Hedding Law Firm

Solicitation Defense Lawyer in Los Angeles

What Constitutes Solicitation for Purposes of a Criminal Offense?

SolicitationAlthough neither prostitution nor solicitation of prostitution require sex offender registration, such charges still have serious consequences. Solicitation charges can result in three months in jail and a $500 fine, half the maximum amount of jail time and half the maximum fine imposed if charged for prostitution. Additionally, it is within the Judge’s discretion to require sex offender registration.

Our Los Angeles sex crime defense lawyers are here to do everything we can to get your charges dismissed or reduced to a minimum. Involved is a massage parlor arrest? Our experience and skill qualify us to effectively represent you in your matter.

Being charged for solicitation for prostitution or prostitution can be embarrassing and have an effect on your reputation, career, and family and we as your defense lawyers make it our goal to get you the best results possible.

Solicitation of Some Type of Sexual Act

When it comes to solicitation, there’s a lot of confusion about this concept — how it relates to crimes; how it relates to sex offenses; what you have to do to actually be charged with solicitation, and really, we’re talking solicitation of prostitution or solicitation of some sort of a sexual act.

A lot of people will come in my office.  They’re charged with solicitation.  They can’t figure it out.  The say, I didn’t engage in any prostitution act.  I didn’t realize that whoever I was dealing with was a prostitute.

But really, solicitation is some sort of a conversation between you and someone else — it could be an undercover police officer or anybody — where you are agreeing that you’re going to be involved in the performance of some sort of a sexual act for money.  In other words, you can’t pay money in Los Angeles, California for some sort of a sexual act.  So, that’s where the issue comes in.

Undercover Police Officers

You see these cases where someone is talking to an undercover female police officer on the street.  The officer is saying, you want a date?  What do you want?  And then the person says something like they want a blow job or they want some sort of a sexual act, and then the discussion is had at $20, $50, $100, whatever the amount is and then there’s an agreement.

At that point, the undercover female officer is going to green light the other officers that she’s got a solicitation.  If money has been offered for a sexual act, the person is going to be arrested.  They’re probably going to take a picture of the person with the female police officer, take them into custody, issue them a citation to appear in criminal court.

Now, there’s a bunch of other different scenarios that can cause a solicitation.  Someone can go into a massage parlor and solicit one of the woman in there to perform some sort of a sexual act and agree to exchange money for that sexual act.  That would be the same thing that would constitute solicitation.

But what if the act is never performed?  As you can see from my explanation, that doesn’t matter.  If the act is performed, then the prosecutors can probably charge under the right circumstances, prostitution.  You’ve engaged in an act of prostitution because you’ve agreed to be involved in a sexual act for money and the act was actually performed.

So, they’ve got this solicitation because a lot of times the act is not performed.  Obviously, undercover police officers are not going to actually have sex or do some sort of a sexual act in order to be able to arrest and prosecute the person.  It’s the agreement to engage in the act for money that is the problem.

Defenses for Solicitation Charges

Now, there are defenses.  Sometimes somebody is not predisposed.  In other words, if you’re not predisposed and you’re entrapped by the police to engage in a prostitution act, that can be a complete defense.  Let’s say you’re driving along.  A female waves you down.  You come and talk to her.  You don’t think that she’s a prostitute.

You obviously don’t think she’s an undercover police offer.  You start talking.  You think you’re just gonna get a free date and if there’s a discussion about getting together and you agree to get involved in some sort of a sexual act with that person, but no money is discussed — you don’t even have any money — you have no condoms, you had no intent to pay money for any type of a sexual act, then that could be a complete defense to the crime.

Now, a lot of times what happens is they lead you down the path and all of a sudden, the money comes up at the end.  Some vague language comes out and it’s really not clear whether you agreed to have sex with somebody for money or maybe you got put in a bad position and again, you were entrapped by the police.

It’s hard to win this case because the police usually have the argument that you were going to do it anyways.  In other words, you’re in a high prostitution activity area.  You pulled over.  You approached the female police officer.  You’re the one who brought up the topic about the money.

You had $100 in your pocket.  You had a condom in your pocket.  I mean obviously, if they’ve got these type of facts — which they don’t always — then they can make the argument you were predisposed.  You were going to do it anyways regardless of this allegation that the police cajoled you into being involved in a solicitation act.

Reviewing Best Strategy to Fight Your Charges

So, really what you need to do is go and sit down with a seasoned Los Angeles criminal defense attorney like me who’s done hundreds of these cases over the last twenty-five years.  Give me you factual scenario — a truthful account of it without any spin —  and then I can give you a feel for what your chances are to be successful in a prostitution or solicitation defense, what facts we need to prove and then you can really make an informed judgment about whether fighting the case is something you want to do or you want to try to get some sort of a resolution hopefully that protects your criminal record, keeps you out of custody — maybe some sort of diversionary program.

So, pick up the phone.  Make the call and we will start the process of getting this behind you and getting you out of the criminal justice system as fast as possible, protecting your rights, your freedom and your reputation. There are a number of defenses to be used in your favor and we are confident in our legal strategy and our persistence to get results favorable to our clients.

In order to be convicted with solicitation of prostitution, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that: the defendant requested that another person engage in an act of prostitution; the defendant had the intent to engage in an act of prostitution; and the other person received and understood the communication involving the request.

If you or someone you know is being charged with soliciting a prostitute, contact the firm so we can immediately get started on your case.

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Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ.

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