Los Angeles Solicitation and Prostitution Defense Lawyers
Being arrested for prostitution or solicitation can ruin your life. In both charges, a defendant may face significant fines, long prison sentences, and lose relationships, a career, and even custody of a child. But words and actions can be taken out of context, and a skilled defense attorney can dig through the facts to protect your future.
If you or someone you love has been charged with solicitation or prostitution in Los Angeles, pick up the phone and contact Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP. We have fought for numerous high-profile clients in federal and state courts and understand what is at stake. Our experienced legal team can secure evidence for your defense, denounce the charges against you, and advocate for your best interests. Call us at (213) 688-0460 to discuss your case in a free, confidential consultation.
California takes a harsh stance on prostitution, convicting both alleged prostitutes and their “customers” with hefty penalties. To convict you of prostitution, the prosecution must prove that you solicited another person to commit a sexual act in return for money, goods, or services, according to California Penal Code 647(b). Both sex workers and clients, or “johns,” can be charged with solicitation, even if the act never took place or if one party refused. Solicitation can include offering to pay someone for sex, offering to bribe another person with sex, or agreeing to a request to have sex for money, property, or a favor.
The key elements that must be proven in a criminal trial include:
- A defendant offered to commit a sexual act or requested a sexual act from another person;
- In return for compensation, such as goods, services, or money; and
- Intended to commit the sexual act.
In contrast, pimping and pandering refer to the crimes of profiting off another’s act of prostitution or assisting in prostitution, respectively.
Prostitution and solicitation of a prostitute both come with the same charges for clients and sex workers. In general, prostitution and solicitation are misdemeanors; however, these charges can be aggravated. For a first-time offense, a defendant can face:
- Up to six months in county jail;
- Up to $1,000 in fines
- Up to three years’ probation; and/or
- A 30-day driver’s license suspension if the offense took place with the use of a vehicle and within 1,000 feet of a private residence.
A conviction will have additional penalties if the defendant has a prior conviction for prostitution, including a mandatory 45 days in county jail for a second offense and 90 days in jail for a third offense. On its own, being convicted of prostitution will not lead to you having to register as a sex offender in California, unlike other sex crimes.
Your charges can be significantly enhanced if your case involved a minor, however. Under Penal Code 266, a defendant can be placed in state prison and fined up to $25,000 for enticing a minor (someone under the age of 18) to commit prostitution. This can also result in a human trafficking charge, requiring the defendant to register as a sex offender, and a sexual assault of a minor charge.
Prostitution charges often come about as the result of a prostitution sting where officers created situations where defendants would willingly solicit an undercover officer into committing prostitution. For these arrests to be legal, the officers must walk a fine line between allowing defendants to try to commit a criminal act and entrapment. A skilled Los Angeles sex crime defense attorney at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP can review the nature of your arrest to determine if the officer committed entrapment. If so, your case may be dismissed.
In addition to an entrapment defense, your attorney can also argue that:
- You did not offer to commit or request a sexual act in return for goods or services.
- You did not intend to commit a sexual act.
- It is a case of mistake of fact, and your words were taken out of context.
- The police do not have sufficient evidence to convict you.
Solicitation of a prostitute and prostitution go hand-in-hand, leaving damaged reputations and destroyed relationships in their wake. But you do not deserve to have your reputation marred without first receiving a fair and thorough trial. You are innocent until proven guilty. Our team of Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers has defended multiple high-profile clients in complex criminal cases. We understand just how the prosecution thinks and how to fight back. If you bring your case to use, we will use our decades of experience to fight for your future. Contact Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP online or call us at (213) 688-0460 for a free consultation with an experienced trial attorney.
Recent Case Results
- Complete Dismissal of Molestation Charges
Attorney Mark Werksman’s 29 year old client was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and was subsequently charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head should he be convicted. Instead, at the preliminary hearing Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
- Decision Set Aside
Client, a college student in a faulty Title IX case, was awarded $130,000 in attorney fees.
- Probation with No Jail Time for Drug Money Laundering Charge
Wilmington man accused in New York federal court of laundering drug money through the sale of laptop computers. Mark was able to get the case transferred to federal court in Los Angeles, where he convinced the United States Attorney to reduce the charges. His client was sentenced to probation with no jail time on a misdemeanor conviction.