California Penal Code 647(b) PC

PC 647(b) – Prostitution and Solicitation for Prostitution

PC 647(b) - Prostitution, Solicitation for Prostitution

Prostitution and Solicitation for Prostitution – Table of Contents

What is Prostitution & Solicitation in California?

Prostitution and Solicitation for Prostitution is the act of illegally exchanging sexual services for money, or anything of monetary value, often times drugs. California prostitution and solicitation for prostitution Penal Code 647(b) states that it is illegal to engage in prostitution, to solicit prostitution, and to agree to engage in prostitution. If convicted of any of these prostitution and solicitation for prostitution charges for the first time a defendant could face:

  • Up to six months in a county jail
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Suspended driver’s license for up to 30 days (if incident occurred in vehicle or within 1,000 feet of a residence)
  • Restricted driver’s license for up to 6 months (if incident occurred in vehicle or within 1,000 feet of a residence)
  • Forced to register as a sex offender (under extreme circumstances)

Prostitution and Solicitation for Prostitution Penal Code 647(b) is a priorable offense, meaning that with each subsequent offense the charges must become more harsh.

  • A mandatory 45-day jail sentence in a county jail (2nd offense)
  • A mandatory 90-day jail sentence in a county jail (3rd offense)
  • With each conviction the fines are likely to increase as well

In order for a defendant to be prosecuted of engaging in an act of prostitution and solicitation for prostitution the prosecutor must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did in fact engage in sexual intercourse or sexual services in the exchange of money. Engaging in prostitution can either mean the act of sexual intercourse or lewd acts; lewd acts include anything that is intended to deliberately arouse another.

In order to be convicted of prostitution and solicitation for prostitution the prosecutor must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you solicited (request, ask for, seek) sexual acts in exchange for money.

Furthermore, in order to be convicted of agreeing to engage in prostitution the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you agreed to engage in an act of prostitution for the exchange of money and that you performed an act of furtherance. Furtherance means that you performed an action, or made a request that confirmed the act of prostitution and solicitation for prostitution will take place, for example you went to the ATM and withdrew the exact agreed up on amount.

It’s important to note that when an officer performs a sting operation, for example, a female officer posing as a prostitute, all the defendant has to do is agree to exchange money for sex. There does not have to be an exchange of funds, but merely an agreement.

Defenses

The problem for prosecutors when trying to convict lies in the inability to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that prostitution or solicitation for prostitution had occurred. For instance, if a defendant had condoms and a large amount of money in his/her pocket that is strong evidence and can be used against a defendant, but it is not enough evidence in and of itself to convict.

Sting Operation

Sting operations are common in areas where prostitution and solicitation for prostitution are prevalent. A female officer will dress as a prostitute, or less commonly, a male officer will pose as a client, and attempt to have a defendant agree to pay money or agree to perform a lewd act in exchange for money. The posing officers will be wired to record the incident and often times an inconspicuous police vehicle will be video recording as well. These pieces of evidence are then used in court.

The problem for the prosecutor is when these valuable pieces of evidence are not available. For instance, if the officers did not record the statements or if the video tapes don’t show a specific exchange of money then it becomes difficult for a conviction. Juries prefer to see and hear convincing evidence, but if that evidence is not available then it becomes increasingly difficult.

If there are no explicit recordings or videotapes then oftentimes the case will be dismissed or the charges will be reduced.

Sting operations bring forth another problem for the prosecutor. If the female officer posing as a prostitute is aggressive enough to make a defendant act in a way that he would otherwise not have acted, then the defendant can claim that he was the victim of entrapment. If counsel can prove that the female officer coerced the defendant into acting in an unnatural manner then it’s likely the case will be dropped.

Apart from sting operation faults, there are other ways to have a case dismissed or charges reduced. For instance, counsel can say the act was a big mistake and misunderstanding. This approach is often utilized in cases regarding escort services. If a defendant calls an escort service and asks for an escort, but doesn’t explicitly state that her services are sexual in nature then it’s possible to have the case dismissed. Perhaps the defendant called the escort service for a friend and not necessarily for a sexual partner.

If there is insufficient evidence it is likely that a case will be dismissed. This doesn’t mean that the prosecutor does not have evidence, it just means that the evidence that the prosecutor does have is not clear enough to convict. For instance, if the recordings of a sting operation do not explicitly state an amount of money or an explicit agreement for sexual activity. Again, juries like to hear and see explicit evidence and not do not like to base their decision solely on police statements.

Pimping and Pandering – Penal Code 266(h)and 266(i)

Pimping and pandering laws were introduced into California judicial system in an attempt to reduce the amount of prostitution and solicitation for prostitution. With this being said, the courts take these crimes very seriously. California Penal Code 266(h) states that it is illegal to pimp in the state of California and defines pimping as the act of collecting some or all of a prostitute’s pay. Pandering, California Penal Code 266(i) , pertains to laws that discourage recruiting or encouraging someone to become a prostitute. Both of these crimes are felonies and if convicted of either Penal Code 266(h) or Penal code 266(i) one could face 3, 4 or 6 years in state prison.

Importance of Seeking Counsel

It is not necessary to seek counsel in prostitution and solicitation for prostitution cases but it is a good idea and can save you a lot of time and money. Criminal defense attorneys know how the system works and can oftentimes have the charges reduced or the cases dropped altogether by knowing how the ins and outs of the system. For instance, it is not uncommon for the charges to be reduced to trespassing or disturbing the peace which are not priorable offenses in replace of prostitution and solicitation for prostitution Penal Code 647(b) which is a priorable offense.

Your criminal defense attorney can talk to judges and prosecutors and try to have the case dropped or the charges reduced based upon your criminal record. If a client’s criminal record is short then the attorney can claim that it was a brief lapse in judgment and that he or she shouldn’t be charged with a priorable offense.

Also, if a client has a family and a job the attorney can state a conviction of prostitution and solicitation for prostitution Penal Code 647(b) could ruin his or her life and that a conviction is not appropriate.

We Want to Help

By using a criminal defense attorney like Seppi Esfandi, prostitution and solicitation for prostitution PC 647(b) charge can be handled discretely and promptly with little effect on you. Seppi Esfandi is a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney with extensive practice in prostitution cases and has a great record of having these cases dismissed.

If you or a loved one is being charged with violating the Prostitution law, we invite you to contact us immediately for a free case review. Schedule an appointment to meet with us in person, or feel free to submit an evaluation online and we will get in contact with you ASAP. We can provide a free consultation in our office, or by phone. Our experienced and assiduous attorneys will be sure to fight until the end to reduce or drop your charges completely.

Call Us for a FREE Case Review: 310-274-6529

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Seppi had my case reduced to just an infraction, and thanks to him I was able to keep my job. Jorge was extremely helpful too, the reason I went with this law firm. Overall pleased.

How to Win Your Case

We cannot stress enough that you read, understand and follow these 10 basic rules if you are criminally charged or under investigation:

  1. Don’t ever talk to the police
  2. Do not discuss your case with anyone
  3. Everything you tell your lawyer is confidential
  4. Tell police you need to contact your attorney
  5. Never consent to any search by the police
  6. If the police knock on your door, don't answer!
  7. Realize the consequences of a criminal conviction
  8. Your lawyer (not you) will contact any witnesses
  9. Information on your cell phone is evidence
  10. Early Intervention is the key

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