In California, it’s illegal to solicit prostitution, it’s illegal to ask someone to engage in prostitution, it’s illegal to offer to engage in prostitution, and it’s illegal to engage in the act of prostitution, whether you’re the person paying or receiving money. But it goes further than that, you don’t have to engage in sex for money for it to be prostitution. It’s just as illegal to offer drugs, alcohol, or anything of value in exchange for sex.
Prostitution offenses are covered under Section 647 of the California Penal Code. Generally, solicitation and prostitution offenses are considered “disorderly conduct offenses,” which are misdemeanors. However, when the offense involves a minor (someone who is under the age of 18), the penalties are more severe.
What California Law Says About Minors
Under Section 647(3) it reads: “An individual who solicits, or who agrees to engage in, or who engages in, any act of prostitution with another person who is a minor in exchange for the individual providing compensation, money, or anything of value to the minor.
“An individual agrees to engage in an act of prostitution when, with specific intent to so engage, he or she manifests an acceptance of an offer or solicitation by someone who is a minor to so engage, regardless of whether the offer or solicitation was made by a minor who also possessed the specific intent to engage in an act of prostitution.”
So, what if you accidentally solicit a prostitute who turns out to be under the age of 18? Or worse, what if you engage in an act of prostitution with a minor? What penalties will you face? Under Sec. 647(m)(1) of the Penal Code, it says that if the crime was committed against someone who was a minor at the time of the offense, and the defendant knows or should have known that the person was a minor, the defendant faces up to one year in jail or a fine not to exceed $10,000, or a fine and imprisonment.
Next: What is the Age of Consent in California?
Accused of soliciting a minor for prostitution or engaging in prostitution with a minor? Contact the Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed today!