California law classifies prostitution “sexual acts exchanged for money” as disorderly conduct, making it a misdemeanor under Penal Code 647(a). It is important, though, to understand several concepts related to prostitution. Committing prostitution refers to actually engaging in a sexual act for money, while solicitation involves trying to get someone else to engage in the act. Loitering for purposes of prostitution is a misdemeanor under Penal Code 653.22(a). There is another concept called pandering or pimping, which involves recruiting people to act as prostitutes and soliciting customers for prostitutes. Even though prostitution itself is a misdemeanor offense, pimping or pandering is a felony pursuant to Penal Code 266h(a).
According to the California Bureau of Investigation, in the latest year for which statistical information is available, there were 11,970 adult arrests for prostitution statewide. The greatest numbers of those arrested were between the ages of 25 and 60. Charges for prostitution or solicitation can apply regardless of the gender of the individuals involved.
Our San Bernardino and Riverside criminal defense attorneys believe that every individual is entitled to qualified legal representation. When you contact our firm, you can be assured that you will be represented by a lawyer who will handle your case knowledgeably and provide you with an aggressive defense.
California prostitution laws make it possible for police to arrest not only prostitutes, but also their customers, or “johns”. Some arrests for solicitation receive media attention, causing significant embarrassment and disruption for those arrested. Penalties for prostitution or solicitation can vary, but may include such punishments as:
Other penalties may apply depending on the circumstances of the arrest and on prior criminal records of those involved. The specific conditions involved in your arrest for prostitution or solicitation also will influence the strategy your defense attorney chooses to pursue. Generally, a conviction will rely on the state’s ability to show that someone was solicited, that there was agreement to engage in a sex act, or that such an act actually took place.
Common defenses to a prostitution charge include: insufficient evidence, mistake, and entrapment by law enforcement. If you have been charged with a prostitution related offense, contact our offices immediately so we can begin building your defense to the charges.
Our clients appreciate our dedication to treating every client with respect and sensitivity. We understand that an arrest for prostitution or solicitation can cause emotional issues in addition to any legal punishments that may apply. We also recognize that even misdemeanor charges can cost you financially and adversely affect your employment, your family, and other aspects of your life. Our experienced defense lawyers will meet with you to learn the circumstances of your arrest. We will explain your options and evaluate the evidence against you to determine the strongest course of action available for your defense.
Client charged with possession for sales and gang enhancement. Client faced 16 years in prison with the gang and prior strike allegation. Client turned down 8 year pretrial offer with prior attorney before going to trial. Not guilty on all charges at trial. (People v. Antwan B.)
Client charged with attempt murder, accessory after the fact and gang enhancement after shots fired at a dwelling. Client turned down 15 year pretrial offer. During trial, plea deal reached for probation with time served. (People v. Rudy B.)
Client charged with resisting arrest, obstruction of justice when cops performed a probation sweep at her residence. Client found not guilty on all counts at jury trial. (People v. Felicia M.)
Client charged with corporal injury to girlfriend after argument allegedly escalated. Client had significant exposure of 21 years because of prior strike, probation violation and GBI allegation. At trial, jury refused to convict client, returning hung verdict. (People v. Christopher P.)
Client charged with possession of methamphetamine for sale after traffic stop. Client claimed prejudice by prosecution’s delay in bringing the case to court. Motion filed on behalf of client asking the Court to dismiss the case as violative of client’s speedy trial rights. Motion granted and case dismissed. (People v. Shannon J.)