Soliciting Prostitution

Practice Areas

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer – Solicitation 

Our sex crime attorneys in Los Angeles aggressively defend criminal charges of prostitution and soliciting prostitution which is usually a misdemeanor. We are also a top pandering defense lawyer in Los Angeles.

Solicitation of Prostitution under California Penal Code 647(b) is defined as follows:

“An individual who solicits, or who agrees to engage in, or who engages in, any act of prostitution with the intent to receive compensation, money, or anything of value from another person. An individual agrees to engage in an act of prostitution when, with specific intent to so engage, the individual manifests an acceptance of an offer or solicitation by another person to so engage, regardless of whether the offer or solicitation was made by a person who also possessed the specific intent to engage in an act of prostitution.”

Therefore, it is illegal in California to offer or accept money or any other consideration of value for the purpose of engaging in a sexual or lewd act. You don’t have to actually engage in the sexual conduct to be charged with this crime. It is equally illegal to agree to engage in sexual conduct in exchange for money.

It is common for the Los Angeles police department to organize “sting operations” with the intent to crack down on prostitution and pandering. These operations could involve undercover officers posing as prostitutes or pimps on the street, or they could set a trap online.


To prove solicitation, the prosecutor must show evidence that the defendant asked another person to engage in sexual conduct for money. It must also be shown that the request was received by the other party and an agreement was reached. Agreement may be shown by an act of the defendant. For instance, agreement by conduct is proven when there is evidence that defendant showed up at a designated location or moved in the direction of an agreed-upon destination where parties were to engage in sex.

The prosecutor can prove intent by showing that the defendant offered money or other consideration or took some other action that manifested his intent to commit a crime.


If you believe the evidence in your case is weak, contact a Los Angeles defense lawyer knowledgeable about solicitation and soliciting prostitution cases immediately. Your case could potentially be dropped if proper defenses are asserted on your behalf.

Lack of Intent

If you didn’t actually intend to go through with the agreement and there is no evidence to support your intent, you may have a valid defense. This usually occurs when the defendant simply engaged in a casual conversation and did nothing to show he was going to go through with the agreed-upon transaction. Another example is when the defendant abandons the situation and goes in a different direction. This actually shows that he didn’t intent to follow through with the agreement.

Insufficient Evidence

Sometimes, there simply isn’t enough evidence of the crime. For instance, the only evidence against the defendant is hearsay and inadmissible. Other times, there is no evidence that money or anything of values was offered by the defendant, or that it was accepted by the other person.


If you had no intention of soliciting a prostitute or agreeing to engage in sex for money, law enforcement and undercover officers may not do and say things, and offer you things, to make you, encourage you, or induce you to agree to do so. This happens when they insist that you must do the crime, or if they offer you something in return, or they continue encouraging you when you have already shown your intent not to do the criminal act. To assert the defense of entrapment, you must not have been “predisposed” or have had the prior intention to do the crime.


In California, defendant’s potential jail time depends on whether there is a prior conviction for the same offense.

1st offense: up to 180 days jail and/or $1,000 fine

2nd offense: 45 days jail – mandatory minimum sentence

3rd offense: 90 days jail – mandatory minimum sentence

You may also lose your driver’s license for 30 days if the solicitation involved a vehicle. Solicitation is a misdemeanor and ordinarily “does not” require sex offender registration per California penal code 290.

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