California Penal Code 647b PC defines prostitution as committing a sexual act with another person in exchange for money or some other type of compensation. These convictions carry harsh, long-lasting consequences in California. If you have been arrested and charged with exchanging sex for money, we strongly recommend speaking with an experienced Moreno Valley prostitution lawyer right away. The stakes are high in any sex crime case, so it is essential to have legal counsel that is both knowledgeable and dedicated.

Our criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Scott D. Henry understand the immediate and harsh impact caused by an allegation of sexual misconduct. That is why we are dedicated to providing you with an aggressive legal strategy and superior representation. We also understand how frightening and embarrassing this situation may be. Still, you can find comfort in knowing that we could do everything within our power to protect your rights while carefully guiding you through the criminal justice process.

Prostitution Charges

Prostitution charges can arise from agreeing to pay for a sexual act, offering to perform a sexual act for money or other compensation, or engaging in a sexual act in exchange for compensation. These offenses are charged as misdemeanors in California and carry penalties that include six months in jail, probation, and a $1,000 fine. This crime is a “priorable” offense, meaning that the penalties become harsher with each conviction. For a second conviction, penalties include a mandatory 45-day jail sentence, and a third or subsequent conviction carries a mandatory 90-day jail sentence. An attorney in Moreno Valley could determine how to best handle a case depending on the specific prostitution charges.


Pursuant to California Penal Code 653.22 PC, it is illegal to loiter in a public place for the purpose of engaging in prostitution. This means that law enforcement can arrest you solely on intending to solicit or engage in prostitution, even if you do not actually do so. Loitering for prostitution is charged as a misdemeanor in California and carries a sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Insufficient evidence and a lack of intent are two of the most effective defenses against these charges.

Engaging in Prostitution

Under 647b PC, a person is guilty of prostitution if he or she engages in a sexual act for money or any other type of compensation. A “sexual act” involves touching the female breasts or genitals of another with the intent to sexually gratification. The prostitute and customer can be guilty of committing the unlawful act of prostitution.

Defenses for Engaging in Sexual Acts for Money

Even if you feel the cards are stacked against you, it is important to know that a skilled attorney in Moreno Valley may still be able to build an aggressive prostitution defense that results in a positive outcome. Several legal defenses might prove effective, depending on the circumstances of your case. Some solid defenses include but are not limited to:

  • Insufficient or untrustworthy evidence
  • Lack of intent
  • Coercion
  • The evidence in the case was obtained through an illegal search and seizure by law enforcement.
  • Law enforcement used coercion or other means to get the defendant to commit a crime they would not have otherwise committed.

Consult with a Knowledgeable Moreno Valley Prostitution Attorney

Being charged with prostitution can be a life-altering experience. Your reputation, freedoms, and future are at stake. That is why consulting with a knowledgeable Moreno Valley prostitution lawyer is crucial.

Our skilled defense attorneys could help you obtain the best possible outcome by building an aggressive defense strategy and skillfully negotiating on your behalf. Contact our offices today for a free, confidential case analysis, where we can review your charges, explain your legal options, and build a course of action to fight the charges against you effectively.

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