisonment
in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding
two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.

 

 

 

 

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Office Locations

Main Office:
Law Offices of David S. Chesley, Inc.
A Professional Law Corporation
4533 Van Nuys Boulevard, Second Floor
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

Additional offices in the Counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura.

 
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