California law is clear on solicitation for prostitution: do it and you can end up in jail. This is true regardless if you are soliciting on a corner, in a club, or online. And lately, there's been more solicitation for prostitution online than there has been on the streets of Hollywood and throughout California. Online solicitation for prostitution takes on a very different cover than solicitation happening on the streets of Hollywood and in clubs in Los Angeles.
Online solicitation it often takes place under the cover of internet escort services and massage or body rub websites. That's not to say that some people do not solicit outright online, thinking no one is paying attention except those persons looking for sex.
But they are paying attention. Sting operations online are not reserved for pedophiles and human traffickers alone. If you have been arrested for online solicitation for prostitution, you need a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney or a Hollywood criminal defense attorney with experience in these types of crimes and the insight and negotiation skills to help you get the charges dismissed or reduced prior to trial or acquitted at trial. As a criminal defense attorney in Hollywood, we have handled 100s of these cases and know the street of the criminal justice system in Los Angeles.
With an attorney like William Kroger, who has been practicing criminal defense in Hollywood, California for over two decades, you get someone who is passionate about defending his clients, knowledgeable of the law and procedures, and diligent to get an outcome in your favor.
Here's what you should know about online solicitation for prostitution. If you still have questions or want to discuss your case with an experienced solicitation for prostitution attorney, contact William Kroger today.
What is Solicitation for Prostitution in California?
According to California Penal Code §647(b) PC, solicitation for prostitution can materialize in two forms:
- You offer money or other consideration in exchange for sexual intercourse or lewd acts (prostitution).
- You receive money or other consideration in exchange for sexual intercourse or lewd acts.
Thus, you can be charged for this offense whether you are the one offering sex and receiving money or the one giving the money for sex acts. There are three primary elements to this crime that must be proved by the state:
- The defendant requested a person to engage in an act of prostitution.
- The person received communication with the above request.
- The defendant intended to engage in an act of prostitution.
What are the penalties for online solicitation for prostitution in California?
Solicitation for prostitution in California is a misdemeanor -- whether it occurs online or not -- and can be punishable by:
- Up to six months in jail;
- Possible probation; and
- Court fees and fines.
When the offense involves a minor, the penalties can be even tougher. They can also include minimum jail time if there are any prior prostitution convictions:
- 45 days in jail for one prior conviction; and
- 90 days in jail for two or more prior convictions.
Other potential penalties include:
- Registering as a sex offender in certain cases; and
- Suspension of your driver's license if the offense involved a vehicle and took place 1,000 feet of a house.
Are there defenses to online solicitation for prostitution in Hollywood and Los Angeles County?
Though you may have been charged with online solicitation for prostitution, it does not mean you are guilty. First, the prosecutor has the burden to prove each element of the crime. Second, we approach each case from all angles, meaning we look for any constitutional violations -- like a failure to read you your Miranda rights -- as well as any defenses you may have, like:
- Lack of intent (e.g., maybe you were simply sending messages back and forth with no intent to engage the other person in sexual intercourse or a lewd act).
- Entrapment (e.g., an officer in a sting operation becomes too aggressive and you respond in a way you normally would not be inclined to respond).
We hold the prosecutor, judge, and jury accountable to a fundamental principle of the criminal justice system: you are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Los Angeles County
You don't have to be convicted of this crime for it to have an impact on you. The charge itself can be devastatingly embarrassing and life-changing. It is important to retain an attorney as soon as possible to reduce any impact the charge may have on you and your loved ones. We know these matters can be sensitive and treat it the same, but we are also strategic and aggressive about helping you receive an outcome that is in your favor.
If you are in Los Angeles or L.A. County and need legal representation, contact us online or call us at 323-655-5700 for a free initial consultation to discuss your case.