Prostitution & Solicitation (PC 647 (b)):
California prostitution law under Penal Code 647 (b) PC prohibits: engaging in the act of prostitution, and offering (also known as “solicitation) or agreeing to engage in the act of prostitution. Under this statute, police officers are allowed to arrest the prostitute, the customer, and the middleman (otherwise referred to as a “pimp”). The “pimp” may be arrested under Penal Code 266h and 266i PC if he/she participates in soliciting the agreement, receives part or all of a prostitute’s pay, or if he/she participates in procuring the prostitute. Due to political and social pressures, law enforcement agencies typically invest substantial resources in discovering all those involved in prostitution offenses.
Penalties (PC 647 (b)):
California courts treat a prostitution/solicitation charge(s) as misdemeanors. For first time offenders, the potential penalties include 6 months in county jail and/or fines up to $1,000. Prostitution/solicitation is a “priorable” offense, which means the punishment increases with each subsequent offense. If convicted for a second time, you could expect to serve a minimum of 45 days in county jail. If convicted for the third time, the judge is entitled to require a minimum of 90 days in county jail.
Legal Defenses (PC 647 (b)):
There are various legal defenses that could be used to fight your prostitution/solicitation charges. Several defenses include (but are not limited to): entrapment, insufficient evidence, lack of evidence and mistaken identity.