California laws define solicitation as the facilitation or intent to facilitate a crime. This may involve requesting or encouraging another individual to participate in unlawful activities. Solicitation charges and convictions do not require that the crime was committed. Although many people associate solicitation with prostitution, solicitation can happen for other types of criminal offenses.
If you get accused of solicitation, you should immediately reach out to a reputable criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights and increase your chances of securing a dismissal of charges. Given the complexity of the law, professional counsel and representation are central to an effective defense strategy.
What Does the Prosecution Need to Prove to Convict Someone of Solicitation?
Although the crime does not need to have been committed for the prosecution to convict someone of solicitation, they nevertheless need to demonstrate several facts beyond a reasonable doubt.
In a solicitation case, the prosecution must prove that:
- The defendant requested, forced, or encouraged, another person to commit a criminal offense
- The defendant intended the crime to occur
For example, if you solicited someone for prostitution, the prosecution must prove that you requested someone to engage in sexual acts in exchange for payment and that you intended to follow through and engage in said sexual act with this person.
What Defense Strategies Are Available Against Solicitation Charges?
You should always hire a criminal defense attorney if you face an accusation of solicitation or any other criminal offenses. A professional understands the complexity of the law at every step of the proceedings. They can also conduct their own investigation to gather information and potential witnesses to find a defense strategy that meets your specific circumstances.
Common defense strategies against solicitation accusations include:
- Proving that the defendant did not request or demand that someone engaged in criminal activity
- Challenging that the defendant intended the crime to be committed
- Contesting a witness’s testimony to prove they misinterpreted the defendant’s words
- Establishing a case of mistaken identity
- Demonstrating unethical behavior from a law enforcement officer that resulted in the defendant confessing something they did not do
During your initial consultation with your attorney, they typically conduct a careful assessment of your situation before discussing your legal options to challenge the charges.
What Are the Potential Penalties for a Solicitation Conviction in California?
If a judge convicts you for solicitation, the penalties vary depending on the crime for which you solicited someone else. Many factors affect the extent of the penalties you receive, including whether solicitation was for a misdemeanor or felony crime, whether you solicited a minor, and whether it is your first offense.
In California, penalties for solicitation can include:
- A prison sentence for up to a year
- Costly fines
- Diversion programs
- Registration as a sex offender
In addition to judicial penalties, a conviction for solicitation can negatively impact your reputation. A criminal record can limit your educational, professional, and even financial opportunities. It may also interfere with your housing options and your parental rights if you share custody of minor children with a current or former domestic partner or spouse.
Facing Solicitation Charges in Oakland? Hire The Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed to Protect Your Rights
If you get arrested or hear you are going to face solicitation charges in the East Bay area, we recommend that you reach out to us right away. While you should cooperate with law enforcement, you should use your right to stay silent and consult with an attorney before answering any questions that may incriminate you.
Attorney Nabiel C. Ahmed has over 10 years of legal experience and a successful track record helping individuals obtain dismissals or reductions of charges against a wide range of criminal charges, including solicitation. We offer free and confidential initial consultations. When you trust us with your defense, you can expect a thorough evaluation of your situation and an honest discussion of what your options are.
Our firm is dedicated to advocating for your rights and protecting your future. We aggressively stand up for your interests outside of the courtroom and during court hearings. Our team offers flexible payment arrangements and speaks Spanish for your convenience.
If you are accused of solicitation in the East Bay area, Call The Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed today at (510) 907-6600 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation.