California Penal Code 653 covers solicitation. When someone requests another individual to commit or help commit a crime, they may be charged with solicitation. Some of the more common instances of solicitation for crimes include grand theft, kidnapping, arson, assault, extortion and carjacking.
How Can You Be Charged With Penal Code 653?
Law enforcement must be able to prove that the following occurred before charging an individual with solicitation:
- That one of 13 major offenses were going to be committed (including the ones listed above)
- That the defendant intended for the crime to be committed
- That the defendant communicated with another individual and requested their help to commit the crimes.
In addition to being able to prove that all of these elements occurred, two witnesses must provide testimony or one witness must provide testimony along with corroborating evidence.
Consequences for Solicitation
Consequences for Penal Code 653 can be severe. Depending on the crime that was to take place, individuals can be sentenced up to four years in prison. If murder was the crime that was to be committed, defendants can spend up to nine years in prison.
More basic crimes normally come with less stringent penalties. The basic penalties for solicitation include $10,000 in fines and up to one year in jail. This can vary depending on the offense, but, if found guilty, most judges will likely hand down a similar sentence.
Choosing the Right Defense: Hire a Competent Lawyer
Solicitation is a serious offense. While many offenders opt to use a court-appointed attorney, doing so may come with serious consequences. These lawyers are often overworked and rarely have time to concentrate on one case.
Private attorneys who are knowledgeable and have extensive experience with solicitation cases will likely be your best bet. They will be able to put together the best defense based on available facts, evidence and witness testimony. Many private attorneys also have extensive experience in the local court system, which makes them especially valuable during critical times in the legal process.
The Best Possible Outcome
Hiring a competent, private attorney also means that you’ll have the best possible outcome after your court appearances have been completed.
In many cases, defendants may have the charges reduced or dropped altogether. If you have a solicitation case pending in the California court system, contact a professional attorney immediately to represent you during all appearances.