Prostitution Defense Lawyers practicing all throughout the county of San Diego

Prostitution and solicitation are offenses relating to the exchange of sexual favors for money. All of these prostitution-related offenses are actively pursued by the San Diego Police Department, so knowing the law is important. If you have been arrested, it is even more important to do a consultation with a prostitution defense lawyer who exclusively practices in San Diego.

Prostitution is referred to as the “world’s oldest profession” and has been occurring since biblical times. It continues to thrive in modern society, including here in San Diego. San Diego is a military town and a tourist destination, both of which contribute to a demand for these types of services. Because of this, San Diego has a very high concentration of escort providers, and a large number of massage parlors and wellness parlors, as well as other types of venues. Being arrested for a prostitution-related crime can be a major headache and embarrassment, and cause serious issues for you at work and at home. If you are arrested on prostitution-related charges, it is a good idea to discuss your options with an aggressive San Diego criminal defense attorney before talking to the police.

Penal Code 647(b) – Prostitution

The most commonly charged prostitution-related offenses San Diegans are charged with are (1) Agreeing to Engage in an Act of Prostitution and (2) Escorting Without A Permit.

California Penal code 647(b) lays out the offense of prostitution through the following elements: 1) The defendant engaged in the act of prostitution, 2) The defendant did so with the specific intent to engage in the act and 3) They did an act beyond the agreement to engage in prostitution.

This first element just means that one actually did a sexual act as a prostitute, generally this means having some sort of sexual conduct with another for money. Second, they have to have had an intent to do this. That means that they must have manifested intent to commit the act. Lastly the prostitute must have committed an act further than just agreeing to commit the act of prostitution, however, this further act can sometimes be as small as entering a hotel room, buying condoms, or having an exchange of money.

Solicitation of Prostitution

Solicitation charges are brought against people alleged to have enticed another person to engage in an act of prostitution with the intent to actually see the act through. Many clients and prospective clients think that solicitation is a charge brought against the clients or “johns” but in actuality, either the customer or the prostitute can be charged with and convicted of solicitation. Who is convicted depends on who initiates the contact, interaction, or transaction. More than just a conversation is required for someone to be convicted of solicitation. The prosecutor has the burden to prove that you had specific intent to actually engage in prostitution. This can be shown through actions, such as an exchange of money. The solicitation of prostitution falls under the Penal Code 647(b) requiring the solicitation as the first element.

Agreement to Engage in Prostitution

Agreement to engage in prostitution is what the agreeing party is charged with when somebody is charged with solicitation, and is essentially the reverse of solicitation. To be convicted of this, the prosecutor must prove that after being solicited, you agreed to enter into an act of prostitution with the intent to actually do so.  

Engaging in an Act of Prostitution

A person can be charged with agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution if he or she is alleged to have agreed to a sexual act in exchange for money or something else of value. To prevail, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (a) there was an agreement to perform a sexual act; (b) that the person charged (the defendant) agreed to engage in the sexual act; and (c) that the defendant did some action which advanced the act of prostitution. According to this definition, a person cannot be found guilty of agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution solely based on agreeing to exchange money for sex. The prosecutor also needs to prove an additional act beyond this towards committing prostitution. The law can be violated without sexual intercourse; any act done with the intent to cause sexual arousal or sexual gratification in exchange or money or something else of value is a violation of the law.

Penalties for Prostitution in San Diego

Any of the above crimes carry harsh penalties if you are convicted, even though they are all misdemeanors if this is your first conviction. There is a maximum penalty of six months in county jail and a fine of $1000, in addition to court-imposed fees. If you are using your vehicle when you commit the prostitution-related offense; you might face suspension of your driver’s license, or restrictions on your license.

Prostitution Cases in the San Diego Courts

In San Diego, the courts often offer certain programs to people who have no criminal record and this is their first conviction. The program can include doing community service, or volunteer work; going to educational classes and/or doing an HIV test in order to show the courts that you do not have HIV. However, these types of offers are not always given to all defendants, and it helps to have a skilled criminal lawyer by your side so you do not end up with this permanent conviction.

Escorting Without a Permit – Lesser Included Offense from Prostitution

Sometimes when the police are frustrated because they cannot bring prostitution charges against you, they may charge you with “escorting without a permit,” which is a violation of the San Diego Municipal Code. Those facing charges of agreeing to engage in an Act of Prostitution often face Escorting without a Permit charges at the same time. Escorting without a permit is a misdemeanor charge, and if convicted you face up to six months in jail and a $1000 fine.

If you are charged with any type of prostitution related offense, feel free to call San Diego criminal defense attorney Alex Ozols for a free consultation.