Pimping and pandering are serious felony crimes in California. They involve the illegal trafficking of other people for purposes of commercial sex acts, meaning exchanging money for sex acts, i.e. prostitution.
Pimping is defined under Penal Code 266h, while pandering is defined under Penal Code 266i. They are two separate crimes but so closely related, that it's very common for a defendant to be charged under both statutes.
Pimping addresses the issue of someone receiving the earnings of a prostitute while pandering addresses the issue of when someone persuades another person to either become or remain, a prostitute. Receiving money is not generally a part of a pandering crime, rather it deals with convincing or persuasion.
Pimping is criminalized under California Penal Code Section 266h and is the crime of receiving all or part of the proceeds of another person's work as a prostitute.
Force, fear, or coercion are not required under the definition of pimping and it does not require the defendant to set up the dates, known as a “john,” for the prostitute.
Pandering is criminalized under California Penal Code Section 266i. This statute focuses on the defendant's role in encouraging someone to become a prostitute.
Our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers will take a closer look at these sex crime laws below.
Important Information About the Charge of Pimping & Pandering Charges in Los Angeles
This is an interesting charge because as long as it doesn't involve a minor, it has a bunch of things that you normally wouldn't think when it comes to a serious sex crime, for example:
- it's not a strike;
- you don't have to register as a sex offender; and
You would think this is bad, but in reality, it turns out good, if someone's looking at prison time. Any prison sentence will actually be served in prison instead of being served in the county jail, which a lot of cases where somebody gets a prison sentence and then they end up serving in county jail.
The importance of this is that it is a 50% crime, whether it is county jail or prison, but right now as I make this post in 2021, people on a 50% crime in prison, a lot of times are serving 1/3 of the time.
So, you'd much rather go to prison on a sentence like this, than go to county jail because you're going to end up serving less time. So, that's the important thing you need to know about it.
Another thing you need to figure out when you're talking about pimping is that prosecutors are very nasty about this, and usually, you are going to get a prison sentence if they can prove the case against you.
Primary Factors Considered by Prosecutors
First, they're going to look at the type of pimping activity we're talking about. We're talking about these playboy pimps who have a lot of money, cars, cash and are very violent in relation to the women that they're pimping.
These are the ones that usually have a criminal record and they're going to be looking at the harshest sentences by the prosecutor. There are other individuals though who are involved with prostitutes on a certain level.
Sometimes they're giving them rides, sometimes they're introducing them to the Johns. A lot of times, they're taking either no percentage or a small percentage.
These so-called Romeo pimps have a fighting chance to stay out of prison, especially if they don't have a criminal record, they've never been involved before and a lot of times what I've seen in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, particularly on Sepulveda Boulevard, where these people are being charged with pimping and pandering is that the police are entrapping them and getting them involved.
Undercover Female Police Officers
A lot of times they go up to the undercover female police officers thinking that they're a prostitute and trying to engage in some sort of sexual activity, trying to pay them money in exchange for sex.
The next thing you know, somehow the undercover female police officer makes that into a pimping and pandering charge.
This is a much more serious charge than a particular individual wants to have because if you get hit with a pimping charge, you're usually looking at a minimum of three years in prison.
This is shocking to a lot of people, especially people who don't have a record. They just went on Sepulveda Boulevard. They started shooting their mouth off and they end up with this horrible charge. Their whole world has been turned upside down.
Pimping and pandering are straight felony offenses under California law that carries a maximum penalty of 6 years in state prison plus fines and fees. When the victim is a minor, then the maximum penalty increases to 8 years in state prison.
Related California Crimes
There are several related California crimes for pimping and pandering, including:
- Penal Code 236.1 PC – human trafficking,
- Penal Code 272 PC – contributing to the delinquency of a minor,
- Penal Code 647(a) PC – lewd acts in public,
- Penal Code 647(b) PC – solicitation of prostitution,
- Penal Code 653.22PC – loitering for prostitution,
- Penal Code 653.23 PC – supervising or aiding a prostitute.
Defending Pimping and Pandering Cases
If you find yourself in that position or a loved one that you know is in custody and you need help, you've come to the right place. I've been handling these pimping and pandering charges now for close to 30 years in Los Angeles County and the San Fernando Valley with a lot of success.
Pick up the phone now. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. You're going to be talking to a guy with a lot of experience.
Someone who's worked for the District Attorney's office in the early 1990s, a Superior Court Judge in 1993 as his research attorney, and in 1994 I opened up my criminal defense practice.
I've been defending people charged with pimping and pandering in the LA County since then with a great deal of success.
Hedding Law Firm is based in Los Angeles County and we offer a free case review by calling (213) 542-0979.