In California, prostitution is a very serious charge where somebody offers or agrees to lewd or sexual acts for money or other benefits like services or drugs. Under Section 647(b) of the California Penal Code, a person can be charged with prostitution for soliciting prostitution, agreeing to engage in prostitution, or engaging in prostitution. Solicitation of prostitution, which you may have read about before, is somebody asking or somebody accepting to the act. Solicitation of prostitution may not be charged as strictly as other prostitution crimes and may only be charged as a misdemeanor offense in many cases. Offenders may also find that they are probably not required to register as a sex offender.
You may have heard about this crime in the news. For instance, in Florida a few months ago a police officer was actually arrested after trying to solicit a $40 prostitute while he was on duty. Many figures in society, some prominent and some average will be charged with this crime each year. This police officer was caught after he offered cash to the prostitute, who was actually an undercover female cop. An investigation was being set up to try and catch the criminals who try to get away with this crime and many cops in the area had heard this was happening. In some cities, it has become a growing problem.
As previously mentioned, a misdemeanor offense could stem from solicitation of prostitution, which in that could include a range of punishment such as probation or time spent in a county jail for months or years. Some court systems, however, will choose other methods such as diversion programs since there may be a huge connection between prostitution and drug use. For this, a defendant is required to report to court and participate in courses that are centered on rehabilitation and life skills. If somebody completes these diversion programs, the court will usually dismiss the solicitation charges outright. This program is not offered in many places so, when the chance arises, it is always a wise idea to take it!
“John Schools” are available in many states and follow the ideals that we’ve discussed. They are educational programs for men who were arrested for the serious charges of buying sex. The schools usually stem from sentencing but can also be combined with other penalties under the judge’s discretion. Typically, they will take the form of multiple-session counseling programs. The programs can be financed by the fees stemming from the charges that the offender will have to pay. Over 50 cities in the U.S. have adopted these helpful programs that can change people’s lives as well as save some embarrassment in many ways after a charge.
In the curriculum of these classes, you may find topics like health consequences, impact on communities, impact on survivors, victimization risks and impact on johns, and legal consequences. People will participate in group counseling sessions to discuss what has happened to them and what they can do to work toward a better future even after this crime has taken place. Now that you understand some of the penalties from solicitation of prostitution, you may still have questions if you have been charged with this crime. You can contact us at The Law Office of Peter Blair today for more information.