Criminal Defense Attorney Ann Gottesman provides aggressive legal defense to those charged with solicitation and prostitution in Pasadena and throughout Los Angeles County
Los Angeles City prosecutors are working with local police to reduce the number of prostitutes, pimps, and “Johns” in neighborhoods where the incidents are high and the complaints from local residents are numerous. While many would argue that paying money for sex is a victimless crime and that limited police resources should be used for other purposes, the District Attorneys and City Prosecutors in Los Angeles and Pasadena think otherwise. They file charges on almost every solicitation for prostitution case that they believe can be proven. Lots of our tax money is spent each year by the city of Los Angeles and Pasadena to implement “sting operations”. A sting operation is when an undercover officer plays the part of the prostitute or the customer. The officer actually helps to create the crime.
ELEMENTS OF THE CRIME FOR CAL. PENAL CODE SECTION 647(B)
Under Penal Code section 647, the law lists examples of disorderly conduct, including the act of prostitution and solicitation. In Los Angeles it is illegal to pay for sex or sell sex for money. If a person participates in sex with another person or persons in exchange for a monetary reward, that person can be charged with prostitution, in violation of CA Penal Code section 647(b). By making a verbal agreement or in some other way indicating an agreement has been made to trade sex for money, a person can only be convicted of solicitation or prostitution if he or she committed some act in furtherance of the crime. In other words, a mere agreement to pay $100 for a specific sex act, is not sufficient. However, if the solicitor follows the prostitute to her hotel, or if the prostitute gets into the car of the individual who asked for sex, then the elements of the crime might be satisfied. Still, the prosecutor would be required to prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt at a court or jury trial in order for a defendant to be convicted of a violation of California Penal Code section 647(b)
SENTENCING FOR PROSTITUTION/SOLICITATION CONVICTIONS
A conviction for a violation for PC 647(b) is a priorable offense, meaning that if a person gets convicted of the same offense again in the future, he or she will be facing more consequences, such as mandatory minimum jail sentences that increase with every new offense.
Prostitution is a misdemeanor offense that is punishable in California by:
- A maximum of six months in a jail,
- A fine of up to $1,000
- Restricted Driver’s License for up to 6 months if incident occurred in a vehicle
- Suspended license to drive for 30 days if the incident occurred in a vehicle
Under Proposition 47, there is a chance for a first offender to be given the option of “diversion”. Diversion means the accused will plead guilty or no contest initially, but after completing court requirements (i.e., counseling or community service), the Judge will allow the defendant to withdraw his/her plea, enter a not guilty plea and then the charge is fully dismissed. This is very important because it means the defendant will not have a criminal conviction on his or her record.
Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you or a loved one is charged with prostitution or solicitation, it is in your interest to hire an good criminal defense attorney who has experience in handling these type of charges. Attorney Ann Gottesman has been successfully representing those accused of prostitution, solicitation, lewd conduct, public intoxication, loitering, and other misdemeanor and felony offenses for over nine years. Having a caring, diligent and experienced defense lawyer by your side can make all the difference. Call the Law Office of Ann Gottesman at 626-710-4021 for a free and confidential consultation. Ann is available to her clients seven days a week.