Escort Without a Permit or License
Working as an Escort Without a Permit or License is a crime in Los Angeles
normally charged in relation to an arrest for solicitation of prostitution.
It is prosecuted under Los Angeles Municipal Code section 103.107.1, and
in essence states that no person shall work as an escort unless he or
she has an authorized permit or license.
An Escort is a person who accompanies another person, for a fee, to a social
event or provides some form of entertainment. Escorts are not illegal
in California as long as the person has a valid license. However, Escorts
cannot provide sexual services, and if they do, they are subject to criminal
In Los Angeles, most arrests for Escorting without a Permit or License
are a result of a police sting operation. Law enforcement targets internet
ads primarily from Craig's List, CityVibe, and Backpage. Typically,
a police officer will call the telephone number listed in the ad and inquire
about the services being offered, and then arrange to meet the person
in the ad. The police officer will then invite the person to come join
him or her at a room in a local hotel or the officer will come over to
the designated location requested by the person in the ad. While in the
room, the police officer will attempt to negotiate specific sexual services
with the person in the room. The officer tries to get the other person
to describe those sexual services, for example sexual intercourse or oral
sex. Once that occurs, the undercover officer may deliver the cash. In
some cases, the officer may begin to disrobe or go to the bathroom where
he gives the signal to the other officers waiting outside the hotel room
to make the bust and arrest the person.
The key to the conversation with the police officer is that if the person
states that he or she will participate in some form of sexual activity
then that could be the basis for a Solicitation for Prostitution arrest.
However if that person states there will be absolutely no sex, but offers
some other service such as dancing or naked dancing then that becomes
grounds for an arrest for Escort without a Permit or License. Most people
think that if they stay clear of mentioning sex during the conversation
then everything will be fine, which is
not the case. The arrestee may wrongfully believe he or she has broken no law
because he or she did not place the ad on the internet nor initiate conversation
with that police officer. The ads and the conversation between the agency
and the police officer become part of the evidence used in the criminal
case against the person accused of illegal Escorting.
Escort without a Permit or License is charged by prosecutors who generally
cannot prosecute and convict the
escort or the
prostitute with standard acts of prostitution such as
agreeing to engage in sex or
solicitation for prostitution, as described in California Penal Code section 647(b).
Escort without a Permit or License is a misdemeanor punishable by up to
six months in county jail and a $1000 fine.
In Los Angeles county, a charge of Escort without a License may be eligible
for a reduction to an infraction or a dismissal. If you or someone you
know has been charged with Escort without a Permit or License contact
criminal defense attorney before pleading guilty and learn what legal defenses and options are available.