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The first thing that comes to mind when we think about prostitution as a criminal offense is engaging in sexual acts for compensation. If you have been charged with solicitation of a prostitute or prostitution-related offenses in California, you may be facing fines, probation, and even incarceration if convicted.

It is a crime to solicit another person to commit certain other offenses. This includes solicitation of lewd conduct and solicitation of prostitution. In the case of prostitution, the word solicitation means the same thing in the sense that someone is requesting that someone else commit a crime prostitution.

However, laws involving prostitution are covered under a different penal code than other solicitation laws, Penal Code b. This means that the penalties for solicitation of a prostitute may differ from the penalties imposed for other forms of solicitation. A prostitute is someone who engages in sexual intercourse or a lewd act with another person in exchange for money or another form of compensation.

To be convicted of engaging in prostitutionyou must be found guilty of:.

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Helfend did an amazing job defending my case, I highly recommend him to anyone in need of a great criminal defense attorney. Agreeing to engage in prostitution is a fairly recent amendment to Penal Code b. Prior tothe code only penalized engaging in prostitution and soliciting prostitution.

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If person 1 proposes or offers to engage in prostitution, they may be charged with solicitation. If person 2 accepts the offer, then they may be charged with agreeing to engage in prostitution. To be convicted of agreeing to engage in prostitutionyou must be found guilty of:. Because the act of furtherance of prostitution is what makes this charge different from a solicitation charge, it is essential that the prosecutor can prove an act of furtherance in order to make a conviction.

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You may be able to have charges of agreeing to engage in prostitution dismissed if the act of furtherance is not clearly stated in the written complaint. To solicit a prostitute is to request that someone engage in intercourse or a lewd act in exchange for compensation.

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To be convicted of soliciting prostitutionyou must be found guilty of:. The specific intent to engage in prostitution is necessary to secure a conviction of solicitation. Evidence that can be used to prove intent may be an offer to exchange money or other compensation, such as drugs for intercourse or lewd acts.

Having to prove specific intent to engage in prostitution makes it so that a person cannot be convicted of solicitation for things like wearing certain attire or standing in a location that has been known for prostitution.


In California, prostitution, solicitation, and agreeing to engage in prostitution are misdemeanor offenses. The possible penalties that you may face if you are convicted are:. You may face additional penalties depending on the specific circumstances of your case. For example, if you are caught committing a prostitution offense while in your vehicle, you may be required to forfeit the vehicle. Under Penal Code bbeing convicted of a prostitution offense does not automatically require you to register as a sex offender. However, though it is not especially common, it is possible that the judge could order you to register as a sex offender as part of your penalty, depending on the details of your case.

In addition to the possible fines and jail time, a prostitution conviction will have consequences in your personal and professional life and may result in lasting damage to your reputation. If you are facing charges of prostitution or solicitation, your best bet is to hire a criminal defense attorney who knows how to help you fight the charges and achieve your best possible outcome. An attorney will review the details of your case to decide what is the best defense strategy to help you to get your charges reduced or dismissed. Some possible defense strategies include:.

Having your charges reduced to a crime that is listed under a different penal code a non prostitution-related offense may allow you to avoid the damage to your personal and professional life and reputation that a prostitution conviction could create. Although future employers and other people you know may not understand the connection of these offenses to prostitution, law enforcement agencies are aware of these fact that these charges are often the result of reduced prostitution charges may interpret them that way when viewing your record.

A mistake of fact defense may help you have your charges dropped if you can show that the circumstances of the event that led to your charges do not demonstrate a specific intent to engage in prostitution. Take, for instance, the following example:. Terry responded to an advertisement for an escort service in order to hire someone to accompany him as a date to an event and did not have or express any specific intent to engage in sexual intercourse or lewd behavior with his date. In this example the defendant, Terry, can use the mistake of fact defense to show that his reasons for responding to the advertisement have been mistaken as intent to engage in prostitution.

In order to secure a conviction under Penal Code bthe prosecution must present enough reliable evidence to prove that you engaged in, agreed to engage in, or solicited prostitution. This defense strategy is often an effective on in cases of solicitation and agreeing to engage in prostitution, as there is often no recorded evidence of an incriminating conversation or encounter.

Insufficient evidence encompasses a broad range of issues and circumstances. The following example presents a scenario where there may be insufficient evidence:. Ron was approached by a woman who proposed that they engage in sexual intercourse with no mention of exchanging money or any other compensation in return. After going with the woman to a second location where they planned to engage in sexual activity, the woman reveals herself to be an undercover police officer.

Although the officer was wearing a wire and recorded the encounter, the recording does not clearly demonstrate an agreement to exchange money or anything else in exchange for intercourse or lewd behavior. In this example, the evidence of the recording of the encounter is insufficient to prove that Ron intended to engage in prostitution. Ron may also have been unaware that the woman was acting as a prostitute, and the evidence is insufficient to prove otherwise. The officer may use threats, harassment, or even flattery.

If you have been convicted of prostitution or solicitation due to the aggressive action of a police officer, entrapment may be a very effective defense, particularly if you are an otherwise law-abiding citizen. Some other prostitution-related offenses include: 1 pimping and pandering, 2 supervising of aiding a prostitute, 3 lewd conduct in public, and 4 human trafficking.

Some of these offenses, such as human trafficking, result in very serious penalties, if convicted. Others, such as supervising or aiding a prostitute, have lighter penalties and may be used as a plea bargain in the face of more the more serious offense of pimping and pandering.

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Lewd conduct in public is a charge that may appear in connection with other prostitution charges, such as solicitation. Pimping is different from pandering, which does not require collecting pay from a prostitute, but may furnish clients for a prostitute. Pandering is to recruit or procure someone else as a prostitute. Both of these offenses may be charges in conjunction with other prostitution offenses, but are included under a different penal code than prostitution and solicitation. Also related to pimping and pandering but markedly different, supervising or aiding a prostitute means knowingly helping someone else engage in prostitution.

This crime is also under a different penal code than prostitution and solicitation Penal Code According to Penal Code a PC, lewd conduct in public is defined as the engagement in or soliciting of lewd behavior in a public place. It is common for this charge to be added to charges of prostitution or solicitation if the sexual activities of the transaction happen or are planned to happen in a public place; for example, if the prostitute and customer agree to meet in a public park.

Human trafficking involves pimping or pandering another person and using force, coercion, or otherwise depriving them of their liberties in order to do so. Pimping or pandering of a minor may also fall under human trafficking laws depending on the circumstances.

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In California, human trafficking is a very serious offense that carries major penalties. If you or someone you know has been charged with a prostitution crime, it is important to secure legal defense for your case as soon as possible. As a California defense attorney with over 30 years of experience, I have the knowledge and experience to examine your case and develop a hard-hitting defense strategy that will help to get you the best possible outcome.

Table of Contents. Prostitution and Solicitation Laws in California Engaging in Prostitution Agreeing to engage in prostitution Soliciting prostitution Penalties for Solicitation of a Prostitute Legal Defenses Charge reductions Mistake of fact Lack of evidence Insufficient evidence Entrapment Related offenses to solicitation of a prostitute Pimping and pandering Supervising or aiding a prostitute Lewd conduct in public Human trafficking Have you been charged with soliciting a prostitute in California?

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