Despite being titled “The Oldest Profession In the World,” California still views prostitution as a crime. So what is prostitution?

Despite being titled “The Oldest Profession In the World,” California still views prostitution as a crime. So what is “prostitution”?

According to California Penal Code section 647(b), prostitution means to engage in a sexual act in exchange for money or other forms of payment that involve things of value.

What Is Prohibited?

PC 647(b) prohibits both the actual act of engaging in prostitution (as described above), as well as the act of soliciting (offering or agreeing to engage in prostitution). Because prostitution and solicitation require both a prostitute and a customer, both of these parties can be arrested.

In addition, under PC 266h and 266i, anybody acting as a middleman or “pimp” can be arrested if they either participate in the prostitution or solicitation or receive at least some of the prostitute’s compensation. Furthermore, PC 653.23 criminalizes the “supervising or aiding” of a prostitute, which provides more room for the prosecution to obtain a conviction if all else fails.

What Are The Penalties?

Prostitution and solicitation are categorized as misdemeanor crimes, meaning that a for a first-time offense, the potential penalties include up to 6-months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

What Are The Available Defenses?

The available defenses for prostitution and solicitation include: entrapment, insufficient evidence, lack of evidence, and mistake.

  • Entrapment: This occurs when a government agent, such a police officer, comes up with the idea for a crime and lures an innocent person into committing that crime.
  • Insufficient Evidence: This occurs when the evidence presented by the prosecution does not sufficiently prove that the crime was committed.
  • Lack of Evidence: This occurs when there is absolutely no evidence that the prosecution can present to prove that the crime was committed.
  • Mistake: This occurs when you did not possess the specific intent to engage in a sexual act, but rather you merely intended on hiring someone for a legal service, such as a dinner date or masseuse.

HOW ERNENWEIN & JOHNSON CAN HELP

If any of the above describes your situation, Ernenwein can help. As a former Los Angeles District Deputy Attorney, Robert Ernenwein uses his knowledge of how prosecution views DUI cases and they combined have over 35 years of experience as criminal defense attorneys to help fight your prostitution and solicitation charges.

We know you’re ready to put your past behind you and get your life back on track and we’re ready to do what needs to be done in order to help make that happen.

Call us today at (310) 375-5858 for a free consultation.