Orange County Prostitution Attorney Answers Important FAQs
Being charged with prostitution in Orange County can be a stressful situation. Whether you’ve been arrested as a "john," a pimp or as a prostitute the anxieties are the same:
- What happens next?
- What did I do wrong?
- What if my family finds out?
- Should I contact an attorney?
First, know that you are not alone in your fear and help is available. But you will need to act quickly to avoid any further complications. Law enforcement officials in California are tough on people accused of engaging in prostitution. That is why it is critical that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more time prosecutors have to build their case.
Law Office of Michael L. Guisti has defended many people just like you. To schedule a consultation, dial (888) 478-8999.
For general inquiries and additional information please refer to the following frequently asked questions.
- What Are the Possible Punishments For Being Convicted of Prostitution?
- Will I Have to Register as a Sex Offender if I'm Convicted?
- What if I Didn’t Actually Pay For Sex, But Only Agreed to Engage in It?
- What is Pandering?
- What Kind of Defenses are Available for Prostitution?
- Why Should I Call Law Office of Michael L. Guisti?
What Are the Possible Punishments For Being Convicted of Prostitution?
In the state of California, prostitution falls under Penal Code 647(b). It states that engaging in, soliciting, or pandering any form of prostitution is illegal. It is a misdemeanor, but covers many potential punishments. How you were involved in the arrest will impact the type of conviction you may face. In most cases, individuals will face upwards of 6 months in county jail with at least a $1000 fine. But, if the act took place in a car or involved a minor, you may be looking at higher penalties.
For every prior prostitution offense you have on your record, your current charge will increase. If this is your second offense, you could be facing a mandatory 45 days in county jail and higher fines.
Will I Have to Register as a Sex Offender if I'm Convicted?
Generally speaking, no. If you are found to be in violation of California Penal Code 647(b), it does not automatically result in a sex offender registration. But, certain circumstances grant the presiding judge the authority to order your registration. For instances - if you were engaged in the pimping or soliciting of sex with a minor, you could be forced to register as a sex offender. If your actions took place in plain view and resulted in an indecent exposure charge, you could be penalized as a sex offender. Orange County judges can order you to register as a sex offender for just about any offense if they believe your actions were based on sexual compulsion or gratification.
What if I Didn’t Actually Pay For Sex, But Only Agreed to Engage in It?
In the state of California, you only need to agree to pay for sex for it to be considered prostitution. Money does not need to exchange hands, nor do you need to actually engage in a sex act to be found guilty. Requesting, offering, or suggesting prostitution – especially when an undercover police officer is involved – is enough to get you into trouble. Anything that happens beyond the initial agreement, such as payment and physical interaction, is an act of prostitution.
What is Pandering?
Many people confuse the act of pimping with pandering. While they have similar roots – introducing an individual into a life of prostitution – they are different acts that fall under two different penal codes. Under California Penal Code 266(i), you could be found guilty of pandering if you encourage or persuade a person to engage in prostitution. In addition, you need not receive monetary compensation like a pimp to be found guilty. But, like pimping, if you are convicted of pandering you could spend some years in state prison and potentially be registered as a sex offender if the victim was under the age of 16.
What Kind of Defenses are Available for Prostitution?
The burden of proof lies on the prosecution’s shoulders. This means that they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt you had every intention of paying for sex when you were arrested. If your arrest was made during a sting operation, there must be clear recordings of your actions. But, if a jury does not clearly hear you asking or offering sexual favors for money, they may be inclined to dismiss the charges. Police statements and accusations are often not enough to secure a conviction.
Why Should I Call Law Office of Michael L. Guisti?
Being accused of prostitution is much more than a potential fine and jail time. It is an attack on your character that has wide reaching personal implications. Such charges can cause terrible damage to your work and home life. It is important to hire an OC sex crime crime defense attorney who not only understands the legal aspects of your case, but also empathizes with the considerable emotional toll this can have on you.
At Law Office of Michael L. Guisti, we're committed to providing you with legal counsel that not only recognizes your rights, but also your humanity.
Contact us today for a free consultation at (888) 478-8999.
Whether you're facing a felony or a misdemeanor, don't risk a conviction. Act quickly to redeem your reputation and protect your record by consulting with our Orange County criminal defense lawyer. Call today to schedule your free consultation.