Criminal Defense Lawyers with Experience Handling Pimping and Pandering Cases

Pimping and Pandering crimes are very serious crimes and a lot of people do not understand this before being charged. Both charges are brought against a person alleged to be acting as a middleman between customers and prostitutes. Pimping involves the recruitment of customers with the goal of prostitution, and collecting a fee for services out of the money paid from the customer to the prostitute. Pandering is a subset of pimping, and involves the initial encouragement or recruitment of a person to engage in prostitution, through driving the person to the agreed to meet-up site, advertising on behalf of the prostitute, or routing telephone calls on the prostitute’s behalf.

Penal Code 266h(a) – Pimping Crimes

Penal Code 266h(a) is the code that governs “Pimping” in the state of California. The penal code has two elements and usually the officers are able to prove these elements by a subsequent cell phone search. The first element is 1) the defendant knew the other person was a prostitute. This element is pretty straightforward and can be proven by circumstantial evidence. It is tough to prove ignorance on this element if one is engaging with others about the price of sex or talking about the prostitute’s work. The second element is generally a little harder to prove, its reads as follows: 2) the defendant lived or derived support from the earnings or proceeds of someone else’s prostitution. They may have also loaned this person money, or were an owner where this prostitution occurred. For this element there needs to be proof of a lot of contact between the two and often some sort of proof of money exchanged.

Penal Code 266i(a) –  Pandering Crimes

Penal Code 266i(a) governs “Pandering” in California.  This offense has three elements. The first element is that the defendant procured the victim for the purposes of prostitution. It is basically saying that the defendant persuaded the victim into doing the prostitution. 2) The procuring was done by promises, threats, or violence. Again, the most common thing said here is “if you do this, I will give you money”. The third element just notes that this was done with specific intent in order to influence one to become a prostitute.

Consequences if Convicted of Pimping or Pandering in San Diego

Pimping and pandering charges are felony charges. If convicted, you can receive a sentence of up to six years in state prison, and a fine of up to $10,000 plus court fees. These counts are mandatory prison. By statute, if someone is convicted of these counts, they will be going to prison and will get one of the three recommended prison terms, which is a minimum of three years in prison. That is why these counts are so serious. There is something that can be done but only the best lawyers in San Diego will be able to get you out of the mandatory prison commitment. It should also be noted that your penalty could be enhanced if the person you pimped or pandered was under the age of 16 at the time.

Cell Phone Searches

When first arrested, potential clients will often tell us “they have no proof” or “there is no way they can prove this”. What they are not realizing is that the officers now have their phone and are about to look through every single detail of their phone. What a lot of people don’t realize is how much is actually stored on one’s phone. Often the pimp will set up a Backpage account for this young woman, text other people for the meet up, protect them in situations and arrange other meetings for the prostitutes. All of this is circumstantial evidence that often leads to a conviction.

How Do the Police Try to Catch People in the Act on a Pimping or Pandering Case?

The San Diego Police Department Vice Operation Unit actively seeks to make arrests for prostitution-related crimes, and one way they do it is to find unwitting citizens in the classifieds section on websites like Craigslist. The police will answer advertisements in classified ads and invite escorts, massage therapists, or dancers to a hotel room. The person who arrives at the hotel is arrested whether any illegal activity occurs or not, and is placed in another room with tens of others who also fell for the “sting” operation.

Are You Facing Pimping or Pandering Charges in San Diego?

If you have been charged with pimping, or pandering, you need to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. If you would like to discuss the possible defenses that can be raised on your behalf, call Alex Ozols, owner of the Ozols Law Firm, for a free consultation.