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Los Angeles Pimping and Pandering Attorneys
Persons arrested for pimping in Los Angeles are charged with violating California Penal Code 266(h) PC. Frequently, they are also charged with the closely related crime of pandering (Penal Code 266(i) PC). Both crimes are felonies with jail sentences up to six years.
Persons accused of pimping and/or pandering need the help of Los Angeles pimping and pandering attorneys to protect their rights and explore all options necessary to reduce the charges or get them dismissed at trial.
What is a Prostitute in California?
At the outset, understanding how the California Penal Code defines prostitution is helpful in discussing pimping and pandering charges. Penal Code 647(b) PC defines prostitution as when a person has sexual intercourse or performs lewd acts for sexual gratification with another person.
The person receives money or some other compensation for the sexual act. The “lewd” act can consist of touching the genitals, buttocks or female breasts.
Los Angeles Pimping Attorneys
Penal Code 266(h) states that pimping is a crime in which someone receives money or compensation from someone who got the money acting as a prostitute. The person accepts that money for support and with the knowledge that the person got the money working as a prostitute.
The key element in a pimping case is that the person accused of pimping must know that the person giving him the money was working as a prostitute. The money could be paid to the defendant because he solicited another person to have sex with the prostitute. The money could have been given or loaned to the prostitute by the owner of a brothel at which the prostitute worked.
The defendant could be a brothel owner who collects a portion of the money paid to the prostitute by the person who had sex with the prostitute.
Lastly, pimping occurs when someone is paid by the prostitute for protection or other services.
Penalties for Pimping
Pimping is a felony under the Penal Code. Conviction of pimping charges can lead to jail sentences of up to six years. If the prostitute is a minor, the judge can sentence the pimp to up to eight years in jail and require the defendant to register as a sex offender.
Defenses to Pimping Charges
As with any other crime, experienced Los Angeles pimping attorneys know that there are several defenses which can be raised in a pimping case.
Many times, arrests for prostitution occur during an undercover police operation. In that scenario, defendants may have legitimate arguments that they were entrapped by the police officers running the undercover operation.
Entrapment occurs when the police are too aggressive and they improperly pressure a person to commit a crime. That pressure can consist of harassment, threats or fraud. In that situation, an experienced Los Angeles pimping attorney will argue that, but for the improper police action, the defendant would not have committed the pimping.
There have been incidents where prostitutes have been charged with prostitution and they, in turn, accuse someone of being their pimp. They will do this in order to get released or face lower charges.
They may have been in a relationship with the defendant that went sour. A Los Angeles criminal defense attorney will be able to poke holes the prosecutor’s case if false claims are being made by the prostitute.
Lack of Knowledge
Remember, a key element to the crime of pimping is that the defendant knew the money he received came from the act of prostitution. If an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can show the defendant did not know that the person was working as a prostitute, the prosecution will have to drop the charges or face a dismissal at trial.
Los Angeles Pandering Attorney
In order to be charged with pandering under Penal Code 266(i), the defendant must have specifically intended for a person to become or remain a prostitute. Additionally, the defendant must have:
- Given or received money in return for someone becoming or remaining a prostitute;
- Persuaded someone to become or remain a prostitute;
- Used threats, promises, violence or fraud to induce someone to become or remain a prostitute; or
- Persuaded someone to work as a prostitute in a brothel.
Penalties for Pandering
As with pimping, pandering is a felony offense in California. Conviction can lead to a prison sentence up to six years. Pandering a minor can mean eight years in prison and registration as a sex offender.
Defenses to Pimping and Pandering Charges
As with pimping, experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys will raise the defenses of entrapment and false claims if the circumstances surrounding the pandering charges support those defenses.
Additionally, the prosecution must prove that the defendant intended for the person to become or remain a prostitute. If the defense can show that, whatever actions the defendant took, he did not intend for the person to become a prostitute, the case cannot proceed.
Los Angeles Criminal Attorneys
People facing charges of pimping and/or pandering need the help of experienced Los Angeles criminal lawyers. You will need an experienced criminal defense attorney to make the prosecution prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a very high legal standard and is required for conviction in any criminal case. Daniel Perlman and Matthew Cohen are experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers at Perlman & Cohen.
They will explore all options in crafting a defense to the pimping and pandering charges. In appropriate cases, they will negotiate a plea to lesser charges from a position of strength. Otherwise, they will prepare your case for trial and force the prosecutor to prove every element of the pimping and pandering charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
Call them at (310) 299-0062 to set up a free consultation so they can begin to prepare a defense to the pimping and pandering charges filed against you or your loved one.