Prostitution and solicitation are two of the most common sex crimes in California. The good news is that when these crimes involve two or more willing adults, they are actually two of the least serious sex crimes because they are considered consensual. That is why most solicitation and prostitution charges do not result in mandatory sex offender registration. Even so, if you have been charged with either of these crimes, you should contact a Vista sex crime defense lawyer as soon as possible.
About Prostitution and Solicitation Charges in CA
Prostitution and solicitation charges are becoming increasingly common as police forces around Vista and the rest of San Diego County have been actively joining together to put a stop to these crimes. Sting operations have become commonplace throughout the county to catch both those trying to solicit prostitution and those offering the services. In some cases, these operations may involve misunderstandings or entrapment, which is why it is important to provide your sex crime lawyer in Vista all the details of your arrest if you have been charged with prostitution or solicitation.
One of the things that makes prostitution and solicitation charges so unique is that they often teeter between legal and criminal sex acts. For example, while prostitution is illegal, pornography and escort services are both legal and the line between these activities is often very thin. This is why it’s so important not to speak to the police without your Vista prostitution attorney present.
Penalties for Prostitution and Solicitation in California
Both prostitution and soliciting prostitution are misdemeanors in California in most cases. A first time offense is punishable by up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines. A second offense requires a minimum of 45 days in jail and a third or subsequent offense requires a minimum 90 day jail sentence.
It is worth noting that minors acting as prostitutes will not be arrested or charged for the crime as they are considered victims. However anyone accused of pimping or pandering a minor can be charged with human trafficking, will be required to register as a sex offender and can face up to eight years in prison if the minor was under 16. If you were attempting to solicit sex with a prostitute under 18, you could also be charged with soliciting sex with a minor, which will also require registration as a sex offender.
You Can Fight the Charges
Fortunately, being charged with either of these crimes does not mean there is enough evidence to prove your guilt. Prostitution and solicitation charges require the prosecution to prove the suspect agreed to engage in sexual activity and that there was some sort of act that moved towards the furtherance of such an agreement. This can be a high standard to meet, which is why prosecutors often attempt to charge suspects with the similar crime of loitering with the intent to commit (or solicit) prostitution. Even then, this charge can easily be challenged if there is not sufficient evidence, however what you say to the police can be used as evidence and may destroy your case, which is why you should refuse to say anything until your attorney is present.
In San Diego County, the police departments often run sting operations to fight prostitution. Typically these cases are proven by text messages and suspect interviews after arrest. It is important to see all the evidence because sometimes people try to back out of the offense which is the defense of abandonment. Unfortunately, the District Attorney currently has a zero tolerance policy regarding these offenses and no longer offers diversion.
If you have been arrested for prostitution or solicitation, remember that you have the right to remain silent and that anything you say can be used against you. As soon as you have been placed under arrest, immediately request to speak to your Vista prostitution lawyer and refuse to answer any questions about the crime you have been charged with. Please call (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free consultation with Peter M. Liss.
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