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Due to the broad legal definition of prostitution, law enforcement officers can sometimes misconstrue legal acts. If you or a loved one were accused of prostitution, you may find it advantageous to speak with an Alameda prostitution lawyer for advice.

A conviction for prostitution could impact your job, your family, and your future. You may have difficulty finding employment in the future or working in specific industries with a prostitution conviction that appears on background checks. Fortunately, a criminal defense attorney could advise you of the full extent of potential penalties for a prostitution conviction and work with you to pursue a positive outcome.

The Crime of Prostitution

Under California Penal Code §647(b), both prostitution and solicitation are classified as disorderly conduct. These offenses occur when individuals take any actions that involve:

  • Paying or receiving money or something of value in exchange for sex acts
  • Offering to engage in prostitution
  • Accepting an offer to engage in prostitution

Because of how this definition is phrased, individuals participating in either side of a prostitution transaction could face the same penalties. Furthermore, third parties can be subject to criminal charges when they join in prostitution schemes. Participation may include scheduling a time and place for prostitution to occur or handling the financial aspects of a transaction.

A prostitution conviction, however, requires both acceptance of the offer or solicitation to engage in sex acts for money and an overt attempt to carry out the agreement. One example of an overt attempt to further an act of prostitution might be to appear at an agreed-upon location to engage in sex acts. Other common examples of overt attempts may include withdrawing funds to pay for the sex acts, exchanging money, or getting into a car to perform sex acts.

Anyone facing these sex crime charges may be wise to consult an Alameda prostitution attorney as soon as possible. Legal counsel may be able to examine the facts that led to the charges and determine whether the evidence is adequate to support the charges.

Penalties in Alameda

Prostitution is a misdemeanor under California law. Individuals facing a first offense for prostitution may receive up to six months in jail, a fine of $1,000, or both. If the crime involves others whom individuals knew or should have known were minors, fines could increase to up to $10,000, and the potential jail sentence is a minimum of two days and a maximum of one year.

Other possible penalties for a prostitution conviction may include a term of probation, community service requirements, mandatory HIV testing, and required counseling. Specific factors may increase the potential sanctions for a prostitution conviction, including previous convictions for prostitution offenses and offenses that occur within 1,000 feet of a private residence.

Individuals who use a motor vehicle in committing prostitution may lose their driving privileges for 30 days. Alternatively, they may be granted only restricted driving rights for up to six months, which limits them to driving back and forth to work and/or school and completing any work-related duties.

A prostitution conviction carries the potential for collateral consequences as well. You would have a permanent criminal conviction on your record that is likely to show up on background checks by prospective employers and landlords. A conviction also may prohibit you from working in specific industries and attaining some professional licenses.

Furthermore, after three or more prosecution convictions, you may find yourself facing a felony charge. Legal advice from a prostitution lawyer in Alameda may help you effectively defend against these charges and reach a better resolution in the case.

Call an Alameda Prostitution Attorney for Advice

If you were accused of prostitution or a related crime, you may be embarrassed, stressed, and concerned about your future. The negative impact that an arrest can have on you professionally and personally can be significant even before you enter a courtroom.

No matter your situation, you should protect your rights by enlisting the help of an Alameda prostitution lawyer. Schedule a consultation by calling today.

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