Solicitation of Prostitution Defense Lawyer in Los Angeles
Have you been charged with solicitation of prostitution? Most people have heard the word “solicitation” as it relates to sex crimes. But how is that term defined under the California Penal Code? Specifically, when is solicitation illegal, and what are the penalties if you are convicted? Finally, are there any defenses that can be raised if you are charged with this offense?
“I felt like I was in a nightmare. Chris literally saved my life.” – Jesus L.
What is “Solicitation of Prostitution”?
The primary section of the Penal Code dealing with solicitation of prostitution is PC 647(b). This is the same section that makes it a crime to engage in prostitution and provides that it is also illegal to solicit any individual to engage in an act of prostitution. A violation is disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
While the Penal Code does not specifically define the circumstances which will support a solicitation of prostitution charge, the term simply means that you have offered or supplied, in one manner or another, money or something of value to another person, in exchange for that person engaging in an act of prostitution. The request must be knowing, which means that you must be shown, in order to be convicted, to have specifically intended that the offer was in exchange for engaging in an act of prostitution.
Note that the intent in a solicitation case must be clear. Here are some examples showing what types of behavior might or might not support the required intent:
Example 1: Standing on the street corner in a revealing outfit. This, without more, will not be legally sufficient to establish intent in a solicitation case.
Example 2: You are driving your car, and you see a woman on the sidewalk. You approach and ask her to perform a sexual act in exchange for money. This is a classic case of solicitation.
Example 3: Arranging via the internet to meet someone for sex in exchange for money or drugs. Again, this is solicitation of prostitution.
Example 4: A police officer pulls you over on the highway. The officer says he will give you a speeding ticket unless you perform a specific sex act with him. This is solicitation and may also constitute one or more additional sex crimes.
Example 5: You are having a general conversation with a pimp on the street corner. There is no offer of providing anything of value in exchange for sex. There has been no solicitation within the meaning of the statute.
In sum, the basic requirements for solicitation are an intentional request to engage in a sexual act in exchange for money (or anything of value).
“From the moment I met Chris, I knew I was in good hands.” – Kevin H.
Defenses to a Charge of Solicitation of Prostitution
Like all criminal charges, you are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That doubt can come from several different places. In addition, specific defenses may exist that will negate any finding of guilt. Here are some examples:
- You may be able to show that there is insufficient evidence to support the charge. This can be as simple as the lack of proof that you were the person soliciting.
- You may also be able to argue that the situation was merely an invitation to engage in sexual activity, without any quid pro quo – you were, under that scenario, merely requesting that the other person engage in sex with you. Insufficient evidence as to identity, intent, or any other element of the crime, will be a valid defense to the charge.
- Many solicitating and related charges are the result of police “sting” operations, with a police officer posing as a prostitute (or a customer). If you can demonstrate that but for the police operation you would not have engaged in the conduct alleged, your defense is entrapment. Another way of saying this is that the conduct of the police would have led to a person who is usually law-abiding to commit the offense of solicitation.
These are just a few examples of possible defenses that may be applicable in your case.
Defending Solicitation of Prostitution Charges in Los Angeles
Solicitation of prostitution is the attempt to engage in sexual activity in exchange for money or something of value. If you are charged with solicitation, remember that defenses do exist. It is therefore important to speak to an experienced Los Angeles sex crimes lawyer.
At CBS Law, we can explain the specifics of the charge against you, and point out weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, including lack of evidence, and the existence of any affirmative defenses. Remember that while the charge is generally a misdemeanor, solicitation, like any sex offense, carries a stigma that can follow you and have a negative effect on your life for years to come. Call Chris Bou Saeed today to protect your rights and obtain the best possible result in your case. CBS Law at (213) 800-8005
“When you’re accused of something you didn’t do, the thought of losing everything can be overwhelming. My job isn’t to walk you through the process, my job is to get your life back.”
Christopher J. Bou Saeed Founding Attorney of CBS Law