Possible Entrapment Defenses: Solicitation of Prostitution
California Penal Code §647 (b) prohibits people from offering to or engaging in any act of prostitution. Unfortunately this is a commonly committed offense. Engaging in solicitation of prostitution is a misdemeanor offense. Many times police officers stage sting operations in order to catch people who are involved in this type of illegal conduct.
Generally, this type of sting operation is focused on catching as many people engaged in solicitation as possible. Typically, an undercover female police officer dresses provocatively and stands on the corner of a popular area known for this kind of conduct and flags down passing drivers that are male and alone. She then has a conversation with those men and asks whether they would like a “date” which is code or slang for paying money for sexual acts with a stranger. If they say yes, she made lead them to a motel room where the man is arrested for solicitation.
Entrapment is a legal defense to being convicted for an illegal act. Entrapment occurs when the police originate the idea of the illegal act and then induce the accused to engage in that illegal act. The goal of an entrapment defense is discourage overzealous police officers from tricking normally law-abiding citizens into doing something illegal that they would not otherwise do.
As for a sting operation to catch those participating in solicitation, the defense of entrapment puts the burden of proof on the accused. The accused must prove that if not for the urging and overbearing conduct of the police officer they would not have engaged in the illegal act. There are some situations where an entrapment defense would work and it is up to the lawyers at Hoffman & Associates to determine whether you have a valid entrapment defense.
The experienced lawyers at Hoffman & Associates can meet with potential clients and review all of the police reports and evidence including video recordings (if done) to determine if entrapment is a viable defense in their case.. If entrapment can be used as a defense a knowledgeable attorney can file a motion to suppress the evidence and get the case dismissed.
Other times, if entrapment is not a defense a skilled attorney may be able to reach a plea bargain with the prosecution, which involves community service or a diversion program, which may lead to an ultimate dismissal of the charges. If you have been charged with solicitation of prostitution in the Los Angeles, Orange County, or San Diego area contact Hoffman & Associates to put the firms 30 years of daily courtroom experience to work for you.
California Penal Code §647 (b): provides that every person who commits any of the following acts is guilty of a misdemeanor: solicits or who agrees to engage in or who engages in any act of prostitution. A person agrees to engage in an act of prostitution when, with specific intent to so engage, he or she manifests an acceptance of an offer or solicitation to so engage, regardless of whether the offer or solicitation was made by a person who also possessed the specific intent to engage in prostitution. No agreement to engage in an act of prostitution shall constitute a violation of this subdivision unless some act, in addition to the agreement, is done within this state in furtherance of the commission of an act of prostitution by the person agreeing to engage in that act. As used in this subdivision, "prostitution" includes any lewd act between persons for money or other consideration.