Los Angeles Prostitution Lawyer

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The crime of prostitution is covered under California Penal Code 647(b). Receiving compensation for a sexual act is illegal in the state of California. It’s also illegal to solicit the services of a prostitute. They are treated as the same crime: “engaging in prostitution.”

And pimping, the act of brokering an exchange between a prostitute and a client, is also a criminal act, covered under California Penal Code 653.23.

You can even be prosecuted for agreeing to exchange sexual services for compensation (or to exchange compensation in exchange for sexual services).

Note you do not have to have intercourse to be charged with an act of prostitution. Any genital touching could result in charges if money is exchanged. You also cannot get around prostitution laws by giving valuables instead of cash. If it is valuable it is compensation. Drugs, services, and favors are all forms of compensation.

A photo of Venice Beach in Los Angeles

Consequences of a Prostitution Charge

The crime of prostitution is a misdemeanor. A first offense carries a penalty of six months in jail and $1,000 in fines. Certain enhancements can make these sentences harsher. For example, if you’re within 1,000 feet of a school you could face additional penalties, and there are additional penalties for committing the act of prostitution inside of a car.

Subsequent offenses carry harsher penalties as well. And if convicted, you will have a criminal record and your involvement with this crime will show up on background checks. While it is not mandatory, in some cases a judge may require you to register as a sex offender if convicted. This is rare, but it does happen.

This can mean you’ll have difficulty securing a job or a position of trust in the future. Some careers, such as careers involving children, will be downright closed to you.

It can impact your ability to secure housing. And it can impact your reputation in general, which can affect your relationship with family members and friends. If you’re in the middle of a child custody dispute you could lose.

Thus, it is very important for you to take these charges seriously. Just because something is a misdemeanor does not mean it isn’t worth getting the best defense you can possibly find.

The crime of pimping is a felony, as is the crime of pandering. The difference between the two is a pimp receives a portion of the prostitute’s earnings, often in exchange for protection or finding clients, and a panderer simply convinces a prostitute to be or remain a prostitute. Both are punishable by up to 6 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. The law deals much more harshly with third parties who benefit from prostitution than it does with the prostitutes or the clients themselves.

It’s Not All Streetwalking

Prostitution isn’t always about the stereotypical individual in provocative clothing standing on a street corner making propositions to potential johns. Certain “massage parlors” are covers for prostitution operations. It can cover high-end “escort” services too, if you are operating as an escort without a license, or if you engage in sexual acts while working as an escort.

The Internet makes it very easy for people to run these operations out of their own home. There are even sites out there which allow prostitutes and their clients to leave reviews for one another.

Unfortunately, the way the prostitute and the “john” come together doesn’t matter much. Some methods may make it harder for law enforcement to make arrests than others, but they are all covered by California prostitution laws.

A photo of two women crying in Los Angeles

How We Defend Against Prostitution Charges

There are a variety of ways we can weaken the prosecution’s case.

First, we could prove the evidence in the case was obtained improperly. One common way this happens is through “entrapment.” Sometimes, undercover officers get a little carried away when they try to catch solicitors. They may encourage an act the accused would never have committed. Officers aren’t allowed to seduce you while attempting to catch you in the act.

We can also prove no money or valuables changed hands, that there was no agreement to engage in any sexual activity, or that there’s insufficient evidence to convict. Some of our defendants have even been victims of false accusations. And it’s not a crime to give your girlfriend or boyfriend money or expensive gifts to help them out or spoil them. If you are involved in an ongoing relationship you are not breaking the law.

And we may be able to prove an act interpreted as a “solicitation” was actually innocent. For example, talking to someone in a car while wearing skimpy clothing is not, in and of itself, a crime, or proof of prostitution, even if it looks like it to an outside observer. And it is legal to pay someone to go on a date with you, even though it is not legal to pay them to have sex with you.

Note if you are under the age of 18 you cannot be convicted of prostitution. If you’re a minor crime is being committed against you, and you have the right to seek help.

Depending on the strength of the prosecution’s case versus the strength of our own, we may be able to get the charges dropped or dismissed. If that’s not possible we work towards an acquittal. Finally, we may be able to get the charges reduced. We make every effort to protect your freedom, your reputation, and your future. And because we are private lawyers, we’re able to investigate these cases more deeply than public defenders, who are limited by heavy caseloads.

If you’re facing prostitution charges, don’t delay. Contact us for your free consultation. You will be treated with respect and compassion and will work hard to help you.

Los Angeles Prostitution Lawyer

inne-rpage-seperator

The crime of prostitution is covered under California Penal Code 647(b). Receiving compensation for a sexual act is illegal in the state of California. It’s also illegal to solicit the services of a prostitute. They are treated as the same crime: “engaging in prostitution.”

And pimping, the act of brokering an exchange between a prostitute and a client, is also a criminal act, covered under California Penal Code 653.23.

You can even be prosecuted for agreeing to exchange sexual services for compensation (or to exchange compensation in exchange for sexual services).

Note you do not have to have intercourse to be charged with an act of prostitution. Any genital touching could result in charges if money is exchanged. You also cannot get around prostitution laws by giving valuables instead of cash. If it is valuable it is compensation. Drugs, services, and favors are all forms of compensation.

A photo of Venice Beach in Los Angeles

Consequences of a Prostitution Charge

The crime of prostitution is a misdemeanor. A first offense carries a penalty of six months in jail and $1,000 in fines. Certain enhancements can make these sentences harsher. For example, if you’re within 1,000 feet of a school you could face additional penalties, and there are additional penalties for committing the act of prostitution inside of a car.

Subsequent offenses carry harsher penalties as well. And if convicted, you will have a criminal record and your involvement with this crime will show up on background checks. While it is not mandatory, in some cases a judge may require you to register as a sex offender if convicted. This is rare, but it does happen.

This can mean you’ll have difficulty securing a job or a position of trust in the future. Some careers, such as careers involving children, will be downright closed to you.

It can impact your ability to secure housing. And it can impact your reputation in general, which can affect your relationship with family members and friends. If you’re in the middle of a child custody dispute you could lose.

Thus, it is very important for you to take these charges seriously. Just because something is a misdemeanor does not mean it isn’t worth getting the best defense you can possibly find.

The crime of pimping is a felony, as is the crime of pandering. The difference between the two is a pimp receives a portion of the prostitute’s earnings, often in exchange for protection or finding clients, and a panderer simply convinces a prostitute to be or remain a prostitute. Both are punishable by up to 6 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. The law deals much more harshly with third parties who benefit from prostitution than it does with the prostitutes or the clients themselves.

It’s Not All Streetwalking

Prostitution isn’t always about the stereotypical individual in provocative clothing standing on a street corner making propositions to potential johns. Certain “massage parlors” are covers for prostitution operations. It can cover high-end “escort” services too, if you are operating as an escort without a license, or if you engage in sexual acts while working as an escort.

The Internet makes it very easy for people to run these operations out of their own home. There are even sites out there which allow prostitutes and their clients to leave reviews for one another.

Unfortunately, the way the prostitute and the “john” come together doesn’t matter much. Some methods may make it harder for law enforcement to make arrests than others, but they are all covered by California prostitution laws.

A photo of two women crying in Los Angeles

How We Defend Against Prostitution Charges

There are a variety of ways we can weaken the prosecution’s case.

First, we could prove the evidence in the case was obtained improperly. One common way this happens is through “entrapment.” Sometimes, undercover officers get a little carried away when they try to catch solicitors. They may encourage an act the accused would never have committed. Officers aren’t allowed to seduce you while attempting to catch you in the act.

We can also prove no money or valuables changed hands, that there was no agreement to engage in any sexual activity, or that there’s insufficient evidence to convict. Some of our defendants have even been victims of false accusations. And it’s not a crime to give your girlfriend or boyfriend money or expensive gifts to help them out or spoil them. If you are involved in an ongoing relationship you are not breaking the law.

And we may be able to prove an act interpreted as a “solicitation” was actually innocent. For example, talking to someone in a car while wearing skimpy clothing is not, in and of itself, a crime, or proof of prostitution, even if it looks like it to an outside observer. And it is legal to pay someone to go on a date with you, even though it is not legal to pay them to have sex with you.

Note if you are under the age of 18 you cannot be convicted of prostitution. If you’re a minor crime is being committed against you, and you have the right to seek help.

Depending on the strength of the prosecution’s case versus the strength of our own, we may be able to get the charges dropped or dismissed. If that’s not possible we work towards an acquittal. Finally, we may be able to get the charges reduced. We make every effort to protect your freedom, your reputation, and your future. And because we are private lawyers, we’re able to investigate these cases more deeply than public defenders, who are limited by heavy caseloads.

If you’re facing prostitution charges, don’t delay. Contact us for your free consultation. You will be treated with respect and compassion and will work hard to help you.

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