PROSTITUTION & SOLICITATION DEFENSE ATTORNEY ORANGE COUNTY
Prostitution and solicitation are considered sex crimes in Orange County, and these offenses can have life-changing consequences for convicted individuals. In addition to carrying a possible jail sentence and a significant fine, a prostitution conviction can destroy your reputation, and the social stigma associated with such a crime can result in job loss and missed employment opportunities, or could even ruin your relationships with friends and family. Unfortunately, because of the strong social views that surround the crime of prostitution and other sex crimes, you could face unfair treatment and judgement before you are even tried for the crime or convicted of any wrongdoing. If you or a loved one has been arrested for solicitation or prostitution in Orange County or the surrounding counties, do not hesitate to protect your legal rights. Contact our knowledgeable Orange County criminal defense attorneys at Seyb Law Group today to schedule your free initial consultation.
Orange County Prostitution Defense Attorney
Despite the fact that prostitution typically involves an agreement between two people, engaging in, agreeing to engage in, or asking another person to engage in an act of prostitution is still considered a sex crime under Orange County law, and is therefore punished harshly. Even if you simply agree to take part in an act of prostitution, regardless of whether the act actually occurs, you could face charges for prostitution, but only if it can be proven that you meant to follow through with the act. Proof is an important part of any criminal case, but in a prostitution or solicitation case, where the evidence presented by the prosecution is often untrustworthy or the result of entrapment or other unlawful conduct by the police, it is more important than ever for the prosecution to be held to its requisite burden of proof.
The punishment associated with an Orange County prostitution conviction is severe, possibly including a county jail sentence, costly fines, driver’s license suspension and sex offender registration requirements. If you have been charged with this crime, you need a skilled prostitution defense attorney on your side who can defend you against these charges and help you avoid a conviction that could follow you for the rest of your life. Our prostitution defense attorneys at Seyb Law Group have more than 60 years of combined criminal defense experience and we are intimately familiar with the inner workings of the Orange County criminal justice system. We have a clear understanding of the law as it applies to your case and we will fight tirelessly to protect your rights and help you get the best possible outcome in your Orange County prostitution case.
Prostitution and Solicitation
Prostitution is the crime of receiving payment in the form of money or something else of value in return for any sexual act, including sexual intercourse, while solicitation is the act of offering to engage in an act of prostitution. Pandering, more commonly known as “pimping,” is the facilitation or provision of a prostitution in the arrangement of a sex act with a paying customer; in other words, soliciting acts of prostitution on behalf of another person. The unlawful act of prostitution or solicitation can occur in obvious places, such as on street corners, or in more subtle ways, through phone services for escorts and call girls, or even in massage parlors. Some examples of situations that could constitute the crime of prostitution or solicitation in Orange County include the following:
- A woman allowing a man to fondle her breasts in exchange for money
- A police officer accepting a woman’s offer to have sex in return for not writing her a ticket
- A man approaching a woman in a bar and offering her $100 for sex
- A man responding to an online ad for call services
California Prostitution Penal Code § 647(b) PC
California Penal Code § 647(b) PC is the law against prostitution and solicitation in Orange County, defining prostitution as the exchange of money or other consideration (such as goods or services) for sex acts or lewd conduct. For the purposes of this law, “lewd” conduct is defined as any act that involves touching the genitals, buttocks or female breast of another person for the specific purpose of sexual arousal or gratification. PC § 647(b) applies to both the prostitute and the customer, and applies even if the proposed conduct never takes place, thereby making it illegal for anyone 18 or older to:
- Pay or accept money or something else of value in exchange for a sexual act (prostitution),
- Offer to engage in an act of prostitution (solicitation), or
- Agree to engage in the act of prostitution.
The difference between the two latter crimes is that the person who solicits a sex act or lewd conduct can be charged with offering to engage in prostitution, while the person who accepts the offer can be charged with agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution. Children under the age of 18 cannot legally be charged with the crime of prostitution under Orange County law. They would instead be considered a “commercially sexually exploited child,” per Senate Bill 1322, which was signed into law in 2016.
There are other Orange County sex crimes related to, but separate from, the crime of prostitution, which the prosecutor in your case could also decide to pursue charges for, including PC § 266h PC and 266i – pimping and pandering, PC § 653.23 – supervising or aiding a prostitute, PC § 653.22 – loitering in a public place with the intent to commit prostitution, PC § 315 – keeping a house of prostitution, and PC § 261 – rape.
Penalties for a Prostitution Conviction in Orange County
Under PC § 647(b), the crimes of prostitution and solicitation are misdemeanor offenses and for a first offense, a conviction could result in a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to six months in county jail, plus probation and counseling. However, because prostitution and solicitation are “priorable” offenses, the punishment for these sex crimes increases with each subsequent conviction. For a second offense, a conviction could result in a mandatory minimum of 45 days in county jail, while a third or subsequent offense could result in a mandatory minimum of 90 days in county jail. There are certain sentencing enhancements associated with the crimes of prostitution and solicitation in Orange County, and if you were in a vehicle or within 1,000 feet of a residence at the time the crime took place, you could face additional penalties, such as a driver’s license suspension for up to 30 days or a restricted driver’s license for up to six months.
Orange County Sex Offender Registration Requirements
Unlike many other sex crimes, prostitution and solicitation convictions do not trigger automatic sex offender registration. However, the judge assigned to your case has the discretion to order you to register as a sex offender with local authorities if you are convicted of the crime of prostitution or solicitation and the crime in question is “the result of sexual compulsion or for purposes of sexual gratification,” which could apply to almost any solicitation conviction.
Orange County Prostitution Defense
The Orange County court system takes a tough stance on sex crimes, and as such, the crime of prostitution is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. As in any criminal case, the prosecution in your prostitution or solicitation case bears the burden of proving the crime and in order to get a conviction in your Orange County prostitution case, the prosecutor will have to show that you either:
- Engaged in an act of prostitution,
- Solicited an act of prostitution, or
- Agreed to engage in an act of prostitution.
Depending on the specific behavior charged in your case, the prosecution will have to prove the following “elements” of the prostitution or solicitation crime beyond a reasonable doubt:
Engaged in an act of prostitution
- You willfully engaged in sexual intercourse or a lewd action with another person,
- In exchange for money or another form of compensation.
Solicited an act of prostitution
- You requested that another person engage in an act of prostitution, and
- You intended to engage in an act of prostitution with that person.
Agreed to engage in an act of prostitution
- You agreed to engage in an act of prostitution with another person,
- You intended to follow through with the act of prostitution, and
- In addition to agreeing, you did something to further the commission of the act of prostitution (i.e., making the requested payment, driving to the agreed-upon location, or withdrawing money from an ATM to pay the other person)
If your attorney is able to challenge the prosecution’s evidence and create doubt in the minds of the judge and jury that you actually committed the crime, the prosecutor may not be able to meet the burden of proof required to get a lawful prostitution or solicitation conviction.
Best Defense Strategies in Orange County Prostitution Cases
Facing prostitution or solicitation charges in Orange County can be stressful and confusing and it is easy to feel like the odds are stacked against you in such cases. However, it is important to remember that even when facing criminal charges, you still have rights, one of the most important being the right to retain legal counsel to defend you against these charges. With an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side, you can craft a solid defense that proposes a different version of events than the prosecution claims and fight the charges against you. Some possible defenses to use in an Orange County prostitution or solicitation case include the following:
- Insufficient evidence – The prosecution does not have enough evidence to warrant a prostitution charge
- Lack of trustworthy evidence – The evidence presented to the court is not reliable
- Police entrapment – A police officer engaged in conduct that caused you to commit the crime
- Mistake of fact/lack of intent – You did not intend to engage in an act of prostitution
How Hiring a Prostitution Defense Attorney Can Help
Because of the comprehensive nature of the laws prohibiting sex crime offenses in Orange County, particularly those involving acts of prostitution, you could find yourself facing charges for prostitution or solicitation without even realizing you had committed a crime. These laws are intended to protect the rights of sex crime victims and prevent future offenses from occurring, but they often result in innocent individuals being charged and convicted for a crime they never meant to commit.
Fortunately, if you have a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney on your side, you can significantly improve your chances of getting a favorable outcome in your prostitution case. Your attorney could, for instance, get your prostitution or solicitation charges reduced to disturbing the peace, criminal trespass or lewd conduct in public, which carry less severe penalties than prostitution, and allow you to avoid the social stigma of a prostitution conviction. When you hire Seyb Law Group, you will work with a top Orange County prostitution defense attorney with years of experience defending the criminally accused in Orange County. We will ensure that you understand the charges against you and give you the best chance at a positive outcome in your Orange County prostitution case.
Contact Our Experienced Prostitution Defense Attorneys
A sex crime is any act that involves unlawful sexual conduct, and in Orange County, that includes the crime of engaging in an act of prostitution, soliciting an act of prostitution or agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution. Even if you don’t follow through with the sex act or lewd conduct, if you had the intention to do so, you could be charged with soliciting an act of prostitution or agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution and face significant legal penalties if you are convicted. If you have been arrested for or charged with prostitution or solicitation in Orange County or the surrounding counties, your freedom and your future could be at risk. Consult our skilled prostitution defense attorneys at Seyb Law Group as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.