When a client is charged with prostitution related crimes, the criminal defense attorneys of Sigal Law Group work zealously on behalf of our client to get them out of a bad situation. Having over a decade of experience as criminal defense attorneys in Los Angeles we know that a charge such as this can have an impact on a person’s life well beyond the possible punishments that the criminal court can impose. That is why we offer out clients a confidential, passionate defense.
Many times, if the client is charged with a misdemeanor, we will appear in court on their behalf without the need for our client to show up in court. We understand that our clients may be embarrassed by these charges and will do everything in our power to not only defend their rights in court but to also defend their reputation and confidentiality.
Below is a summary of the law regarding prostitution related crimes. For a full and free confidential consultation regarding the facts of a specific case, contact Sigal Law Group today.
A person can be charged with a crime if that person solicits an act of prostitution or agrees to engage in an act of prostitution. This crime is generally charged as a misdemeanor crime. It is a felony crime, however, if the person has previously been convicted of prostitution or several other sex offenses and, in connection with that previous conviction, tested positive for AIDS or HIV as long as the person was informed of the positive test result.
It is not a crime to merely agree to engage in an act of prostitution unless a person also does something in furtherance of the act such as exchange money or make an overt sexual advance. This act in furtherance of the crime can occur before the agreement is reached. Words alone can constitute an act in furtherance of an agreement to engage in an act of prostitution as long as it is clear that the person intends to commit a prostitution crime.
Prostitution can be any sexual act between people for money. It does not necessarily have to involve intercourse to constitute the crime of prostitution or solicitation of prostitution. To constitute prostitution, money or other consideration must be paid for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification of either the customer or the prostitute. Both the customer and the prostitute may be found to have engaged in an act of prostitution
Solicitation of prostitution unlike prostitution is something referred to as a specific intent crime. The government must show that the person accused of the crime had a specific intent to engage in prostitution. A person cannot be charged with solicitation of prostitution merely by such innocent acts as waving to passing cars, standing on a street corner in a miniskirt, or nodding to passersby. Under the statute, both customers and prostitutes can be punished for the crime of solicitation of prostitution.
On a first offense, if a person is convicted of solicitation of prostitution or prostitution, the court is required to order the defendant to complete an AIDS prevention education program and to submit to AIDS testing, and, the court may also to refer the person to an employment-training program or a drug diversion program.
The results of the test will be furnished to the person at the time of the sentencing hearing. If the results are positive, the court will inform the defendant of the nature and meaning of the contents of the testing report, and of the increase of the penalty from a misdemeanor to a felony for a second prostitution violation.
The testing report will then be furnished to the court, the county health officer, and the State Department of Health Services. Otherwise the report must be kept confidential, except that the State Department of Health Services must furnish copies of the report to the district attorney if they so request.
If the case is charged as a misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution and prostitution may be punishable by imprisonment in county jail for not more than six months, by a fine not exceeding $1,000, or both for a if the criminal conviction is for a first offense.
If it is second criminal conviction the criminal court pay punish a person with imprisonment in county jail for at least 45 days without release, probation. A suspended sentence is also possible. That is why it is crucial to have a criminal defense attorney from the onset of the case.
If a person has two or more pervious criminal convictions for prostitution related crimes, the court may impose a criminal punishment of imprisonment in the county jail for at least 90 days without release, probation, or suspended sentence. The court may suspend the person’s driver's license for up to 30 days if the crime was committed with a vehicle and within 1,000 feet of a private home.
If the defendant has a previous conviction for a prostitution crime or of a other sex offenses, and in connection with that previous conviction was notified of a positive AIDS test, the punishment may be imprisonment in state prison for 16 months or two or three years. It is then charged as a felony crime.
The above sentencing guidelines are not mandatory and many of the punishments that are called for in the criminal statute may be avoided if an experienced criminal lawyer does his job correctly. There are other options that a person may have that an experienced criminal defense attorney can work out for a person. The most important thing a person can do is contact a criminal lawyer as early in the criminal process as soon as possible.
There are also always possible defenses to prostitution that are available and an experienced criminal attorney can assert those defenses for his/her client. Many times the police overstep their bounds when making an arrest for solicitation of prostitution and a good criminal defense attorney will be able to spot this and get their client out of a bad situation.
No matter what stage in the process you are, it is always beneficial to contact a criminal defense lawyer to assist you. Call Sigal Law Group today for a free consultation. Call Toll free at (888) 335-6008.