santa barbara Criminal Defense Attorney-
prostitution – Sanford Horowitz Criminal Defense, P.C.
CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE 647(B): PROSTITUTION/SOLICITATION DEFENSE ATTORNEY
Santa Barbara is a beautiful coastal city known for its scenic attractions and popular college campuses. The city is expensive and attracts wealthy residents and visitors, which can also attract those who desire that lifestyle. Adding all of that into the mix, Santa Barbara is the perfect storm for prostitution.
If you have been arrested for “prostitution”, it does not mean that you are guilty. It’s important to vigorously fight a “prostitution” charge because a criminal conviction will stay on your record and can adversely affect job and educational opportunities down the road.
As a former Prosecutor for the District Attorney’s Offices in Santa Barbara and San Diego Counties, Sanford Horowitz and his legal team will offer you a free consultation, investigate the evidence against you, and recommend practical steps to achieve the best possible results in your case.
CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE 647(B)
- Engage in the act of prostitution;
- Agree to engage in the act of prostitution; and/or
- Solicit another to engage in prostitution.
This means that you can face charges for prostitution if you are:
- The prostitute receiving compensation for sex;
- The person paying to engage in a sexual encounter; or
- The “pimp” arranging a sexual encounter between a prostitute and a client.
While each of these offenses are different, they all have the same outcome. The prosecutor handling your case will be required to establish that you participated in an agreement to exchange sexual acts for compensation.
Examples of a California Penal Code 647(B) violation include:
- You offer drugs to a woman in exchange for a “blow job” (even if she is not a prostitute and she says “no”).
- A woman allows you to fondle her breasts in exchange for money.
- A police officer accepts your offer to have sex in exchange for not writing you a traffic ticket.
- Sexual Intercourse
- Oral Sex
- Anal Sex
- Sexual Touching
- Stolen Merchandise
- Forged Money
- Important Documents
- Government Welfare Notes
LEGAL PENALTIES FOR PROSTITUTION
- Up To 6 Months And Jai
- Up To A $1,000 Fine
Prostitution is a priorable offense, meaning that the penalties to which you are exposed can become much more severe with each subsequent offense. A second prostitution offense can result in a minimum of 45 days in jail, and a third offense will put you in the county jail for at least 90 days.
A defendant can face additional penalties if arrested while using a car and within 1,000 feet of a residence. In addition to the penalties above, defendants can have their driver’s license suspended for 30 days.
Those convicted of prostitution or solicitation can be required to register as sex offenders, though many are not. It is important for you to speak about this possibility with your attorney.
The law applies to both prostitutes and their clients. However, some prostitutes also have middlemen, known generally as “pimps.” A pimp is more likely to be arrested for these violations:
- California’s “pimping and pandering” laws, Penal Code 266h and Penal Code 266i, or
- “Supervising or aiding” a prostitute, Penal Code 653.23 PC6
FIGHTING A PROSTITUTION / SOLICITATION CHARGE
4TH AMENDMENT VIOLATIONS
If the police obtained the evidence against you through a search or seizure that violated your 4th Amendment rights, it can result in a judge declaring the evidence they gathered inadmissible in court. This can significantly weaken the prosecution’s case against you and even result in the prosecution dropping the charges entirely.
Keep in mind that many prostitution cases are resolved through the plea bargain process. This involves the defendant pleading guilty in return for a more lenient sentence or reduced charges. Many of these charge reductions allow a defendant to plead guilty to an offense that doesn’t carry the sexual stigma associated with prostitution, helping them avoid the ongoing collateral consequences.
Importantly, negotiating a plea bargain is a complicated legal process, so it is crucial for anyone considering one to retain an experienced Santa Barbara criminal defense lawyer to represent them immediately. Some of the charges to which a prostitution charge can be reduced to include the following:
- California PC 415 – Disturbing the Peace
- California PC 602 – Criminal Trespass
- California PC 647(a) – Lewd Conduct in Public
If you are facing a charge of prostitution, Santa Barbara County defense attorney Sanford Horowitz Criminal Defense, P.C. knows the law and the best strategies for your defense. We have extensive experience representing clients throughout the Santa Barbara area and want to help you understand the charges you are facing as well as what your rights are under the law. If you’d like to schedule a consultation about your case, call 805-452-7214 or fill out this contact form.
Can children under 18 be convicted of prostitution?
Does 647 b PC require sex offender registration?
However, a judge has the discretion to require registration if a criminal offense was “the result of sexual compulsion or for sexual gratification.”