California has strict sex crime laws, which makes facing a prostitution charge a serious matter. If you have been charged with exchanging money for sex, we urge you to call our Westminster prostitution lawyers at The Law Office of Scott D. Henry right away. Time is of the essence. We could begin investigating the alleged incident to look for evidence supporting your innocence, errors made by law enforcement, and any loopholes in the law. Our legal team has decades of experience fighting these cases, so we know precisely what to look for and what defense strategies could prove most effective.

What is Prostitution?

California Penal Code 647b PC outlines prostitution as a sex crime involving committing a sexual act with another person in exchange for money or other compensation. It is important to note that you can be charged with prostitution if you engage in this crime, agree to engage in this crime, or solicit another to engage in this crime. This means that the sex act does not necessarily need to occur for someone to be charged with this offense. As long as there is evidence to prove that either party’s actions were in furtherance of the crime, law enforcement may charged someone with prostitution. These actions may include meeting at the place of the transaction, withdrawing money from an ATM, or purchasing condoms. A lawyer in Westminster could explain how this definition applies to a particular prostitution case.

Penalties for a Conviction

Although prostitution is charged as a misdemeanor in California, it is a “priorable offense.” This means that the penalties increase with each conviction. Prostitution cases at the West Justice Center in Westminster are harshly punished. The penalties for a first conviction are up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 fine. A second conviction carries penalties of a minimum of 45 days in jail and up to $1,000 fine. Lastly, a third and any subsequent conviction carries penalties of a minimum of 90 days in jail and up to $1,000 fine.

Are There Any Viable Defenses to Prostitution Charges?

Our experienced defense attorneys in Westminster have a proven track record of success while defending clients who face prostitution charges. We typically can have charges dismissed or reduced early in the process by implementing effective defense strategies. These strategies include but are not limited to:

  • The defendant was forced into prostitution
  • Police entrapment
  • Evidence was obtained through an illegal search and seizure (4th amendment violation)
  • Insufficient evidence to support a conviction
  • Untrustworthy evidence or witness testimony
  • Lack of intent

Are Prostitution Stings Considered Entrapment?

Often, law enforcement uses controversial means to identify and arrest those engaging in prostitution. An officer poses as a prostitute and makes an arrest after the individual offers or agrees to pay for sex.

It is common for defendants to argue that the police used entrapment to make their arrest. Entrapment occurs when law enforcement uses coercion or other means to persuade a law-abiding citizen to commit a crime. Entrapment is illegal, but the typical means used by police to make an arrest are not considered entrapment under state law.

Consult with a Leading Westminster Prostitution Attorney

At the Law Office of Scott D. Henry, our attorneys understand how embarrassing and frightening it is to be charged with a prostitution-related offense. You do not have to go through this process alone. Our Westminster prostitution lawyers are here to guide you through the process and provide you with an aggressive defense strategy. We are typically able to have prostitution charges dropped or reduced, minimizing the court-imposed penalties as well as the associated embarrassment or humiliation. Contact our office today for a free, confidential case analysis.

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