Sec 647(b) of the California Penal Code criminalizes the act of engaging in sexual or illicit conduct for money, value or other benefit. Current California prostitution laws would arrest the prostitute, the pimp or procurer and the customer.

The following are the elements of the crime of prostitution:

• The accused had engaged in the act of prostitution;
• The accused willfully engaged in such act;

Prostitution does not only mean engagement in sexual intercourse but also any lewd act with another person. Lewd act is defined as any act involving the touching of genitalia, buttocks or breasts of either person on the other with the specific intent to arouse or gratify sexual interests.

For Sec 647(b) of the California Penal Code defines the act of soliciting prostitution as the following elements:

• The accused solicited another person to engage in an act of prostitution;
• The accused had the specific intent of engaging in an act of prostitution;

To be convicted of the crime of agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution, the following facts must be present:

• The accused agreed to engage in an act of prostitution with another person;
• The accused had the specific intent of engaging in an act of prostitution;
• In addition to the agreement, the accused had performed an act in furtherance of prostitution;

These two previous acts are interlinked as the person who solicits would be charged with soliciting prostitution while the individual who accepts the solicitation would be charged with agreeing to engage in prostitution.

All the acts under this law are prosecuted as misdemeanor offenses. As penalties, the charges carry with it prison time of up to six (6) months and/or up to $1,000 in fines to be paid. Also, this is a priorable offense and as such, the imposable penalties increase as more offenses are committed and convicted. For a second conviction for prostitution or solicitation, the imposable penalty would be forty five (45) days in county jail. For a third conviction, the minimum jail time would be ninety (90) days in county jail.

Sentencing enhancements for this crime, such as when a vehicle is used or if committed within one thousand (1000) feet of a residence or residential area, the following are the additional penalties imposable:

• Suspension of driving privileges of up to thirty (30) days;
• Issuance of a restricted license of up to six (6) months;

Also, the judge may include compliance with Sec 290 of the California Penal Code that is mandatory registration as a sex offender. While this is rare, this may still be included if the judge with jurisdiction over the case deems it as appropriate.

The crime of prostitution is a serious offense in California. Should you be or know anyone facing any of these charges, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.