Prostitution is an established industry in California and in other areas across the nation. It is a particularly large industry in California specifically. California tops all other states for prostitution arrests. For this reason, prostitution and related activities are heavily prosecuted in California. Unfortunately, you do not need to even have committed an act of prostitution to be convicted of a prostitution related charge. There are a few things you can be charged with for prostitute related activities, including loitering and solicitation. You can be charged with the prostitution-related crime of loitering if you linger in area or space with no lawful reason to do so and with the intent to solicit for prostitution or commit an act of prostitution. Generally, the area would be a location known for high rates of prostitution or other illicit activity. Solicitation refers to the offering, or even attempt to offer, money or other consideration for the services of a prostitute. Solicitation, also sometimes called pandering, is most commonly charged as a misdemeanor. Like other misdemeanors, this could mean you face up to one year of jail time in a county jail, fines and penalties along with a period of probation. To fully understand the charge of solicitation, it is a good idea to first understand what prostitution is. Prostitution is generally characterized by a sexual act exchanged for money or other some other form of compensation. Some may not realize what they are doing is considered prostitution, as the lines are gray in some cases. An act of prostitution could include anything from fondling to sexual intercourse and the compensation could be money or other goods or services, like drugs or shelter. Solicitation is a little less broad of a charge. Solicitation must involve an offer or attempted offer to exchange money or other consideration for sexual acts. Intent is important here. Intent could also be presumed based on the situation. For example, if you were seen inviting a women into your car in an area known for high rates of prostitution, then were seen giving money to the women before driving away with her, it may be presumed you had the intent to solicit this women for prostitution. Or, if you were seen attempting to offer money to a women with a known past of prostitution but she refuses and walks away, it may be presumed you had the intent to solicit a prostitute. So you can see, solicitation is a charge you could face for offering compensation for some sort of sexual act, regardless if you actually engage in that act. You could also be charged with disorderly conduct for similar activities, if you were in a public space and/or being a public nuisance. If you are facing solicitation or loitering charges, you may want to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Since solicitation involves multiple parties and several components, the job of the prosecution to prove you engaged in solicitation is complex. They must prove you knew the individual you were soliciting or trying to solicit was a prostitution and that you had the intent to solicit them for an act of prostitution. Prostitutes sometimes hide their identify or conceal their activity for fear of being caught by an undercover cop. Knowing that the person was a prostitute isn't a given. Similarly, they must prove you had the intent to solicit them for prostitution. It is worth discussing with an attorney the likelihood the prosecution will be able to prove these two things in your case. A skilled attorney will be able to listen to your case facts and advise you on how to approach your defense, should you choose to raise one. Remember, prostitution is seen as a big problem in California, where yearly arrests frequently top 10,000. Make sure you talk to an attorney with experience in California prostitution and sex crime defense. They may be able to find weakness in the prosecution's argument. It is important to fight solicitation and other prostitution related crimes. These kinds of charges carry a lot of stigma and so are well worth the fight to have them dropped.
If you are facing DUI charges in Tulare, Kings or Fresno counties, The Law Offices of Christopher Martens can help. With ten years experience in criminal defense, attorney Christopher Martens will fight aggressively for you all the way. Mr. Martens has handled thousands of criminal defense cases and has taken over 50+ cases to trial. He will not be afraid to take your case all the way and fight for your rights. Contact our Visalia or Hanford offices at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] to discuss your options for defending your case.