Los Angeles Prostitution Attorney
Have you been arrested for prostitution in Los Angeles, CA? California law treats “johns” and prostitutes equally under its criminal code. This means you can face a prostitution charge whether you are offering or soliciting lewd or sexual acts for money or something of value.
When you are facing prostitution charges, it’s crucial to act quickly to begin working on a defense to clear your name and freedom. For over 20 years, The Rodriguez Law Group has represented clients in Los Angeles County facing all types of sex offenses. Contact our law firm at (213) 995-6767 for a free consultation with a Los Angeles prostitution attorney who can help.
How The Rodriguez Law Group Can Help if You’re Arrested for Prostitution in Los Angeles
Few crimes carry the social stigma of prostitution. When you are arrested for prostitution, you may feel overwhelmed, frightened, embarrassed, and unsure where to turn. Even though it is a misdemeanor offense, it carries additional consequences outside of criminal court.
If you have a prior record, you may be facing enhanced penalties. You deserve an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer near you with a proven track record to help you fight back.
The Rodriguez Group was founded by Ambrosio E. Rodriguez who spent 13 years as a Senior Deputy District Attorney. He will use his valuable insight into the prosecution’s tactics and his decades of criminal defense experience to build the strongest legal defense possible. He has earned a 10.0 Superb AVVO rating and has a track record of successfully defending clients against sex crimes.
Choose The Rodriguez Law Group to defend you against prostitution charges in Los Angeles, California, and we will:
- Provide sound legal advice, protect your rights, and offer guidance to help you make informed decisions about your own defense
- Investigate your case to search for exculpatory evidence, weaknesses in the prosecution’s case that can be exploited, and violations of your constitutional rights
- Negotiate with the prosecutor for reduced charges or dismissal if the circumstances don’t fit the offense
- Argue for reduced penalties and alternative sentencing options if the prosecution has a strong case against you
- Present a persuasive case in court to raise reasonable doubt and argue the prosecution has not met the burden of proof
Contact our law office today to schedule a free case review with a Los Angeles prostitution attorney who will give you the compassionate and tireless legal defense you deserve.
Overview of California Prostitution Laws
The State of California makes it illegal to engage in prostitution or solicit prostitution under Penal Code 647(b) PC. This means prostitution is a sex crime when committed by someone on either side of a prostitution transaction.
Specifically, both parties are engaged in an “act of prostitution” when they engage in lewd acts or a sexual act, including intercourse, when an offer to pay or accept money or anything of value is present.
It’s important to note that California’s prostitution law applies to sex with another person in exchange for anything of value. This can apply in cases that are not considered “typical prostitution.” It may be charged if a police officer accepts an offer of sex in exchange for not writing a ticket. It can also be charged against someone who offers someone money, drugs, or even an apartment for rent in exchange for a sex act, even if they refuse the offer.
A related offense is loitering to prostitute under Penal Code 653.22 PC. This statute makes it a crime to loiter in a public place with the intent to prostitute. This charge is designed to combat prostitution and often charged when there is no evidence of a specific prostitution act. However, it carries many of the same penalties as actual prostitution.
California law treats pimping as a separate offense under Penal Code 266h PC. This statute defines pimping as receiving some or all of their revenue from another person’s engagement in prostitution. Pimping is a felony in California.
Penal Code 653.23 PC makes it a crime to “supervise or aid” a prostitute. This misdemeanor is commonly charged against pimps.
What Are the Penalties for Prostitution in Los Angeles, California?
Prostitution and solicitation are misdemeanors in California and generally punishable by time in county jail and fines. However, the penalties depend on whether it is a first or subsequent offense and how the offense occurred.
For a first prostitution offense, you may face:
- Up to 6 months of jail time
- A fine of up to $1,000
Prostitution is a “priorable” offense, meaning there are increased penalties for every subsequent prostitution conviction on your criminal record. For a second offense, you will face a mandatory sentence of 45 days in county jail. This increases to a minimum sentence of 90 days for a third or subsequent offense.
If you commit prostitution in a vehicle or within 1,000 feet of a residence, there are additional penalties. These penalties may include suspension of your driver’s license for up to 30 days or restrictions on the same for up to 6 months.
Local jurisdictions have the right to impose additional prostitution penalties. If you are convicted of prostitution in Los Angeles while in a vehicle, your vehicle may be seized and forfeited under California’s asset forfeiture law.
Prostitution is also considered a crime of moral turpitude. These crimes come with consequences beyond criminal penalties that may affect your immigration status and professional license. Your professional license may be suspended or revoked after a conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude.
Does Prostitution Require Sex Offender Registration?
Prostitution is one of the few sex crimes in California that does not require sex offender registration. While registration is not automatic or required, a judge can order a defendant to register as a sex offender for any crime that is “the result of sexual compulsion or for the purposes of sexual gratification.”
However, prostitution and solicitation rarely result in sex offender status.
What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Accused of Prostitution in Los Angeles, CA?
Prostitution cases have many possible legal defenses depending on the circumstances in your case.
Experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys can help you explore the following defense strategies.
- Entrapment. This happens when law enforcement engages in conduct that causes a law-abiding person to commit a crime. This defense often involves defendants who are arrested following a sting operation involving a “decoy” officer posing as a prostitute who tries to entice a suspect into making an offer.
- Lack of trustworthy evidence. This may be a strong defense if the alleged agreement for the transaction was not recorded by law enforcement. In this case, the jury is asked to trust someone’s testimony.
- Insufficient evidence. This means the evidence the state presents is trustworthy, but there is not enough evidence to prove the case. For instance, there may be evidence of an agreement to engage in sex, but there must be evidence the exchange of money, goods, or services was meant as an exchange for sex.
- Lack of intent or mistake of fact. Someone must have intent to engage in a sex act. For instance, if someone visits a massage parlor on a recommendation but does not realize it is a place of known prostitution, they did not have intent.
There may also be opportunities to seek a reduction of the charge to avoid the stigma of a prostitution conviction. Prostitution is commonly reduced to charges like criminal trespass, disturbing the peace, or lewd conduct in public. In the case of the latter, it is not a priorable offense like prostitution.
At The Rodriguez Law Group, we will conduct a thorough investigation into your case to help you build the best possible legal defense. We will investigate whether your rights were violated at any stage, including illegal search and seizure, illegal interrogation tactics that resulted in a coerced confession, and entrapment. Any evidence obtained through constitutional violations can be excluded and cannot be used against you.
Contact Sex Crimes Lawyers in Los Angeles for a Free Consultation
When you are facing a prostitution charge, it’s crucial to act quickly to protect your good name, freedom, and future. A prostitution conviction has wide-ranging consequences that can affect you for the rest of your life, but there are many legal defenses. We will seek to have your charges dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense or seek an acquittal in court.
Contact The Rodriguez Law Group today to schedule a free case review with a Los Angeles prostitution attorney ready to help you.