Being charged with soliciting a prostitute means more than just possible jail time or a hefty fine. Contact a California prostitution solicitation defense lawyer to fight these accusations for you. If you are accused of trying to solicit a prostitute, it can tear your relationship apart and devastate your reputation.
If you have been charged, you’re bound to have questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked.
What Is Solicitation?
According to 653f Penal Code California, asking, urging, or demanding a person to commit certain crimes is illegal. You cannot recruit or entice them to commit an unlawful act. These acts could be anything from burglary to carjacking.
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What Is Soliciting a Prostitute?
This means offering, urging, or demanding someone to perform a sex act. If the procuring goes through another person, it is still soliciting a prostitute, as in the case of a pimp or madam.
What Acts Are Considered Illegal?
It is illegal to trade sexual acts for valuables. As defined by Simpson University, a sex act is:
- Sexual contact between two or more people with penetration of the penis into the vagina or anus
- When one person’s genitalia contact another person’s genitalia or anus
- If the genitalia of one individual touches the genitalia or anus of another individual
- When artificial sexual organs or substitutes are used in contact with the genitalia or anus of another individual.
Sexual touching is any contact with breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals. This could also mean touching another with these body parts or making someone else touch you or themselves with these body parts with the intent to arouse or satisfy sexual desires.
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Does a Person Have to Verbally Ask for Sex to Be Charged with Soliciting a Prostitute in California?
It is illegal to verbally ask someone to engage in sex with you for valuables. Ask another person to arrange a sex act for you is also unlawful. Asking, urging, or enticing is the crime.
None of the parties involved have to consummate the deal for there to be a crime. But, it doesn’t end with a verbal ask for services. One can also solicit nonverbally.
For instance, one could point and show money. Or the person could pantomime the sex act and gesture the universal sign for money with their thumb and forefinger. Any sort of gesture that both parties understand as asking for sex for cash is considered a solicitation of a prostitute.
What if It’s Online?
Asking online can also be considered a solicitation. If one asks for sex in exchange for money or something else, it also falls under the umbrella of soliciting a prostitute. This could be an ad placed on particular websites or messaging someone online.
When an attempt to agree on sex in exchange for money, goods, or services, solicitation occurs. And that is considered a crime, not the completion of the act.
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What Are Some Examples of Soliciting a Prostitute in Person?
There are many ways that people approach trading money or goods for sex. Often, it happens face to face. Here are some common ways it takes place.
- Street corner solicitation is probably the first that comes to mind. A “john” rolls up to a street corner frequented by sex workers and attempts to negotiate a price for the act he is interested in purchasing.
- Sexual Favors in Exchange for Other Favors is a criminal act. An example would be a landlord asking for oral sex in exchange for accepting a late rent payment.
- Drugs for Sex are a standard exchange and are also a crime. By offering to provide drugs if the other party includes sex, the person with the drugs is soliciting prostitution.
- Employers who offer promotions, better shifts, or wages for sex are committing a crime. While this can be grounds for much steeper penalties than solicitation, it is, indeed, a solicitation.
- Approaching a Person in a Bar or Club and asking them for sex in exchange for money also meets the criteria for solicitation.
- Exchanging Services for Sex is another example of soliciting a sex worker. This could be a mechanic who offers to fix a car that one of their clients cannot afford to repair for a particular sex act.
- Visiting a House of “Ill Repute” or a house where sex acts are for purchase is a pretty clear example of offering money for sex.
- Doing a Favor for a Friend can get a person into trouble if they try to score their friend a prostitute. For example, they are walking down the street, and the friend approaches a prostitute and offers her money to service his friend.
- Negotiations with a Pimp or Madam are illegal even if the prostitute is not involved or around. Sex is not a legally purchased service.
- Massage Parlors that offer a “happy ending” are places where one can find themselves in a nasty legal situation. These establishments are best avoided to avoid a charge of soliciting a prostitute.
What Are Some Other Examples of How Prostitutes Are Solicited?
In-person interactions seem like the most common way to hire a prostitute. But, a more discreet but traceable method is often done using a phone or computer. Here are just a few ways that this crime can be committed.
- Via text message seems like an obvious way to get caught trying to buy sex, but it is also a fairly common one. If a person is texting with another person who they know and offers a service like hanging their ceiling fan for sexual favors, this is called solicitation.
- People often frequent websites offering prostitution. Attempting to purchase sex is a crime.
- Escort Services are probably the simplest way to solicit. And the charge is the same as if a prostitute was procured on a street corner.
- Personal Ads such as those placed on Craig’s List are frequent ways that the services of a sex worker are purchased. And attempting to buy sex is a solicitation.
- Chatrooms are not something most people think about anymore. But solicitation can occur there as well.
Avoid Exchanging Sex for Money, Goods, and Services and Avoid Fines, Jail Time, and Embarrassment
Solicitation can take place blatantly or subtly. No matter how it takes place, it is a crime. It does not have to be a sex worker working on a street corner, it could be a neighbor who needs help with something she cannot afford.
The sex act does not have to take place for it to be considered a criminal act. Simply offering valuables in exchange for the act is a chargeable offense. And one that can carry some pretty difficult-to-overcome consequences to the defendant’s reputation and relationships.
The best action is to call a California criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. They can navigate the situation toward the best outcome and hopefully avoid prosecution and conviction.