What Is the Penalty for Pimping and Pandering in San Diego?

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California, like many states, punishes pimping and pandering more severely than prostitution itself. Although related, the crimes of pimping and pandering are distinct, and each carries separate criminal punishments.

Criminal penalties for pimping are severe and long-lasting. Punishments for each offense depend on the nature of the crime, age of the defendant, and other circumstantial factors.

If you were charged with pimping or pandering, you should speak with a qualified California criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

What Is Pimping?

California law defines pimping under Penal Code section 266h as any act where a person receives payment or collects money from a prostitute for their sexual acts.

Pimping also involves receiving compensation for soliciting or finding customers for a prostitute. Pimping, as well as pandering, is aimed at those who facilitate or organize prostitution for their own financial gain.

Engaging in prostitution or seeking out a prostitute for sexual services are different types of crimes. Pimping is a felony under California law and carries serious consequences.

What Is Pandering?

Pandering occurs when a person encourages, pressures, or forces someone else to become a prostitute.

Under Penal Code section 266i, pandering can occur through any of the following acts:

  • Obtaining or procuring someone for prostitution;
  • Threatening, intimidating, or persuading someone to become a prostitute; or
  • Using fraud, duress, or a position of authority to procure someone for prostitution.

Pandering may also occur where a person provides housing arrangements or hires someone to work in a hotel or other establishment to provide prostitution services. Pandering carries serious consequences.

What Are the Penalties for Pimping and Pandering? 

Pimping and pandering both carry similar penalties. If convicted of pimping or pandering, you will face the following punishments:

  • Imprisonment for between three and six years,
  • Fines of up to $10,000;
  • Possible registration as a sex offender.

In addition, if the prostitute is less than 16 years old, a person accused of pimping or pandering faces up to eight years in prison. California Penal Code 290 also requires anyone accused of pimping or pandering of a minor to register as a sex offender.

Can I Avoid Jail for Pimping and Pandering?

Both pimping and pandering are felonies under California law and carry possible prison terms. 

An experienced California criminal defense attorney understands plea negotiations and can work to achieve a more favorable outcome. Your attorney will identify your best available defenses and argue your case before the prosecution and the court. 

Contact a Qualified California Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you were charged with pimping or pandering, you may be facing serious consequences. The criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, understands the stress and difficulty of dealing with a criminal charge. 

Our experienced lawyers have tried well over 100 cases in California courts in front of a jury. We will use our extensive experience and knowledge of the law to fight for your interests. Our dedicated staff will answer your questions and support you every step of the way. 

For a free consultation, call our offices at 619-373-0185 or fill out an online form today. 

Author Photo

Kerry L. Armstrong


Attorney Kerry Armstrong opened up his law firm in June 2007. Mr. Armstrong attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California, and received his B.S. from Middle Tennessee State University. Kerry L. Armstrong became certified by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization for criminal law in August 2020, making him one of the few criminal defense attorneys with a criminal law legal specialization certificate in San Diego County.  Between 2014 – 2019, Mr. Armstrong was selected for inclusion in the California Super Lawyers list, an honor only awarded to 5% of the nation’s attorneys.

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