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Most people are aware that pimping and prostitution is illegal in Los Angeles. However, some people may not realize that simply associating with a prostitute is a criminal offense that can be met with strict legal penalties.
In addition to criminal punishments, being charged with a sexually-based offense can have other penalties as well. A person who is charged with this crime can face public scorn and potentially the loss of employment. A strong legal defense is required to fight these charges in a court of law.
Defining the Crime
According to Section 653.23 of the California Penal Code, a person commits an offense is they:
As you can see, it is a criminal offense to offer assistance or support to a person who is engaging in or attempting to engage in prostitution. Clearly, it’s against the law to engage in pimping or collecting money from a prostitute. However, you can also get arrested merely for helping a prostitute engage in their trade in any way.
Examples of the Crime
It may seem that this law is purposefully broad. Law enforcement has a good reason for this. The law is written in this way so that law enforcement does not actually have to witness money changing hands between a prostitute and a pimp. Merely watching or helping a prostitute can constitute probable cause for an arrest.
Imagine the following scenario. Andrew is friends with a woman named Deborah. Deborah makes a living by having sex with men for money and Andrew knows this. Suppose that Deborah is nervous about working on a new street corner so she asks Andrew to watch her from across the street from his car. Andrew watches Deborah work all day and then gives her a ride back to her apartment when she is done working.
Under California Penal Code Section 653.23, Andrew may have committed the crime of aiding or supervising a prostitute. Even though he did not pay for sex with Deborah or collect any of her earnings, he has helped her break the law. This is because he watched her commit acts of prostitution and then assisted her with a ride home.
Under California law, supervising or aiding a prostitute is a misdemeanor offense. A conviction on this charge may be punished with:
In addition to these penalties, a licensed healthcare worker may have their professional license revoked if they are convicted of a prostitution-related offense.
Of course, the broadness of this law can lead to the arrest of people who are not intending to commit an illegal act. Suppose you are simply helping out a friend and suddenly you are charged with aiding a prostitute. How will you fight these charges?
Our law firm can help in the following ways:
We’ll fight to have the charges against you dropped. If you have been charged with aiding or supervising a prostitute in Los Angeles, contact our law firm right away to begin building your defense.