• JC Serrano

Prostitution, Solicitation, and What California Criminal Law Thinks of It.

Updated: Jun 5

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Prostitution charges include the act of having sex for money and the act of soliciting. If you are charged with solicitation, you must be aware of the details of the crime as well as the possible consequences. Contact an experienced Los Angeles criminal lawyer right away if you've been charged with solicitation.


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What is the difference between prostitution and solicitation?


In California, it is illegal to engage in prostitution under Penal Code 647(b). This means it's against the law to have sexual relations or commit a lewd act with another person in exchange for money or some other kind of remuneration. It's also illegal to consent to perform a prostitution act (even if it never takes place) or solicit another person to perform a prostitution act.


As a result, the rule applies to a wide range of cases, including:

  • having sex with someone for a fee;

  • supplying an individual with drugs in return for oral sex;

  • a woman agreeing to let a man fondle her bare breasts in exchange for money;

  • responding to a paid sexual activity advertising on the internet.

A conviction for this type of crime on your record will hurt your job prospects and cause immigration problems for non-citizens. You don't want a single indiscretion to have an impact on the rest of your life. An allegation of prostitution or solicitation is serious, and it can result in serious penalties; if you are facing charges, you should consult with a California Criminal Defense Attorney.

Local police and prosecutors in California are strictly implementing criminal legislation to reduce the level of prostitution and prostitution solicitation in order to satisfy business owners and residents in neighborhoods where sex workers and "Johns" are soliciting prostitution in public. California Penal Code 647(b) specifies solicitation for prostitution and prostitution, as well as the criminal penalties for these crimes, as discussed below.


Of course, while our government is "cracking down" on crime or specific criminal activity that has increased in a Los Angeles area, there will be instances of overzealous police officers arresting innocent people or arresting those for which the evidence was inadequate. Similarly, some prosecutors may be influenced by political pressure to file criminal charges and seek convictions in cases where they are not legally or ethically justified.


The good news is that after hearing the evidence of a case, many prosecutors in Los Angeles cities are reasonably objective. A prosecution may also be dismissed by different legal vehicles such as informal or formal diversion, reduction to an infraction, or, in some cases, outright dismissal if the prosecutor feels the charges were not warranted in the first place. Of course, such results are not probable in any case, as each case has its own set of facts, various strengths of proof, and individual defendants with diverse backgrounds.


Prostitution Solicitation in California


Soliciting a prostitute means you've asked someone else to perform a lewd act or engage in sexual intercourse in return for money. If you are 18 years old or older and you solicited another person to conduct sexual intercourse or participate in a lewd act in return for some reward, including money, or you intended to engage in prostitution after the solicitation, you can be convicted and arrested for soliciting prostitution.

The prosecutor must show that there was a real motive to engage in prostitution in order to obtain a conviction of solicitation. There must be proof that an offer to exchange money or some kind of compensation for a lewd act or sexual activity was made with the intent of doing so.

An individual cannot be accused or convicted of solicitation for prostitution merely because they were wearing such clothing or standing in a place known for prostitutes. To be convicted or found guilty of solicitation. However, no sexual act must be proved, as the prosecution merely has to demonstrate that the defendant was solicited to participate in the act of prostitution.


Prostitution solicitation may be levied against a prostitute or a "john" (or agreeing to engage in prostitution). It doesn't matter who suggested the marriage. Consider one of our prescreened California Lawyers in your California Attorney Search.