Under California Penal Code 647b PC, it is illegal to offer to pay or agree to accept money or other compensation in exchange for a sexual act. A conviction of this crime is a misdemeanor that carries harsh penalties.
If you have been charged with soliciting a prostitute, we urge you to immediately seek the services of a reputable Murrieta solicitation lawyer. At the Law Offices of Scott D. Henry, we understand the heavy social stigma of a sex crime charge. Our attorneys could quickly begin negotiating on your behalf to have the charges dropped or reduced to a lesser charge, avoiding both the stigma and harsh penalties.
Solicitation is charged as a misdemeanor in California. Some defendants mistakenly believe a misdemeanor charge will not result in harsh punishment, which is unfortunately not true. For a first offense, potential penalties include a maximum of six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. For a second offense, penalties may involve a minimum of 45 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. For a third or subsequent offense, penalties may result in a minimum of 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Additional penalties may be added if the incident took place in a motor vehicle and within 1,000 feet of a residence. These include a 30-day driver’s license suspension or a license restriction for a period of up to six months. Fortunately, one of our dedicated lawyers in Murrieta could help someone minimize the potential penalties they may be facing for their solicitation charge.
State law makes it illegal to ask, agree to, or engage in a sexual act for money. This means that the sex act does not actually have to occur for those involved to be guilty of solicitation. To be convicted of solicitation, the prosecution must prove the defendant solicited another person to engage in a sexual act in exchange for money or other compensation and the defendant intended to engage in that act. Intent is typically the most challenging element for the prosecution to prove as it requires evidence of a specific action. These actions could be withdrawing money from an ATM or meeting up at a hotel to engage in the sexual transaction. Our experienced attorneys in Murrieta could determine if there are any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and build a solicitation defense strategy based on those weaknesses.
Our leading solicitation defense lawyers in Murrieta are typically able to have charges dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense early on in the case. Several solid arguments may be used in your defense, including:
If charges are unavoidable, our legal team may choose to pursue several lesser charges that may include lewd conduct in public, criminal trespass, or disturbing the peace. These are less serious offenses that may allow you to avoid the harsh stigma of a sex crime conviction.
Law enforcement aggressively pursues individuals they believe to be engaging in sex crimes. If you have been arrested and charged with soliciting a prostitute, we strongly recommend consulting with a top Murrieta solicitation lawyer at the Law Offices of Scott D. Henry. When you call for a free, confidential consultation, we could review your charges, explain your legal rights and devise a strategy to have the charges dismissed or significantly reduced. For more information about how we could help you, call today.