Bay Area Prostitution & Solicitation Lawyer
A charge of prostitution or solicitation can ruin your life. You may face jail time, a fine, and a permanent criminal record. Even worse, if your friends and family find out, you could be embarrassed. Additionally, your employer will likely look down upon such a conviction. You need to fight against the criminal justice system and society’s negative presumptions about prostitution. Contact an experienced prostitution and solicitation lawyer today. Attorney Elliot Silver understands that your life is on the line. He will help you protect your criminal record and your reputation.
Contact Silver Law Firm for a confidential consultation if you are being investigated or charged with prostitution or solicitation. Call us at (510) 995-0000.
California’s Prostitution Law
Prostitution laws in California are set forth in Penal Code 647(b). The law allows for charges to be brought against anyone seeking to hire a prostitute, anyone seeking to be hired as a prostitute, and anyone whose actions are aiding in prostitution as a “middleman” or “madame.” There are three different prostitution charges that you could face according to Penal Code 647(b):
- Engaging in the act of prostitution – This means that you engaged in sexual intercourse or a lewd act with another person for money or other items of value. This act includes not only intercourse, but also touching the genitals or buttocks of another person so as to arouse or gratify that person sexually.
- Soliciting prostitution – A solicitation charge can be filed against you if you simply offered to trade sex for money, even if you didn’t actually pay.
- Agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution – This is charged against a person who agrees to engage in prostitution and performs an act in furtherance of prostitution, but not sex itself. For example, if someone offers you sex in exchange for money, you can be found guilty of this if you do something overt in furtherance of the crime, such as drive to an agreed upon meeting location and instruct them to make specific sexual contact with you. This is a classic move for undercover police officers who will charge you with this crime since actually engaging in the sexual act is not required.
Penalties for Violating California’s Prostitution Law
The three different prostitution charges in Penal Code 647(b) are each considered to be misdemeanors, and they are punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. If found guilty of soliciting prostitution while using a car and within 1,000 feet or a residence, you can have a suspension on your license for up to 30 days, and be required to have a restricted license for up to six months. Your car may also be impounded and you’ll have to pay to get it out.
Defenses Against Prostitution Charges
When you are charged with a prostitution crime, you are considered innocent until the prosecution meets its burden to prove every element of the crime you allegedly committed. An experienced prostitution lawyer can determine where the prosecution is lacking evidence, and can convince the state to either reduce or drop the charges that are filed against you. Your case may be won by using one or several of these arguments:
- There is not enough evidence to prove every element of the charge. For example, escort services exist for companionship, and the prosecution may not be able to prove that you intended to trade money for a sexual act.
- Evidence against you was obtained illegally. Police sometimes accidentally – and even purposefully – violate your rights while gathering evidence against you.
- There is a case of mistaken identity. You may not actually be the person that committed the crime that police are investigating.
A Prostitution and Solicitation Lawyer Can Help You
If you or a loved one have been charged with a prostitution crime, it is important to seek a skilled legal advocate as soon as possible. Maybe you need a solicitation lawyer, or an attorney for a charge related to agreeing to engage in prostitution, or perhaps you need someone to defend your rights against a prosecutor who is breathing down your neck with charges. Attorney Elliot Silver has helped many clients successfully work through the criminal prosecution process, and he can help you during this difficult situation.
To speak with an experienced and understanding Bay Area defense lawyer, contact Silver Law Firm today. Call us at (510) 995-0000.