Prostitution is a crime that is not taken lightly by the state of California. If you are facing charges for prostitution, contact Los Angeles prostitution attorney Ambrosio Rodriguez for a free consultation. Ambrosio is a former prosecutor with over 18 years experience handling criminal matters.
A conviction for prostitution can have significant long-term consequences and affect your life for years to come. The skilled defense attorneys at The Rodriguez Law Group can help to minimize the consequences of your arrest for prostitution. Call us today to learn more.
Overview of Prostitution – Penal Code 647(b)
Prostitution is a sex offense in California that broadly refers to the act of having sex with another person in exchange for compensation of some kind. In Los Angeles, you can face criminal charges for soliciting and/or engaging in prostitution. Specifically, you can be charged with a crime of prostitution under California Penal Code 647(b) PC if you:
- Engage in the act of prostitution;
- Agree to engage in the act of prostitution; and/or
- Solicit another to engage in prostitution.
This means that you can face charges for prostitution if you are:
- The prostitute receiving compensation for sex;
- The “John” paying to engage in a sexual encounter; or
- The “pimp” arranging a sexual encounter between a prostitute and a “John.”
Elements of the Crime
While each of these offenses is slightly different, they all have the same basic elements. The prosecutor handling your case will be required to establish that you participated in an agreement to exchange sex for compensation.
Sex: What counts as “sex” for the purposes of this crime? You can face charges for prostitution if you engage in sexual intercourse or lewd sexual acts. Lewd sexual acts are defined to include “touching the genitals, buttocks, or female breast of either the prostitute or customer…for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification.” This means that for prostitution, sex is broadly defined to include sexual intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, and sexual touching.
Compensation: Compensation does not necessarily mean that money has to exchange hands. Instead, compensation can include anything of value to you, including drugs, stolen merchandise, forged money, important documents, or government welfare notes.
Penalties for Prostitution
Prostitution is a misdemeanor offense in Los Angeles. However, the criminal penalties that can be imposed in your specific case will depend on your existing criminal record. If you have prior convictions for prostitution the penalties you face will be more severe.
First Prostitution Conviction: A first-time conviction for prostitution carries a maximum criminal penalty of six months in a Los Angeles County jail and $1,000 in fines.
Second Prostitution Conviction: A second conviction for prostitution carries a minimum jail sentence of 45 days. This will be in addition to the penalties applicable for a first-time offense.
Third Prostitution Conviction: Third and subsequent prostitution convictions carry a minimum jail sentence of 90 days. This will be in addition the penalties applicable for a first-time offense.
Your sentence can be aggravated if you commit the crime of prostitution in a vehicle within 1,000 of a school. For this situation, the penalty for your crime could also include the restriction or suspension of your driver’s license for up to six months.
While the criminal penalties for prostitution may not be particularly harsh, the reality of your criminal record will be. Having a criminal record, especially one that reflects a conviction for a sex-related offense, will affect every aspect of your life. You will be subject to civil and social collateral consequences that will make your life extremely difficult.
For example, your criminal conviction for prostitution may prevent you from working as a government employee or with children. In some cases, you could lose any child custody and/or visitation rights you have if the court determines that your child’s safety and well-being could be compromised under your care. A criminal record will also make it extremely difficult to find or maintain gainful employment, rent or buy a home, or secure a financial loan.
Defenses to Charges of Prostitution
You have the right to assert any legal defense that can explain, excuse, and/or justify your alleged criminal behavior. These defenses, when argued properly, will cast doubt on your guilt and/or make it extremely difficult for the prosecution to satisfy their burden of proof. Defenses that can be argued in a criminal case for prostitution include:
- Insufficient evidence;
- No compensation exchanged hands;
- There was no agreement to engage in sexual activity; and/or
- You have been falsely accused or mistakenly identified.
Our Los Angeles prostitution attorneys can help you make the most of your criminal defense. We have nearly two decades of legal experience and know how to structure a defense to get the best result in a criminal case. Call us today to find out how we can help you fight the prostitution charges you face in Los Angeles.
Reducing the Charges in Your Prostitution Case
Prostitution can be a difficult crime to prove, and the prosecution may be open to reducing the charges to a less serious offense. These offenses are similar to prostitution but do not necessarily carry the same social stigma. Instead of seeing that you were convicted of prostitution, a future employer or landlord may simply see that you were convicted of disturbing the peace or trespassing. Getting the prostitution charges in your case reduced to a less serious crime can be beneficial for your future.
Experienced Los Angeles Prostitution Attorneys
Are you facing criminal charges in Los Angeles for prostitution? Contact the Rodriguez Law Group today for immediate legal assistance. If you are convicted of prostitution you will face up to 6 months in a Los Angeles jail, steep fines, and be forced to live with the social stigma that comes with a criminal record. This will affect every part of your life and make it difficult to do the things you once took for granted. You can increase the chances of a positive outcome in your case by hiring an experienced Los Angeles prostitution attorney to handle your case.
The attorneys at the Rodriguez Law Group know that your future is at stake and will fight aggressively to get a reduction or dismissal of the criminal charges in your case. We will thoroughly investigate your alleged crime and determine where the prosecution’s case is weak. Using this information, we will leverage them into negotiating the best possible outcome in your case. Call us today to find out how we can help you fight the prostitution charges you face in Los Angeles.