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Prostitution and Solicitation

Have you been accused of Prostitution or Solicitation in Los Angeles?

California Penal Code Section 647(b) outlines California’s law against prostitution and solicitation. Pursuant to Penal Code 647(b) it is a misdemeanor to accept money in exchange for sex, to offer money in exchange for sex (known as solicitation), or agree to receive sex in exchange for money.

It is important to understand that Penal Code Section 647(b) applies to both prostitutes and customers. This means that both the person who offered sex in exchange for money, and the person who accepted sex in exchange for money can be prosecuted.

Prostitution and solicitation charges are serious, and a conviction can have devastating consequences. If you are facing charges for prostitution and solicitation in Los Angeles, or the surrounding counties, contact experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Miles Booth at 424 272 1134.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Miles Booth

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

How does the prosecution prove that I am guilty of Prostitution and Solicitation?

To be found guilty of prostitution and solicitation under California Penal Code Section 647(b) the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you;

  • Engaged in an act of prostitution; or
  • Solicited another individual for prostitution; or
  • Agreed to engage in an act pr prostitution

Engaging in the Act of Prostitution

CALCRIM 1153 lays out the elements that the prosecutor must prove for you to be found guilty of engaging in the act of prostitution in California. To be convicted of engaging in the act of prostitution under Penal Code Section 647(b) the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you;

  • Willfully engaged in sexual intercourse or a lewd act;
  • With someone else;
  • In exchange for money or other compensation

Willfully means on purpose or intentionally.

A Lewd Act is touching the other persons genitals, buttocks, or breasts for the purpose of sexually gratifying either party.

Soliciting Another Person for Prostitution

CALCRIM 1154 lays out the elements that the prosecutor must prove for you to be found guilty of soliciting another person for prostitution in California. To be convicted of soliciting another person for prostitution under Penal Code Section 647(b) the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you;

  • Requested that another person engage in an act of prostitution; and
  • Intended to engage in an act of prostitution with the other person

Both you and the person solicited can be prosecuted, depending on who initiated the interaction.

The intent element is often satisfied by a clear offer to pay some kind of compensation in exchange for the sexual act. It is also important to note both parties do not need to have the same intent. So, you can solicit someone who is not a willing participant, like an undercover police officer, and still be prosecuted.

Agreeing to Engage in an Act of Prostitution

CALCRIM 1155 lays out the elements that the prosecutor must prove for you to be found guilty of Agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution in California. To be convicted of Agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution under Penal Code Section 647(b) the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you;

  • Agreed to engage in an act of prostitution with someone else; and
  • Intended to engage in an act of prostitution with that person; and
  • Did something to further the act of prostitution

This is the counterpart to soliciting a prostitute. The person who accepted the offer to engage in sex for money will be charged with agreeing to engage in prostitution. 

Like the counterpart charge, both parties do not need to have the same intent. You can agree to engage in an act of prostitution with someone who is not a willing participant, like an undercover police officer, and still be prosecuted.

Additionally, the prosecutor has to show that you did something in furtherance of the agreement, like driving to a location to meet or paying money. 

How can I defend myself against Prostitution and Solicitation charges?

A prostitution or solicitation conviction can seriously damage your reputation and have far reaching consequences. For this reason it is imperative that you hire a skilled criminal defense lawyer.

Some of the most common legal defenses to a prostitution and solicitation charge are;

Entrapment

You may have an entrapment defense if an undercover officer posing as a prostitute applied pressure, or threats, or committed fraud to entice you to engage in prostitution, and you can show that you otherwise would not have committed the act.

Insufficient Evidence

In some cases the prosecution may not have enough evidence to prove that you did in fact engage, or intend to engage in sex in exchange for money.

Lack of Intent

To be convicted under penal code 647 (b) you must have specifically intended to engage in prostitution. If you can show that you did not intend to do so then you may have a legitimate defense against prosecution.

Just because you have been accused of prostitution or solicitation does not mean that you will be convicted. Call Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Miles Booth to discuss how to best defend your case.

What are the Penalties for a Prostitution and Solicitation conviction?

A first time prostitution or solicitation conviction in punishable by;

  • Up to 6 months in county jail,
  • 3 years summary probation, and/or
  • A $1,000 fine

Diversion

Depending on factors specific to your case, you may be eligible for diversion. Diversion gives you the opportunity to complete specific requirements which enable you to have your case dismissed, and avoid a conviction all together. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney may be able to resolve your case with diversion, and a complete dismissal of your case.

What if I have a Prior Prostitution or Solicitation Conviction?

Prostitution and solicitation are “priorable”. This means that the punishment gets worse with each conviction.

A second conviction under penal code section 647(b) will expose you to a mandatory 45 days in county jail, while a third conviction will expose you to a mandatory 90 days in county jail.

Does a conviction for Indecent Exposure require sex offender registration?

A Prostitution or solicitation conviction does not require mandatory registration as a sex offender. The judge does have discretion to require registration under certain circumstances, however registration is almost never required under this code section.

Contact Los Angeles Criminal defense attorney miles booth

Facing prostitution and solicitation charges can be overwhelming. Your housing, future job prospects, and most importantly, immediate freedom are in jeopardy. It is foolish to fight these cases alone. It is important to have a skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney by your side.

Miles Booth will work tirelessly to defend you, and get the best possible outcome in your case. He has handled thousands of cases throughout Los Angeles County and understands the steps necessary to best defend you.

If you are facing prostitution or solicitation charges in Los Angeles, contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer, Miles Booth, for a free consultation at 424 272 1134.

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