Prostitution and Solicitation in San Diego
California prohibits prostitution and solicitation; both offenses are considered sex crimes. Solicitation is the act of offering some form of consideration in exchange for prostitution. Prostitution is the lewd act that is done in exchange for something of value. In San Diego, the people who are charged with participating in prostitution/ solicitation are the prostitutes, their pimps or pimping and pandering, and the Johns. If any one of these three people makes an offer to engage in prostitution, that person will be charged with solicitation. Likewise, if any one of them accepts the offer, that person will face charges for prostitution.
The touching of genitals, buttocks, or female breast of another for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification.
A person who offers/ agrees to commit a lewd act in exchange for compensation.
A middleman that supplies the prostitutes with customers and collects payment or takes a cut of the payment.
A customer who agrees to pay for a lewd act.
Understanding Penal Code Section 647(b)
In consideration of the seriousness of prostitution/ solicitation, California has criminalized it under Penal Code section 647(b). Under this law, “Any person who solicits or who agrees to engage in or who engages in any act of prostitution is guilty of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor. No agreement to engage in an act of prostitution shall constitute a violation of this subdivision unless some act, in addition to the agreement, is done within this state in furtherance of the commission of an act of prostitution by the person agreeing to engage in that act”.
Basically, to convict someone of prostitution/solicitation under PC 647(b), the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant purposefully offered or agreed to;
- Willfully engage in an act of prostitution with another;
- The defendant committed an act in furtherance of the agreement.
Prostitution and Solicitation are Specific Intent Offenses
General intent refers to a defendant’s intent to commit an act that is prohibited by law. For a conviction for prostitution/ solicitation, general intent is not enough. Under California PC 647(b), “a person agrees to engage in an act of prostitution when, with specific intent to so, he or she manifests an acceptance of an offer or solicitation to so engage, regardless of whether the offer or solicitation was made by a person who also possessed the specific intent to engage in prostitution.” Specific intent is the intent to, both commit an act and to cause a particular result. For a conviction under California PC 647(b), the prosecutor needs to prove intent in two instances. First, that the defendant intentionally solicited or agreed with another to engage in a lewd act. Second, that the defendant did so with the specific intent to engage in an act of prostitution in exchange for compensation. This means that the issuing attorney at the District Attorney’s office would have to prove you intentionally formed an agreement to carry out the specific intent to engage in prostitution with another and committed an act that reflected this agreement. To do so the issuing criminal attorney will look to see which party began the interaction and whether an offer was made for something of value. This is why it is imperative that you retain a skilled criminal defense attorney early on in your case, so that these factors may be successfully mitigated before you are officially charged for these offenses.
Prostitution/ Solicitation is a Misdemeanor
Misdemeanor Prostitution and Solicitation Penalties
- A maximum sentence of 6 months in county jail;
This sentence may increase by days for repeat offenders.
- A fine of up to $1,000;
- Informal probation;
- Lifetime duty to register as a sex offender.
Implications of PC 290 for Prostitution and Solicitation
Penal Code section 290 requires anyone convicted under Penal Code section 647(b) for prostitution/ solicitation to register as a sex offender in California. Sex offender registration consist of the person's head shot, known aliases, general description, latest address, and details of the offense and conviction. This is a lifetime duty that requires a person to provide local law enforcement agencies with annual updates on their information within within five working days of their birthday and each time they change residence, within five days of the move. The Sex Offender Tracking Program will keep track of the next required update and if a registered sex offender is in violation of the update requirements. All of this information will go on a registered sex offender database that will be published by the California Department of Justice on Megan's Law web site. Megan's Law web site gives the general public access to the registered sex offender's information. It was established for local law enforcement agencies to notify the general public about sex offender registrants that may pose a risk. The social stigma that a sex offender registration carries is detrimental to your life. Once you are convicted for prostitution/ solicitation there is no way around it. Failing to register as a sex offender will only result in additional felony charges against you. Your only solution is to avoid a conviction under PC 647(b) at all costs! If you are facing charges for prostitution/ solicitation, contact experienced sex crimes defense attorney Vik Monder at (619)405-0063 so that he can strategize the best defense to avoid sex offender registration.
Immigration Implications for Prostitution
In addition to the criminal penalties under PC 647(b), a defendant who is not a U.S. citizen and engages in prostitution as a prostitute may face severe immigration consequences even if he or she is not convicted. Engaging in prostitution is considered a crime or moral turpitude, these are offenses that the U.S. government considers go against society's standards of morality. The mere act of engaging in prostitution as a prostitute could render a non U.S. citizen inadmissible, a conviction is not required for inadmissibility. Inadmissibility means that the person will not be eligible for a green card, citizenship or be allowed to re-enter the U.S. It is important to note that inadmissibility grounds for engaging in prostitution requires sexual intercourse to have take place in exchange for money; lewd conduct is not enough to subject a person who engaged in prostitution as a prostitute to removal or deportation proceedings. This does not have to happen to you, contact attorney Vik Monder, he will fight to keep everything you have worked so hard to build a life in this country! At Monder Law Group, we know the immigration implications your charges carry and we will ensure that your defense strategies focuses on avoiding these detrimental consequences at all cost.
These are some of the criminal defenses that we can assert on your behalf to help you overcome the charges for prostitution/ solicitation filed against you:
- Lacked Specific Intent; you did not know the person was a prostitute.
- Entrapment; you were not otherwise predisposed but induced by law enforcement to commit prostitution/solicitation.
- False Accusation; you did not solicit or agree to engage in an act of prostitution.
- Insufficient Evidence; there was no act done in furtherance of the agreement.
Even though Prostitution/ solicitation are misdemeanors, nonetheless a conviction under 647(b) may result in serious penalties. Your best defense in these type of sex cases is a strong offense. The prosecution holds the burden of proof; at Monder Law Group we hold them accountable for proving each element beyond a reasonable doubt. The first thing that an experienced criminal defense attorney will look for in your case is any evidence of an act in furtherance of the agreement to engage in prostitution. If you did in fact commit such act and are being charged under PC 647(b), the prosecution must disclose this act in the complaint against you. You have a constitutional right to due process, you are protected by the Due Process Clause against arbitrary denial of liberty by the government. This means that if the issuing attorney at the District Attorney’s Office fails to include in the complaint, the act that you committed in furtherance of the agreement, your charges under PC 647(b) must be dropped!