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Punishment for Solicitation of Prostitution in Today’s Society

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ. | Feb 04, 2020

The reason I have in the title talking about today's society as far as prostitution cases go is because there has been a lessening up of punishment and a reduction of ramifications — at least in Los Angeles County for the solicitation of prostitution cases.

The authorities seem more targeted in on trying to help the women that are involved in these offenses and also trying to punish individuals who are pimps or pandering or procuring women to become involved in prostitution, as I make this post.  That's where it seems to have gone.

See CALCRIM 1155 – Prostitution: Agreeing to Engage in Act, and CALCRIM 1154 – Prostitution: Soliciting Another.

First Offense Prostitution in California

If you have a solicitation case under California Penal Code 647(b) and it's a first offense, you're worried.  It isn't very comfortable.  You don't want to go to jail.  You don't want a criminal conviction and all of the other potential things and punishments that can come along with the solicitation of prostitution case in Los Angeles.

You've got to get to an attorney who has experience.  I've been doing this for 25 years, so I've seen these sex crime cases evolve, and fortunately, they've evolved into people getting an opportunity.  There are diversion programs available to those individuals who are first offenders.

If it's your second or third offense — you've got multiple offenses in the past — obviously, getting a diversion program will be much more challenging.  The prosecutors and judges won't be as forgiving in your particular situation. However, it would be best if you still had an attorney because other dire ramifications can come along that might be avoided through damage control, depending on the circumstances of your particular case.

Penalties for Solicitation of Prostitution

But in general, if we were to look at the potential punishments that somebody could get in a solicitation case, the first and worst would be jail time.  Usually, you're looking at up to 180 days in the Los Angeles county jail.

Punishment for California Solicitation of Prostitution

You're typically not going to get to prison for solicitation of prostitution.  That is not a realistic punishment unless some other things are going on related to your offense, like a pimping and pandering situation where there's a minimum of three years in prison if you're involved in that, to give you an idea of how harsh specific punishments can be in this body of law.

In addition to potential jail time, you'll usually not have to register as a sex offender with this type of offense, which is good.  Nobody wants to do that, so hopefully, you don't have any other charges in addition to the solicitation of prostitution. Hence, you get into that registration as a sex offender requirement.

You'll also have to take an AIDS test; that's part and parcel of these types of cases.  You'll have to be put on probation for some time to ensure you no longer violate the law.  You may have to take an AIDS education course as an educational component to try to help you.

You may have to stay away from specific areas.  For example, in Los Angeles, on Figueroa Street, there's an area where there's a lot of prostitution and solicitation of prostitution activity.  You may be ordered to stay away from there.

In the San Fernando Valley on Sepulveda Boulevard, in certain areas, there's a lot of prostitution activity there.  You may be ordered to stay away from there so that you are not tempted to commit other offenses.

What Are Some Common Mistakes?

There are some common mistakes people make when being charged with solicitation of prostitution, which is a commonly charged sex crime.  If you or a loved one has been arrested for this particular crime, you want to ensure you don't do anything to worsen the situation, such as the following:

  • Talking to the police would not be advisable because anything you say to them certainly can and will be used against you, so I would never speak to the police if you've been arrested for this particular crime, give no statements, or ask for an attorney.
  • Another common mistake that I see is that people either try to handle the case themselves or just bury their heads in the sand and do nothing once they've been arrested and are facing a solicitation of prostitution charge. In my opinion, you want to get an attorney right away.  Let the attorney make whatever moves can be made on your behalf before the court date. You might get some diversionary resolution that avoids a conviction and seals and destroy your arrest record under the right circumstances.

So, you want to hire an attorney and have them ready to go when your arraignment comes along to make the moves necessary to get you the best possible result.

Resolving Prostitution Case Without a Criminal Conviction

I think in today's society, as far as solicitation of prostitution goes, the news is good because there is the opportunity to try to work out some resolution where you don't end up with a criminal conviction.

Also, you don't go to jail, where your reputation is not smeared to the degree that affects your career, home life, criminal record, and reputation.  These are all the things that I'm looking to defend as I try to help my clients with solicitation of prostitution cases.

I know it isn't very comfortable if you've got one of these cases.  We have a completely free and confidential consultation so that we can sit down.  Bring your paperwork that the police gave you when they let you go, and we'll go over everything from A to Z, then devise a game plan to protect your valuable interests.

Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense firm located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. We are also at 633 West Fifth Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0979.

About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ.

Ronald D. Hedding, Esq., is the founding member of the Hedding Law Firm. Mr. Hedding has an extensive well-rounded legal background in the area of Criminal Law. He has worked for the District Attorney's Office, a Superior Court Judge, and as the guiding force behind the Hedding Law Firm. His multi-faceted experience sets Mr. Hedding apart and puts him in an elite group of the best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Southern California.