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Soliciting the Commission of Certain Crimes

California Penal Code Section 653f

The crime of Solicitation consists of facilitating, commanding, encouraging, promoting, recruiting, counseling, inducing, or urging another person to commit a crime. The elements of solicitation are: 1) Actual words or terms used to encourage someone to commit the crime, 2) Intent to complete the crime, and 3) the other person received the request. A person is guilty of Solicitation even if the crime solicited is not completed, or even started. Also, the person solicited does not have to agree to commit the crime. In non-legal terms, solicitation is "asking a person to commit a crime."

California Solicitation Law

Solicitation crimes of a wide variety are defined in Penal Code section 653f. This section of the Penal Code refers to only the solicitation of certain felonies. The term "Solicitation" is most commonly associated with "solicitation to commit prostitution." However, that crime is found in another section of the Penal Code: 647(b), a misdemeanor. Please refer to Prostitution.

Penal Code section 653f (Solicitation to Commit Felony) outlines specific crimes in subsections (a) through (e).

Penal Code 653f(a)

  • Every person, who, with the intent that the crime be committed,
  • Solicits another to offer or accept or join in the offer or acceptance of:
    • Bribery
    • Robbery
    • Grand theft
    • Carjacking
    • Burglary
    • Receiving stolen property
    • Extortion
    • Perjury or subornation of perjury
    • Forgery
    • Kidnapping
    • Arson
    • Assault with a deadly weapon, instrument or force likely to produce great bodily injury (GBI)
    • Preventing or dissuading a witness from testifying at trial by use or threat of force.

Penal Code 653f(b)

  • Every person, who, with the intent that the crime be committed,
  • Solicits another to commit or join in the commission of murder.

Penal Code 653f(c)

  • Every person, who, with the intent that the crime be committed,
  • Solicits another to commit rape, sodomy, or oral copulation by force or violence.

Penal Code 653f(d)

  • Every person, who, with the intent that the crime be committed,
  • Solicits another to commit any violation of
  • Health & Safety Code 11352, 11379, 11379.5, 11379.6, or 11391.

Penal Code 653f(e)

  • Every person, who, with the intent that the crime be committed,
  • Solicits another to commit any violation of Section 14014 of the Welfare & Institutions Code.

Solicitation, Attempt, and Conspiracy

Solicitation, Attempt, and Conspiracy are often referred to as "inchoate" or incomplete crimes. The key differences between Solicitation, Attempt, and Conspiracy are: Attempt requires a specific intent to commit a crime and more than just an initial step or act towards the commission of the crime. The act in an Attempt crime must be a "substantial step" toward the commission of the crime.

Solicitation does not require an initial step or "substantial act" towards the completion of the crime. Solicitation is complete the second the statement is made. Solicitation is a crime of words, contrasted with "Attempt," which is more of a crime of action. Conspiracy does not require a substantial step towards completing the crime, but merely some act in furtherance of the Conspiracy. The essence of conspiracy lies in the unlawful agreement. The mere agreement between two people to commit a crime plus any act to put it into action is conspiracy.

What the Prosecutor Has to Prove

In order to secure a conviction at trial, the prosecutor must prove any of the above-listed crimes using the testimony of at least two witnesses, or the testimony of one witness and corroborating evidence. The witnesses may include the person(s) who were solicited.

Corroborating evidence is evidence that (1) tends to connect the defendant with the commission of the crime and (2) is independent of the evidence given by the witness who testified about the Solicitation, or independent of the facts testified to by the witness. Corroborating evidence does not have to be strong to establish each element by itself.

The corroborating evidence may include the defendant's acts, statements, or conduct, or any other circumstance that tends to connect the defendant to the crime. The person solicited does not have to agree to commit the crime. The prosecutor does not have to prove that the crime intended was committed or even attempted, to convict someone of Solicitation.

Los Angeles Solicitation Defense Lawyers

If you are facing Solicitation charges, the Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners can help! We have successfully represented many individuals facing criminal charges including solicitation charges. We are prepared to defend you against any charge of criminal Solicitation, Criminal Attempt, and Criminal Conspiracy.

Contact our office to schedule a no-cost confidential consultation with a Los Angeles criminal lawyer.

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