In the state of California, you may be arrested and charged with prostitution if you are caught exchanging sexual acts for money or items of value. Even if the sexual act was not performed, just offering to exchange sex for money is still considered prostitution. If you have been arrested for or charged with this crime, you should contact a Riverside prostitution lawyer right away. One of our skilled criminal defense attorneys at the Law Office of Scott D. Henry could aggressively fight on your behalf to minimize any consequences or have the charges dropped entirely.

What is Considered Prostitution in Riverside?

California Penal Code 647b PC states that you may face criminal charges for soliciting, or engaging in, prostitution. State law defines this crime as a sex offense that includes the act of having sex with another in exchange for money or other compensation. You can be charged with this crime if you:

  • Solicit another to participate in the act
  • Agree to engage in the act
  • Engage in the act

You can face charges if you are the person:

  • Arranging the act between two individuals
  • Paying another to engage in a sexual act
  • Receiving payment for a sexual act

Prostitution and solicitation are prosecuted aggressively. If you face prostitution charges, it is best to be proactive and hire a seasoned Riverside attorney right away. 

Penalties for Exchanging Sex for Money

In this state, the crime of prostitution is charged as a misdemeanor, but it is considered a “priorable offense”. This means that the penalties increase with each subsequent conviction, which could have long-lasting adverse effects. The penalties include:

  • First Conviction – A maximum penalty of six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
  • Second Conviction – A minimum of 45 days in jail, and the additional penalties that apply to a first-time conviction.
  • Third (and all subsequent convictions) – A minimum of 90 days in jail, and the additional penalties that apply to a first-time conviction.

In addition to the court-imposed penalties, there are other consequences associated with a prostitution conviction. Being caught in the act of exchanging sex for money can cause intense feelings of embarrassment and humiliation. It may also greatly affect the individual’s personal and professional life, cause distrust, and damage your reputation for years to come.

This offense is aggressively pursued by law enforcement and prosecutors. If you face charges, it is essential to hire an aggressive prostitution defense attorney in Riverside who could skillfully defend your rights and minimize any adverse effects.

Legal Defenses for Prostitution Charges

Prostitution is a serious crime with strict penalties. There are, however, several effective defenses that an attorney may pursue. These include:

  • Lack of intent – The defendant may not have intended to commit prostitution. Intent must be proven to be found guilty.
  • Entrapment – Police often use coercion to get an individual to commit a crime they would have otherwise not committed. This is considered entrapment.
  • 4th Amendment violation – If law enforcement obtained evidence through a search that violated your 4th amendment rights, the evidence could be deemed inadmissible.
  • Insufficient evidence/lack of trustworthy evidence – There may not be enough evidence to support a conviction. Additionally, evidence, typically in the form of a witness statement, may not be credible.

Every case is unique. One of our local attorneys could examine your prostitution case’s circumstances and determine the most appropriate defense strategy to pursue.

Contact a Leading Riverside Prostitution Attorney Today

Being arrested and charged with prostitution can be a life-changing event. If you face these charges, it is essential to contact a leading Riverside prostitution lawyer immediately. Our dedicated legal team at the Law Office of Scott D. Henry understands how challenging this time is for you and your family. We could be there to provide support throughout the entire process while aggressively pursuing an effective defense strategy.

Contact our office today for a free consultation. We could go over your case’s circumstances, advise you of your rights and legal options, and determine which strategy to pursue to best help you obtain a positive result.

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