Prostitution is defined as sex in exchange for money or something of value. Patronizing prostitution (also referred to as “solicitation of prostitution”) is offering or agreeing to engage in sex for money. The mere offer or the agreement is enough to complete the crime. Patronizing prostitution is a misdemeanor crime in California. Sex includes sexual intercourse or a lewd act, defined as the touching of genitals, buttocks or female breast of either the prostitute or customer, with some part of another's body for sexual gratification or arousal.
In California, patronizing prostitution (solicitation of prostitution) is prosecuted under Penal Code Section 647(b) and the prosecution must prove a person agreed with or solicited another to engage in the act of prostitution. In California, patronizing prostitution is punishable by up to 180 days in county jail and a fine of up to $1000. First-time offenders are generally not facing jail time, rather a fine and some community service.
In Los Angeles county, first-time offenders, with no prior criminal record, can earn a dismissal of the charges upon successful completion of a county program. Second and third convictions for patronizing prostitution carry a minimum sentence of 30 to 45 days in county jail. There is no sex registration requirement for any of these convictions. If you or someone you know is being charged with patronizing prostitution consult with an experienced prostitution defense attorney to learn about your legal options.
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