Being charged with a prostitution offense can cause a great deal of anxiety in someone's life. Not only do you face the serious consequences of a criminal conviction such as jail time and fines, but the allegations can also affect your job, your family and your future.
The best way to limit the negative impact of the situation is by working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can analyze the facts surrounding your case for any possible defenses, and, even if there are no defenses, can often resolve the case with a lesser or different charge and avoid custody if it cannot be dismissed. There things that can be done to mitigate the offense and help resolve it without the conviction for being involved in a "prostitution" offense.
At Christoph Law Offices, we know how important it is that this matter is handled quickly, confidentially and effectively, and you can count on us for protection and guidance. We have 40-plus years of combined experience helping people like you move forward with their lives.
Selling or Soliciting Sex for Money Is a Crime in California
It is a crime of moral turpitude and illegal to engage in sex acts in exchange for money or anything else of value in California under Penal Code 647(b). This includes:
- Agreeing to engage in a sex act for money
- Soliciting a sex act in exchange for money
- Engaging in sex acts in exchange for money
In other words, it is a crime to provide sex acts in exchange for money as a prostitute or escort, and it is also a crime to solicit sex acts for money as a "john." Other state laws prohibit prostitution-related offenses including:
- Making money off of prostitution, also known as pimping and pandering
- Seeking out the prostitution services from a person under the age of 18
Each case needs to be thoroughly examined by an experienced criminal defense lawyer, because a person can only be convicted if he or she takes some action toward committing or furthering the prostitution conduct, and the prosecution must have evidence of this.
That means if a person has agreed to perform a sex act in exchange for money but has done nothing more, then a crime has likely not been committed. But if the person takes the step of getting into the car of a person who has solicited sex for money, paying money or going to a motel etc. then that could be considered an act in furtherance of the solicitation of prostitution.
Potential Consequences of Prostitution Convictions in California
California law Penal Code 647(b) considers prostitution offenses to be misdemeanors, which are punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of $1,000. This offense can affect your job, your security clearance, your occupational license and many other areas of your life. If you have prior convictions for the same conduct, the penalties are enhanced and increased for 2nd and 3rd offenses.
You Need an Effective Prostitution Defense Lawyer on Your Side
When facing prostitution-related charges in Oceanside, Carlsbad or Escondido, or anywhere in San Diego County, there is a lot at stake. The action you take now will affect your life for years to come. Call an attorney you can trust. Call the Christoph Law Offices in Vista, California, at 760-659-2149 to set up a free initial consultation, or contact us online.