Sex crimes and human trafficking are serious concerns in the United States, and both California law enforcement and federal agencies are increasing efforts to reduce the incidence of pimping and pandering crimes in Los Angeles. That means aggressively investigating pimping and pandering cases and imposing harsh penalties for sex crime convictions. If you or a loved one is facing felony pimping, pandering or prostitution charges in Los Angeles, the case is not just going to go away. Pimping prosecutions are relentless, and only with the help of a knowledgeable sex crimes defense lawyer can you hope to effectively fight the charges against you and avoid a felony conviction. Our legal team at Criminal Defense Attorney Los Angeles is committed to protecting the rights and interests of individuals accused of pimping and pandering, and we have extensive experience defending clients against all types of sex crimes allegations. Contact us today at (213) 205-3100 for a free initial consultation.
Affordable Pimping and Pandering Defense Attorney in Los Angeles
Pimping and pandering laws are designed to undercut the sex industry by targeting the “middle men.” Far too often though, innocent people are wrongfully convicted of felony pimping or pandering crimes due to the broad definition of California pimping and pandering laws. If you have been arrested for pimping and pandering in Los Angeles, our attorneys at Criminal Defense Attorney Los Angeles will investigate all aspects of your case, including the circumstances of your arrest and the evidence the prosecution has against you, so we can develop an effective defense strategy. Our legal team is aware of the tactics California prosecutors use to get convictions in pimping and pandering cases and we know how best to defend you against these charges. Our sex crimes defense attorneys understand that your future and your freedom are on the line, and we will exhaust every resource at our disposal in seeking a favorable conclusion to your case.
Pimping and Pandering
The stereotype of the pimp is no longer accurate in today’s society. There are far fewer situations now than in the past of scared, defenseless women working as prostitutes or escorts under force or fear in a prostitution ring, with a pimp at the helm. However, because the language used in pimping and pandering laws in California is vague, it leaves the door open for a wide range of conduct to be charged as criminal acts. An example of a situation that could lead to pimping and pandering charges would be if a man knows that his girlfriend works as a prostitute at a brothel and has her ask the madam at the brothel for a loan to help him pay his rent. Because the man knew his girlfriend was a prostitute and allowed himself to be supported by money borrowed from the brothel, he could be charged with – and convicted of – pimping. As you can see, you don’t have to be involved in the arranging of a prostitution transaction to be guilty of pimping and pandering, and a person charged with pimping doesn’t actually have to be a pimp at all. A “pimp” under California law could also be someone who agrees to provide security for a prostitution ring, or work as a driver, or someone who agrees to put up ads on a website for a fee.
How is Pimping Different from Pandering?
Under California law, pimping and pandering are two distinct, bur related, offenses that often occur concurrently and are therefore commonly charged together when prosecuting crimes of prostitution. In a general sense, pimping refers to the act of receiving compensation in the form of a fee for a prostitute’s conduct, while pandering involves the recruitment, advertising and encouragement of a prostitute. Pimping is covered under California Penal Code § 266h PC, which defines pimping as knowingly living off of or gaining financial support from a prostitute’s earnings. Whether the person actually solicits customers for that person, or simply collects the earnings without finding customers, the crime is the same. In the state of California, you could be charged with pimping if you:
- Knowingly receive financial support, financial assistance, and/or compensation from money earned through prostitution; or
- Are compensated for soliciting on behalf of someone engaged in prostitution.
Pandering, on the other hand, involves the act of persuading, forcing or causing someone to become or remain a prostitute, and includes any behavior that assists someone engaged in prostitution. You can be charged with California Penal Code § 266i PC pandering if you:
- Force or persuade someone to become a prostitute;
- Force or persuade someone to remain a prostitute;
- Use fraud, duress or abuse to persuade someone to become a prostitute;
- Procure a place for prostitution to occur;
- Find someone a job in a house of prostitution; or
- Receive, give, or agree to receive or give money or something of value in exchange for persuading someone to become a prostitute.
Conviction for Pimping and Pandering Penal Code § 266
Just because you have been arrested for pimping and pandering in Los Angeles, does not mean you are guilty of the crime. In order to get a Los Angeles pimping conviction, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that: the defendant knew the other person was a prostitute; received money or benefits from a prostitute as a result of his or her sex services; and had the specific intent to receive such money or benefits as a result of the prostitute’s sex services. To get a conviction for pandering, the prosecution must prove that: the defendant procured another person for the purpose of prostitution; and had the specific intent to promote, encourage or otherwise facilitate the prostitution.
Penalties for a Pimping and Pandering Conviction
Pimping and pandering may be two separate crimes, but in terms of criminal penalties, the offenses carry equal punishments under California sex crimes law. According to California Penal Code § 266 PC, the crimes of pimping and pandering are felony offenses, punishable by a mandatory state prison sentence of three, four or six years and/or up to $10,000 in fines. If you are convicted of pimping or pandering a minor, you will also be required to register with the state of California as a tier three sex offender. If the minor involved in the prostitution is under the age of 18, the penalties associated with this crime are enhanced, possibly including incarceration in state prison for up to eight years and potential criminal charges for human trafficking. Human trafficking in Los Angeles is a grievous criminal offense punishable by up to $500,000 in fines and the possibility of life imprisonment, depending on the circumstances of the case. Some offenses related to California Penal Code § 266 PC pimping and pandering include Penal Code § 653.23 PC assisting or supervising a prostitute, Penal Code § 272 PC contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and Penal Code § 236.1 human trafficking.
Defenses to Pimping and Pandering Charges
California law enforcement is cracking down hard on prostitution-related crimes throughout the state, and one way they are doing so is by imposing harsh penalties on those convicted on charges of assisting prostitution through pimping and pandering. If you have been charged with pimping and pandering in Los Angeles, you’ll want a knowledgeable sex crimes defense attorney on your side to help you build a solid defense. No matter how strong the prosecution’s case may seem, there are almost always weak spots that a good criminal defense attorney can exploit to the benefit of the defendant. Some possible defenses that can be raised in a Los Angeles pimping and pandering case include:
- Lack of required intent
- Lack of required knowledge
- Violation of Constitutional rights
- False accusation
- Mistaken identity
With a good criminal defense attorney on your side, you may be able to get your pimping and pandering charges dismissed altogether or at least reduced to a lesser offense with less severe penalties. While a pimping conviction itself cannot be reduced to a misdemeanor, there are misdemeanor crimes related to pimping and pandering, like Penal Code § 653.23 assisting or supervising a prostitute, which may not carry any jail time.
Hiring an Experienced Pimping and Pandering Defense Attorney in Los Angeles
Sex crimes are punished harshly in California and the consequences of a pimping and pandering conviction can be devastating and far-reaching. In addition to jail time, fines and the possibility of mandatory sex offender registration, a pimping and pandering conviction may also lead to difficulty securing gainful employment or renting or purchasing a home, a loss of child custody and/or visitation rights, a loss of the right to own or possess a firearm, and the inability to work in certain fields. If you are facing charges of pimping or pandering in Los Angeles, you should retain qualified legal counsel as soon as possible. Having a knowledgeable sex crimes defense attorney on your side when facing California pimping and pandering charges can significantly improve your chances of achieving a successful outcome in your case. With Criminal Defense Attorney Los Angeles on your side, you can feel confident that an experienced defense attorney is advocating on your behalf.