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Los Angeles Prostitution & Solicitation of Prostitution Defense Attorneys

We Represent the Rights of Individuals Accused of Prostitution or Soliciting Prostitution

Prostitution is against the law in California – and so is soliciting someone else to engage in prostitution. If you have been accused of either crime, it is essential that you speak to a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles as soon as you can. A prostitution or solicitation of prostitution conviction can result in extremely serious legal penalties – including the requirement that you register as a sex offender with the state of California. Other penalties for crimes related to prostitution can include:

  • Jail time (in some cases, mandatory minimums)
  • Significant fines
  • Community service
  • Supervised probation

Fortunately, in many instances, the representation of a lawyer can help you avoid the most severe penalties associated with these crimes and may even result in prosecution dropping its case against you entirely.

At the Law Office of David S. Chesley, we are committed to providing aggressive and solution-oriented criminal defense services to people accused of prostitution, solicitation of prostitution, and a variety of other serious crimes. We know what it takes to obtain a positive result and are never afraid to take a case to trial if it is in the best interest of our client. To schedule your free consultation with a Los Angeles prostitution defense attorney, call our office today at 800-755-5174 or send us an email through our online contact form.

California penal code 647(b) criminalizes three distinct acts related to prostitution, which are detailed below.

Engaging Prostitution in California

In California, a person is guilty of prostitution if he or she engaged in a "lewd act" in exchange for money or some other form of compensation. A lewd act is an act that involves touching the genitals, buttocks, or female breasts of another person with the specific intent to arouse or gratify someone sexually. Both prostitutes and customers can engage in prostitution.

Solicitation of Prostitution in California

Solicitation of prostitution occurs when an individual request that another person engage in an act of prostitution and that the requesting individual actually intends to engage in the act. In order to obtain a conviction, the prosecution must prove the intent element. This is often accomplished by introducing evidence that the person accused of solicitation showed other person cash, drugs, or something else of value. Again, both customers and prostitutes can commit the offense of solicitation of prostitution.

Agreeing to Engage in an Act of Prostitution

Finally, 647(b) prohibits agreeing to an act of prostitution. In order to convict a person of this offense, the prosecution must show that the individual agreed to engage in an act of prostitution, he or she intended to engage in an act of prostitution, and that he or she engaged in some act to further the commission of an act of prostitution. Both customers and prostitutes can agree to engage in an act of prostitution.

Other Crimes Related to Prostitution: Pimping & Pandering in California

California Penal Code 266(h) prohibits pimping. Pimping is defined as knowingly receiving financial support of maintenance for a prostitute or receiving or attempting to receive compensation for helping a prostitute find customers.

On the other hand, California Penal Code 266(i) prohibits pandering, which occurs when someone:

  • Procures another person for prostitution
  • Encourages, persuades, or induces, or causes someone to become a prostitute
  • Gets someone a place in a house of prostitution
  • Encourages someone to keep working in a house of prostitution
  • Procures another person for the purposes of prostitution, to enter a place where prostitution is encouraged, or to enter or leave the state for the purposes of prostitution by fraud, artifice, duress, or the abuse of a position of confidence or authority
  • Gives, receives, or agrees to receive any compensation for persuading someone to become a prostitute.

Supervising or Aiding a Prostitute

Anyone who assists another person to commit an act of prostitution may be accused of Supervising or Aiding a Prostitute under PC 653.23. Some examples of actions that would likely fall within this category include:

  • Driving your friend to meet a prostitute
  • Offering to help a prostitute find customers

The penalties for supervising or aiding a prostitute are the same as solicitation or prostitution.

Legal Penalties for Prostitution or Solicitation of Prostitution in California

For a first prostitution offense, under PC 647(b), you can be sentenced to

  • A fine of up to $1,000
  • Up to six months in jail

Importantly, under California law, prostitution is a priorable offense, which means that the penalties to which you are exposed can become much more severe with each subsequent offense. A second prostitution offense can result in a mandatory minimum of 45 days in jail, and a third offense will land you in the county jail for at least 90 days.

When a car is involved and prostitution occurs in a residential area, a judge can impose additional penalties. Specifically, the court may suspend a person’s driver’s license for 30 days and issue a restrict license for six months, allowing the defendant to get to work or school. It is important to keep in mind that local governments can impose additional penalties as well, such as the seizure for vehicle through asset forfeiture.

Importantly, the collateral consequences of a prostitution conviction can often have a more significant effect on your life than any sentence imposed by the court. Collateral consequences are those that are imposed by other parties based on the existence and content of your criminal record. Because a criminal record is permanent (provided it is not expunged or sealed), a prostitution conviction can affect you for years after any sentence imposed by the court has ended. Some of the potential collateral consequences of a prostitution conviction can include the following:

  • Problems Getting a Job – Many employers are hesitant to hire people with a criminal record, and a prostitution conviction can make it extremely difficult to secure employment
  • Termination from your current position – California is an “at-will” employment state. This means that both employers and employees can terminate the employment relationship at any point. As a result, an employer would be within its rights to terminate an employee convicted of prostitution.
  • Sanctions Imposed by Academic Institutions – you are a student, there is a good chance that you are subject to a code of conduct that prohibits you from engaging in illegal activity – including prostitution. If you are convicted, you could be subject to significant sanctions, including probation, suspensions, the loss of a financial aid package or scholarship, or even dismissal from your program entirely. Additionally, as many schools use an applicant's criminal record as a factor in admission decisions, a prostitution conviction could make it difficult to get into the college or university of your choice.
  • Damage to Your Reputation in Your Community – As a criminal conviction is a matter of public record, a prostitution conviction can do significant harm to your reputation within your community. Damage to your reputation can make people hesitant to associate with you personally or professionally, significantly affecting your quality of life and emotional well-being.

Are there Defenses Available?

Fortunately, there are often defenses available in prostitution cases. It can be difficult to know whether they apply without significant legal training, however, so you should always have your case reviewed by an experienced attorney before deciding to plead guilty. Here are some of the more common defenses raised in prostitution cases:

  • Insufficient evidence – In some cases, there may not be sufficient evidence to support a prostitution charge.
  • Police entrapment – Entrapment happens when the police get a person to commit a crime that they would not have committed in the absence of inducement. Defendants often raise the defense of entrapment in the context of police "stings" in which undercover officers pose as prostitutes or “johns” enticing others into soliciting or agreeing to engage in prostitution.
  • 4th Amendment Violations – If the police obtained the evidence against you through a search or seizure that violated your 4th Amendment rights, it can result in a judge declaring the evidence they gathered inadmissible in court. This can significantly weaken the prosecution's case against you and even result in the prosecution dropping the charges entirely.

It is important to keep in mind that many prostitution cases are resolved through the plea bargain process. This involves the defendant pleading guilty in return for a more lenient sentence or reduced charges. Many of these charge reductions allow a defendant to plead guilty to an offense that doesn’t carry the sexual stigma associated with prostitution, helping them avoid the ongoing collateral consequences discussed above. Importantly, negotiating a plea bargain is a complicated legal process, so it is crucial for anyone considering one to retain an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer to represent them immediately. Some of the charges to which a prostitution charge can be reduced to include the following:

Call Us Today to Speak with a Prostitution & Solicitation of Prostitution Defense Lawyer in California about Your Case

If you have been accused of prostitution or soliciting prostitution in California, you need to retain an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer as soon as you can. At the Law Office of David S. Chesley, we understand how serious these charges can be and do everything we can to bring each case we take to a successful resolution. We have over 50 years of experience in the courtroom and will review the facts of your case at no cost to you. To schedule your free case evaluation with a criminal defense lawyer in California, call our office today at 800-755-5174 or send us an email through our online contact form.

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Prostitution

According to the Penal Code 647(b), any person who solicits accepts to engage in or engages in any act of prostitution in return to receive money or anything of value from the other person commits the crime of disorderly conduct.

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Lewd Acts

Soliciting or engaging in lewd acts in public place or a place in public view is a crime in California and the deviants are dealt harshly with punishments including jail time and monetary fines.

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Rape

Rape is one of the worst crime, and a citation for rape means that you are in the row for severe punishments. California has one of the strictest stances against rape and severely punishes the victim.

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Child Molestation

Child molestation laws are one of the strictest criminal laws in California and carry prison sentences for convicts.

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Sex Offender

If you have been convicted of a sex crime in California, you are required to register yourself as a sex offender even after completing your sentence.

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Sexual Battery

California Penal laws distinguish between the simple battery and sexual battery and have more severe punishments for the persons charged with sexual battery.

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  • Multiple defendants each facing 7 years charged with smuggling prescription drugs into California from Mexico our client was the only defendant who received NO JAIL TIME!

  • Client facing 5 years for possession of deadly weapon we negotiated a plea for NO JAIL TIME!

  • Client facing 3 life terms for multiple felony counts of Child Molestation and Sodomy with child we proved the charges were fabricated by victims mother DISMISSAL of all charges at preliminary hearing!

  • Strike case: Client charged with possession of methamphetamine facing 25 years we filed a Romero Motion which was granted case REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR!

  • Client's estranged girlfriend alleged Client broke into her room and choked her facing 14 years in State Prison we won at trial JURY ACQUITTAL.

  • Police allegedly discovered 3 bags of marijuana in client's glove box faced 6 years we filed a 1538.5 motion to suppress resulting in DISMISSAL of all charges!

  • Client allegedly sold rock cocaine to undercover officer faced 10 years following our argument client received NO JAIL TIME!

  • Client facing 15 years for Armed Robbery we proved misidentification Judge DISMISSED the case!

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