We are often asked about keeping someone's criminal record clean after they were charged with California Penal Code 647(b) solicitation. I've been handling these solicitation cases for nearly 30 years in the San Fernando Valley, with arrests made on Sepulveda and in downtown Los Angeles based on activity on Figueroa Street and surrounding counties.
So, I know a lot about defending the solicitation of prostitution cases. Having a record of that isn't very good. You got to get a job, and they look you up and see you've been convicted of soliciting prostitution. That isn't very comfortable.
Penal Code 647(b) PC criminalizes both engaging in prostitution and soliciting, described as requesting, encouraging, or making an offer to pay for sexual activity.
In other words, this statute makes it a crime for someone to accept money or offer to pay cash, or anything of value, in exchange for sex. To be arrested, charged, and convicted for violating California's prostitution laws, you don't have to engage in the proposed sex physically; instead, only an offer of sex for money was made.
The prosecutor could file Penal Code 647(b) PC against the prostitute and the customer, called “John.” This law is defined as:
- “Any person who solicits, or agrees to engage in, or engages in, any act of prostitution with the intent to receive compensation, money, or anything of value from someone.”
Frequently, prostitutes have a “pimp” that sets up their clients. Still, at this more severe level, this unlawful behavior is prosecuted under separate felony laws such as Penal Code 266h and 266i PC pimping and pandering.
Thus, these sexual-related changes can be horrific, depending on what type of job you're trying to get. Maybe you're a coach for your kids.
You don't want that on your record because they take your fingerprints for you to coach and that comes up – that's going to be a big problem for you. Our California criminal defense lawyers will review these laws further below.
What Must Be Proven for a PC 647(b) Prostitution Conviction?
The prosecution must be able to prove several different factors, called the “elements of the crime,” to convict someone of violating California's solicitation of prostitution laws, such as that you
- requested another person to engage in prostitution,
- with the intent to engage in prostitution,
- the other person received your communication.
Also, along with these factors elements above, there has to be an overt act or a direct step to complete the crime, such as:
- an actual discussion over sex in exchange for money, or
- going to an ATM to withdraw money for sex.
What Are the Related California Crimes?
- Penal Code 647(a) PC – lewd acts in public,
- Penal Code 314 PC – indecent exposure,
- Penal Code 653.22 PC – loitering with intent to commit prostitution,
- Penal Code 653.23 PC – supervising or aiding a prostitute,
- Penal Code 266h PC and 266i – pimping and pandering,
- Penal Code 236.1 PC – human trafficking,
- Penal Code 261.5 PC – statutory rape,
- Penal Code 602 PC – trespassing,
- Penal Code 415 PC – disturbing the peace.
Can You Get Diversion After a Prostitution Arrest?
So, keeping your record clean if you've been arrested for solicitation of prostitution is crucial. I'll tell you, Los Angeles County was nasty about it for many years I practiced.
I'd say at least 20 years if you got convicted of that, you couldn't get it off your record. You could call it dismissed, but if somebody had the ability, they could find it and use it against you. Now, as I write this post in 2022, we do have a chance to get you diversion depending on the:
- circumstances of what happened;
- depending on your criminal record;
- whether you've ever been convicted of solicitation of prostitution before.
Steps must be taken to (1) get you into some diversion program, so you don't end up with a conviction; and (2) potentially get your arrest record sealed and destroyed.
If we can get the case dismissed, if we can get you a diversion, if we can get your record sealed and destroyed, now there's no record of it, and you can move along with your life, your career, and your future and not have this hindering you as you move along.
So, there are certain circumstances where your attorney can protect your record. The most obvious one would be to go to trial in front of a jury on your behalf and can prove you not guilty or file a motion to seal and destroy your arrest record, and the judge grants it. If those two things can happen, that would be a very effective way to get a solicitation of prostitution charge off your record.
Negotiating the Prostitution Case with the Prosecutor
So, in my opinion, you'll need somebody who's the best – somebody with 30 years' experience – and you've come to the right place.
I've worked for the District Attorney's office; I've worked for a superior court judge, and I've been working and defending cases just like yours for the past 30 years as a criminal defense attorney, fighting for you and coming up with arguments and angles to either beat the case in a jury trial or convince the prosecutors to give you diversion.
We will need to mitigate the case through negotiation with the prosecution. We'll need character letters, and we'll need to find out what happened and why it happened, and try to gather and glean from facts that we can use to defend you.
So, if you need the best – if your reputation is on the line – and if you've been arrested for solicitation of prostitution, pick up the phone. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. We will go over everything.
I will help you design a plan to get this matter dealt with the right way, get you out of the criminal justice system as quickly as possible, and preserve your valuable reputation. The Hedding Law Firm offers a free case review via phone or use the contact form.