California Prostitution Defense Attorneys (PC 647(b), 653.22(a), & 315
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California Prostitution Law & Defense

California Penal Codes 647(b), 653.22(a), & 315

909.913.3138

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The laws on the crimes of prostitution in California are found at several locations in the penal code depending on the exact prostitution charge. For example, prostitution of a wife is found at California penal code section 266g, pimping is found at PC 266h, Human Trafficking is found at PC 236.1, and so on.

While there are many different types of prostitution crimes in California perhaps the most common criminal charges are found at California penal code 647(b), PC 653.22(a), and PC 315. This article, and this website, is dedicated to a discussion of these three California prostitution crimes and the defenses associated with these crimes There is also a section on the penalties and punishments associated with these three prostitution crimes along with post-conviction relief issues.

For information on other types of sex crimes, inlcuding other types of prostitution charges, please visit our full Sex Crimes Defense website.

What is prostitution?

Prostitution is the act of engaging in, or agreeing to engage in, sex, or sexual contact, with another person for money or other consideration [PC 647(b)]. Consideration  is a legal term that simply means anything of value such as money, a promise for a future payment, or even a promise to perform a servic, such as repair the prostitute’s vehicle in exchange for sexual services.

According to PC 647(b), A sex act means oral copulation, vaginal or anal sex, touching the genitals or buttocks of another person, or touching a female’s breast. Note: The touching does not have to be skin to skin.

In California, to find the defendant guilty of the most basic prostitution charge (PC 647(b)), the district attorney will need to prove that the defendant not only engaged in, or agreed to engage in, a sex act with another person for money, or other consideration, but that in addition, the defendant made some overt act towards the act of prostitution.

An overt act is an act by the defendant that reasonably shows that the defendant actually intended to go through with the crime of prostitution, such as the act of paying money to the prostitute, or the act of traveling to meet the prostitute. In other words, it is not enough evidence to convict a defendant of prostitution if the district attorney only proves that the there was an agreement for sex or sexual services in exchange for consideration (usually cash money) [See PC 647(b)].

In cases where the police or the prosecutors can not prove that there was an agreement to engage in prostitution, or where the prosecutor can not prove an overt act occured, but that the defendant was about to engage in prostitution, the prosecutor will usually charge the defendant with the crime of Loiter with Intent to Commit Prostitution, which is charged under PC 653.22(a).

The crime so Loiter with Intent to Commit Prostitution is usually charged where the defendant is accused of attempting to engage a prostitute but there is no evidence that he or she made an agreement with the prostitute for sex or sexual services. Forx example, a defendant who pulls his vehicle over to talk to woman on the street and starts to ask about what sexual services the woman is offering, but never actually agrees to engage in any of the sexual services for money, could be charged with loiter with intent to commit prostitution [See PC 653.22(a)]. Other examples of loiter with intent to commit prostitution include cases where the district attorney can not prove that the defendant made an overt act after an agreement to engage in prostitution.

Another popular prostitution charge is called Keeping a House of Prostitution, which is found at California PC 315. Under PC 315 it is illegal for a person to knowingly allow prostitution in his or her house. A house is loosely defined and can include a massage parlor, a strip club, or just about any place that can accomodate prostitution.

What are the punishments for engaging in prostitution?

As stated, every prostitution case is different; therefore, the punishments for any particular prostitution charge are different (usually). For example, soliciting a minor for prostitution carries a higher possible jail sentence than does most other types of prostitution charges, but to prove that the defendant solicited a minor for prostitution the district attorney will obviously also need to prove that the solicited person was in fact a minor.

Perhaps the most common prostitution charge in California is found at penal code 647(b). PC 647(b) is charged against either a person soliciting (asking) another person to commit prostitution or the person who actually agrees to engage in prostitution. For example, a prostitute (usually female) places an ad on the internet which list her sexual services. If a “John” (usually male) agrees to meet the prostitute for a sex act in exchange for money or other consideration then either the prostitute or the John may be charged with PC 647(b).

The penalties for any conviction of PC 647(b), whether by plea or by jury trial, include: possible jail time (up to 180 days), possible work release or home confinement (electronic monitoring), fines, stay-away orders, mandatory HIV or AIDS test, possible mandatory AIDS classes, possible immigration status lost (for non-U.S. citizens), possible loss of professional license or vehicle license (if a vehicle was used during the commission of the offense), possible placement of the John’s profile (including picture) on the district attorney’s website containing information on local persons convicted of the crime of prostitution, and more.

Note: a person convicted of prostitution charges under PC 647(b), PC 315, or PC 653.22(a) who have a prior convictions for prostitution will face more severe penalties then those convicted of a first offense of prostitution. This is true for most offenses: The most crimes you commit the more the recent convictions carry harsher penalties.

Note: registration as a sex offender is not required for most prostitution convictions (including some pimping charges and pandering charges). For more information on the requirement to register as a sex offender for any particular prostitution charge please visit our prostitution crimes page.

Defenses to prostitution crimes:

Because there are different types of prostitution charges there are different types of defenses that might apply to any particular prostitution charge. For example, a person charged with loitering for the purpose of prostitution might defend by showing that he or she was not loitering in any particular area to commit prostitution but rather was stranded in an area that coincidentally is visited by prostitutes. This defense would not make any sense to the most basic prostitution charge as “loitering” is not an element of basic prostitution (The most common prostitution charges is found at PC 647(b)).

Despite the fact that every prostitution case is different most of the following defenses are available to almost all types of prostitution criminal charges: statute of limitations, entrapment, negotiated plea bargain, insufficient evidence, jury nullification, police misconduct that leads to the suppression of evidence, and more (see complete list at prostitution defenses).

What to do if I am charged with prostitution:

If you are charged with California prostitution the very first thing you should do is hire a lawyer that is familiar with California prostitution law and defense. A lawyer who is experienced in prostitution cases can identity your legal defenses, inform you of your rights, and guide you through the court process and paperwork. In fact, a prostitution attorney can go to court for you without you having to attend court (in most prostitution cases, including PC 647(b), 653.22(a), & 315).

At Dorado & Dorado we are experienced in the law and crimes of prostitution. We are experienced in the defenses that work and our proven success rate is unsurpassed. We understand the law, the evidence, and the defenses as a preponderance of our criminal cases focus on sex crimes, including prostitution.

We have successfully represented hundreds of prostitution charges, including the defense of strip clubs, massage parlors, PC 647(b), 653.22(a), and 315 charges, pimping and pandering cases, and human trafficking. Our trial attorneys have won a majority of their sex crimes through trial.

Our attorneys are available every day of the week for free consultations. Our criminal defense firm is conveniently located in Redlands, CA (San Bernardino County). We also serve the counties of Orange, Los Angeles, and Riverside.

Call today for a free consultations. 909.913.3138

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California PC 647(b) Prostitution Penalties & Punishment

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PC 647(b) 1st Offense Penalties & Punishment:

Jail: (up to 180 days); Summary Probation; Mandatory HIV Testing; Sex Education Class (Some Counties); Stay-Away Orders (locations & websites, etc.); Fines ($400-$1,200); Website "John" Publication (Some Counties), and more.

PC 647(b) 2nd Offense Penalties & Punishment:

All the penalties and punishements listed for a first offense PC 647(b) conviction except jail is from 45 - 180 days.

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PC 647(b) 3rd Offense Penalties & Punishment:

All the penalties and punishments listed for a first offense PC 647(b) conviction except jail is from 90-180 days.

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Loiter with Intent to Commit Prostitution: PC 653.22(a)

Penalties & Punishments

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PC 653.22(a) 1st Offense (Same as PC 647(b) above)

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Evidence used to prosecutes PC 653.22(a) charges, include, but is not limited to the following:

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1... Repeatedly beckoning to, stops, engages in converstions with, or attempts to stop or engage in conversartions with passerby, inddicative of soliciting for prostitution [PC 653.22(b)(1)];

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2... Repeatedly stops or attempts to stop moto vehilces by hailing the drivers, waying arms, or making any other bodily gestures, or engages or attempts to engage the drivers or passengers of the motor vehilce in conversation, incidcative of solicting for porstituion [PC 653.22(b)(2)];

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3... Has been convicted of violating this section, subdivision (a) or (b) of section 647, or any other offense relating to or involving prostitution, within five years of the arest under this section [PC 653.22(b)(3)];

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4... Circles an area in a motor vhicle and repeatedly beckons to, contats, or attemps to contact or tstop pedestrians or other motorists, indicative of solicitn for prostitution [PC 653.22(b)(4)];

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5... Has engaged , wihtin six months prior to the arrest under this section, in any behavior described in this sbudivion, with the exception of paragraph (3), or in any other behvior indicative of prostituion activity [PC 653.22(b)(5).

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Prostitution Defense Attorneys

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Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, & Riverside Counties

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909.913.3138

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Free Consultations 24/7 Se Habla Espanol

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California Prostitution & Related Crimes

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Prostitution Penal Code 647(b)

Keeping a house of prostitution Penal Code 315

Loitering to commit prostitution Penal Code 653.22(a)

Prostituting wife Penal Code 266g

Human trafficking Penal Code 236.1

Pimping Penal Code 266h

Pandering Penal Code 266i

Seduction of minor for prostitution Penal Code 266

Soliciting a minor for prostitution Penal Code 647(m)(1)

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Keeping a House of Prostitution, Il Fame, or Il Repute

PC 315 Penalties & Punishment

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PC 315 1st Offense

PC 315 2nd Offense

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Prostitution Defense Lawyers

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909.913.3138

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Free Consultations 24/7 Abogados De Defensa Criminal

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Southern California

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Prostitution criminal defense attorneys. Los Angeles, San Bernardino, & Riverside counties. All prostitution crimes, including PC 647(b), 653.22(a), 315 & more.

Law Office of Dorado & Dorado, APLC 1030 Nevada Street Suite 105 Redlands, CA 92374 909.913.3138 Office 909.307.8035 Facsimile