Prostitution & Solicitation Laws in California
If you’ve been charged with prostitution or solicitation for prostitution in California, you may be wondering what to do next—and what you can expect going forward.
California Penal Code §647(b) prohibits both prostitution and solicitation. Essentially, California state law forbids three acts:
- Engaging in an act of prostitution
- Soliciting an act of prostitution
- Agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution
Despite the recent enactment of a new law that protects the rights of sex workers in California, it’s crucial to understand that prostitution and solicitation are still illegal in the state of California. Prostitution is a serious offense that must be taken seriously to avoid harsh penalties. Both prostitution and solicitation are punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
3 Reasons to Hire an Attorney to Contest Prostitution Charges
Unfortunately, the aftermath of a criminal conviction doesn’t just go away after you’ve paid your dues and fulfilled your sentence. If convicted of prostitution, you’ll face the “ripple effect” of having the offense on your criminal record forever.
Being convicted of a crime can drastically impact your life: not only can it affect your employability, but it can jeopardize your chance to attend a university or receive financial aid. For immigrants, a prostitution conviction can even result in deportation.
To protect your future, it’s essential to secure the support of a trusted prostitution defense attorney. While fines and legal fees can add up, any legal expert will strongly advise you not to forgo your right to legal representation when charged with a crime. At the end of the day, hiring a lawyer to defend your name and hard-earned reputation is less costly than throwing away your future.
Keep reading to learn the top 3 reasons to hire a criminal defense attorney when charged with prostitution or solicitation in California.
#1. They have a comprehensive knowledge of criminal law.
The average person has a limited knowledge of our legal system—and that's okay. This is why Americans have the right to an attorney: so they can rely on the trusted legal counsel of someone who is qualified, has experience in this particular area of the law, and can strategically guide their steps to obtain a favorable outcome.
A good attorney will be your go-to resource for questions and concerns. They can help decipher any confusing legal jargon or processes. In the event that the court attempts to increase the penalties for your offense, your lawyer may be able to prevent the situation from escalating through skilled litigation and negotiation.
In the worst-case scenario, a criminal defense attorney can negotiate on your behalf to reduce the severity of your sentence. A comprehensive understanding of state and federal laws will enable a qualified lawyer to support and guide you from start to finish.
#2. They can help strengthen your case with sufficient evidence.
In any criminal defense case, evidence is key if you wish to strengthen your case and obtain a favorable result in court. It’s wise to lean on your attorney to determine which evidence is most useful, as they can help collect, organize, and present appropriate evidence to the court.
Audio recordings, video footage, reports or statements from law enforcement officers, and other witness testimonies can be helpful when building your case. Your defense lawyer can assemble and select the best evidence with a practiced legal eye to give you a fighting chance in court.
#3. They can help determine the best legal defense strategy for your case.
When it comes to prostitution charges, there are various legal strategies that defense lawyers can employ in defense of their clients. An experienced attorney will be able to identify which legal defense will be most strategic for your specific circumstances and collaborate with you to execute that strategy in court.
Consider these common legal defenses to contest prostitution charges:
This strategy is reserved for charges involving sting operations (deceptive operations in which law enforcement simulates an opportunity for someone to commit a crime). Entrapment occurs when an officer coerces or persuades a normally law-abiding person to commit a crime.
Entrapment is illegal on the grounds that the individual wouldn’t have participated in the illicit activity had they not been coerced by law enforcement. However, this can be a tricky defense to execute in court.
If your attorney pursues this option, the prosecution is responsible for proving beyond a reasonable doubt that you were able and willing to commit the crime without persuasion or coercion from law enforcement.
The meaning of this legal defense is as simple as it sounds: it entails that someone falsely accused you of prostitution or solicitation. In this case, sufficient evidence is helpful to successfully execute the strategy.
For example, if you're currently undergoing a divorce with a spiteful coparent who falsely accused you of a crime, it's necessary to work with your attorney to provide evidence of this. Doing so may show the court the underlying truth—for instance, that your soon-to-be ex-spouse is seeking vengeance or has ulterior motives.
Again, it’s imperative to collaborate with your attorney to establish that this is the best legal defense to pursue and strengthen your case with all appropriate evidence.
Lack of Request
This particular defense argues that you (the defendant) never committed the crime to begin with. Essentially, this says that the offense in question is an impossibility because the alleged acts don't constitute a crime.
For example, this may occur if you pulled over on a curb to ask a prostitute for directions. Although someone may have noticed and reported this interaction with the assumption that you were breaking the law, sufficient evidence can prove that your actions weren't illegal—merely misinterpreted.
Nationally Recognized Criminal Defense in Oakland
Regardless of your situation, it’s of the utmost importance to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney after being charged with a crime. Criminal proceedings carry harsh and irreversible consequences, and it’s essential to have an experienced legal advisor in your corner who can guide your next steps and defend your rights.
If you’ve been charged with prostitution or solicitation in Oakland, you deserve to have the Bay Area’s top defense attorney in your corner. Attorney Nabiel C. Ahmed has a successful track record of securing hundreds of acquittals and dismissals for clients whose rights were imminently threatened. From theft to DUI to internet crimes, the Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed has your back from start to finish.
Facing prostitution or solicitation charges in California? Don’t throw away your future by battling alone. Call (510) 907-6600 to request a free consultation.