California Solicitation of Prostitution Attorney
Prostitution is defined as "any lewd act between persons for money or other consideration". Penal Code section 647(b) prohibits anyone who solicits or engages in prostitution. This means both the customer (aka the “john”) and the prostitute can be arrested for this crime.
Verbally agreeing to engage in prostitution is not enough. The person who agrees to the prostitution must do something "in furtherance of the commission" of the agreement. For example, if a defendant agrees to have sex with a prostitute and then actually goes to the location where the sex is to take place would be an act in furtherance of the prostitution.
Prostitution can take place as a street crime, in massage parlours or can take place over the internet. Many prostitutes are advertising their services over the internet as escorts through websites like Craigslist. Law enforcement officers will target these advertisements and set up "sting" operations with undercover officers.
As a former Deputy District Attorney, Fred Thiagarajah has actually worked with the Vice unit in setting up and executing these undercover operations. He has seen firsthand how the police make contact and he knows what clues the police search for. If you have been accused of prostitution, you need the aggressive legal representation of our Newport Beach law firm.
In order to prove the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant willfully agreed to engage in sexual intercourse or a lewd act with someone in exchange for money or other compensation.
A “lewd act” means touching the genitals, buttocks, or female breast of either the prostitute or customer for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification of either person.
The specific elements that must be proved are:
1. The defendant requested or solicited that another person engage in an act of prostitution; AND
2. The defendant intended to engage in prostitution with the other person; AND
3. The other person received the communication containing the request.
Prostitution is a misdemeanor crime with a maximum punishment of six months county jail. However, if a defendant a prior convictions for prostitution on their record, then the minimum jail time is 45 days county jail. If a defendant has 2 or more prior convictions, then the minimum jail time is 90 days county jail. Furthermore, the court has the power to suspend the driver’s license of either the prostitute or the customer if the crime was committed within a 1000 feet of a private residence and with the use of a vehicle. This suspension can last for 30 days.
Not only can a solicitation of prostitution conviction lead to criminal penalties, but it can also have drastic employment, licensing and immigration consequences. Having a solicitation conviction can prevent a person from finding a job or lead to a person being fired from their current job. Furthermore, many professions that require licensing from a state board, such as doctors, pharmacists, nurses, lawyers, accountants, contractors, teachers, real estate agents and stock brokers, all require background checks. A professional who has a solicitation of prostitution conviction on their record risks losing their professional license, or never acquiring it in the first place. Perhaps the most severe impact of a solicitation conviction involves immigration consequences. Non-citizens who are permanent residents, with a green card, or temporary visitors, with a student visa or work visa, can be denied admission or naturalization or even deported, with a solicitation conviction on their record.
The Right Lawyer
Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer will be the most important decision someone can make when facing criminal solicitation of prostitution charges. Many people who face solicitation charges are good people who made a mistake or exercised poor judgment. There are also some people who have been wrongfully accused of solicitation of prostitution, based on a misunderstanding or false evidence. You need an attorney who will listen to your side of the story carefully, who will evaluate the evidence thoroughly, who will negotiate with the judge and the District Attorney’s office skillfully, and who will fight in trial aggressively. You need attorney Fred Thiagarajah.
As a former Deputy District Attorney, Fred Thiagarajah has the negotiating skills and trial experience necessary to get the best results for his clients, for criminal cases and immigration consequences. Fred Thiagarajah has worked in the Sexual Assault unit of the District Attorney’s office and uses his specialized knowledge of sex crimes to defend his clients, including those accused of solicitation of prostitution. For an example of his work, please see his case results and read his client testimonials. With offices in Newport Beach, Beverly Hills and Riverside, Fred Thiagarajah has criminal defense experience in Orange, Los Angeles and Riverside Counties.
Fred Thiagarajah – The Right Lawyer. The Right Result. The Right Choice.
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