CA Prostitution \u0026 Solicitation Laws | Penal Code 647b PC

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I know you were a cop for 13 years. And i know you were in in the vice squad and were involved in the investigation of a lot of prostitution and of course. Now as a criminal defense lawyer.
You represent a lot of clients accused of this and youre sort of an expert in this area of the law. Tell me what is prostitution. What is solicitation.
Whats the definition of that in california well prostitution is any time. A person is paid money or some sort of reward for having a sexual act for example typically what youll see is theyll be a prostitute working the street or maybe at a massage parlor and they will solicit someone for extra money to engage in some sort of sexual act. So thats typically what youll see as prostitutes.
We have seen in the san bernardino area especially where we have a lot of street prostitution. Where police will do stings on prostitutes and but more often what theyll do is theyll do stings on prostitutes clear the street then put undercover female decoy officers out there and then try to arrest what they call johns men looking to solicit prostitutes for sex acts. So basically the john sort of drives up to who he believes is a prostitute and has some sort of agreement to exchange sex for money and then is arrested because its really an undercover thats correct now lets say that theres no actual sex.
So lets say im a john and i talk to this undercover female officer and i agree im going to pay you 50 for having sex with me.

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what is the punishment for those who hire prostitutes in california-0

But that there is no sex nothing happens after that all ive done is agree to pay her is that a crime at that point or does it have to be some act in furtherance of having sex. No actually if theres a communication understanding that the john is offering money for a sex act. That is a purported violation of penal code section 647b that of itself is enough to trigger an arrest and a potential prosecution in that matter.
If you actually have a sex act. Its a separate section. A lewd act in publics in violation of 647a of the penal.
Code but simple solicitation in and of. Itself ie. I offer you money from sex on me or vice versa in and of itself is a crime.
So merely saying. Ill give you 50 for oral sex. That alone just saying that to the prostitute is enough to commit the crime.
It is with the totality of the circumstances for example you dont say that to someone lets say you say that to some girl in a bar.

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what is the punishment for those who hire prostitutes in california-1

At el torito ok and youre just joking. Its all in jest exactly. But if youre in a known area where theres prostitution going on for example in san bernardino on baseline by sierra way is a known area for prostitutes or sunset and hobart in los angeles.
Exactly. And its 12 oclock. At night.
And you drive back and forth. The undercover decoy officer. 15.
Times. And you signal with the light. And she comes walking up to you and you start talking to her and you have a five minute conversation.
Then she says do you want a date.

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what is the punishment for those who hire prostitutes in california-2

And you say how much is that going to cost me. And what will i get for 50 will you do this you look at those totality of circumstances to really decide whether or not the da is to going to be able to successfully prosecute that case now what do you do to defend these cases. Because i know that we get calls all the time from people who are arrested for solicitation.
That accused johns and they say listen im a middle class person. Im a professional. I have a professional license.
I have no record im a good person i made a mistake. But if i get convicted of prostitution and have that on my record. Its going to devastate me.
But they have an undercover they have me on tape. What can you do at that point to try to keep that off the persons record. Two prong approach neil in fact a three prong approach.
The first one is this gather all the evidence make sure that it is on video make sure.

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what is the punishment for those who hire prostitutes in california-3

There is audio transcribe it see if theres any ambiguity in the language. Do your own investigation get out to the scene have your investigator out to the scene take photographs is it an area. Where theres other stings done.
Before is it a known prostitute area get the records from the police department from the crime analysis unit. How many times have prostitutes been arrested in that area. How many times have prostitutes been arrested in that area and the third prong and this is probably the most important prong ultimately is mitigation mitigation mitigation.
You gather information about your client. And you let. The da.
Know the devastating effect for this one aberrational moment and oftentimes and this has been my personal experience at least in san bernardino county. That district attorneys will look at those cases and look at the totality of circumstances look at the person as a hole and make a decision as to whether to dismiss that case or let him plea to an offense that doesnt involve a crime of moral turpitude and doesnt have any major ramifications on their future. Im mike scafitti.
A retired police officer and now a criminal defense attorney with shouse law group. If you or a loved one are in trouble and need help call me. .

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what is the punishment for those who hire prostitutes in california-4

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