If you got caught up in a prostitution sting, you need expert legal help fast. The nature of the charges alone is enough to ruin your reputation.
However, if you are convicted of soliciting prostitution in California, you could face serious legal and personal ramifications.
At the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, we won’t judge you. We will defend you with both vigor and compassion if you have an arrest for soliciting a prostitute.
One of our highly experienced and dedicated San Diego defense attorneys will work exhaustively to get the best result possible for you.
Soliciting Prostitution in California
California Penal Code 647 says that a person is guilty of disorderly conduct—a misdemeanor—for soliciting a prostitute.
Under that law, solicitation means offering something of value in exchange for a sexual or lewd favor. Meanwhile, prostitution is the act of providing sexual or lewd favors in exchange for something of value.
The item of value doesn’t have to be money, although money is often exchanged. The item of value could be a piece of personal property or it could be illicit narcotics.
The possible penalty you face depends on the circumstances of your arrest. Your age, occupation, family status, and prior criminal history, among other factors, play a large role in determining the sentence you could receive.
If it is your first offense for solicitation of a prostitute, then the maximum penalty is six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
You must beware that you run the risk of committing a felony if you solicit a person you believe to be a child. Solicitation of a minor is a felony that carries substantial state prison time.
Examples of Solicitation Crimes
Soliciting a prostitute is a crime even if you never engage in a sexual or lewd act. However, the prosecutor has to prove that you had the intent, meaning the guilty mind, to solicit a prostitute.
If you just ask without ever having the intent to pay for engaging in a sex act, then you have not solicited a prostitute.
This concept is difficult to understand in the abstract. As a result, we will discuss examples of solicitation crimes to make the concept more concrete and easier to understand.
Perhaps the stereotypical example of soliciting a prostitute is when the “john” pulls over to the side of the road where women gather to offer to exchange a sex act for money.
The movie Pretty Woman portrays the typical act of soliciting a prostitute nicely. The john might ask the price for a sexual favor. There might not be a crime at that point. However, transferring money or acquiring a hotel room might be enough evidence of a guilty mind to convict.
Now that everyone has access to the internet, people can surf websites such as “Backpage” and others for prostitutes.
The john can use the internet to ask a person directly or use an intermediary (i.e., pimp) to negotiate a price for a sexual favor.
There are other examples of solicitation crimes such as asking for services and then going to an ATM, driving to a designated location, or complying with a request from the prostitute.
Charges Do Not Equal Guilt
The caring, compassionate, and professional San Diego criminal defense lawyers with the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, can put you in the best position possible to defend your case successfully.
Contact the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, today at 619-234-2300 to discuss your charges discreetly and confidentially.