Penal Code 647(b) PC — Prostitution Charges
Penal Code 647(b) PC punishes various crimes commonly referred to as “prostitution.” “Prostitution” offenses include, but are not limited to:
- Engaging in prostitution — Engaging in sexual intercourse or any lewd act with another person in exchange for money or other consideration.
- Soliciting prostitution — offering or agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution.
Crimes related to “prostitution” include, but are not limited to:
- Supervising or aiding a prostitute (Penal Code Section 653.23)
- Loitering to commit prostitution (Penal Code Section 653.22)
- Pimping (Penal Code Section 266h)
- Pandering (Penal Code Section 266i)
Penalties for Engaging in or Soliciting Prostitution
Under Penal Code 647(b), prostitution, solicitation, and agreeing to engage in prostitution are all misdemeanors punishable as follows:
- A maximum of 6 months in county jail, and/or
- A maximum $1,000 fine.
- possible (not mandatory) sex offender registration under California Penal Code 290.
A second prostitution conviction carries a minimum punishment of 45 days in county jail. A third prostitution conviction carries a minimum punishment of 90 days in county jail.
What the Prosecutor Must Prove to Convict a Person of Solicitation of Prostitution
For you to be guilty of agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- You agreed to engage in an act of prostitution with another person,
- You made this agreement with the specific intent of engaging in an act of prostitution; AND
- In addition to the agreement, you performed some act in furtherance of (some act to accomplish) the prostitution.
The “Act in Furtherance” requirement may be the hardest thing for the prosecution to prove since a mere agreement to engage in an act of prostitution cannot result in a conviction. Whether an “act in furtherance” occurred depends on the specific facts and circumstances of each case.
Defenses to Engaging in and Solicitation of Prostitution
Possible defenses in a prostitution case depend on the exact facts and circumstances of each case, however, common defenses in prostitution cases include, but are not limited to:
- Entrapment – a police officer, typically posing as a prostitute, causes a defendant to act in manner he would not otherwise have acted but for the police officer’s conduct.
- No Act in Furtherance – Solicitation of prostitution requires some act in furtherance of the agreement to engage in a sex act. An agreement alone is insufficient. In many cases it is unclear that the defendant committed an act in furtherance of the agreement.
- Insufficient evidence or lack of evidence — Many prostitution cases are based on what a police officer testifies that a defendant said and did. However, because police officers may not record their conversations with the defendant, they testify based on their “memory” of what the defendant said. Since it is nearly impossible to remember a defendant’s exact words or statements, especially months after an incident, this type of testimony may be extremely weak.
Contact Us Now
Schwartz & Naderi’s team of criminal defense attorneys has over 80 years of combined experience aggressively defending clients facing all types of sex-related charges, including prostitution charges, and will strategize a vigorous defense from the moment of arrest until the completion of the case.
If you or a loved one has been charged with any sex offense, contact a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney from Schwartz & Naderi today at (310) 246-9550.