An arrest for soliciting a prostitute can be a frightening and embarrassing experience. For most people charged with solicitation or prostitution under California Penal Code 647(b), the arrest usually represents their first encounter with the criminal justice system. Consequently, most have a multitude of concerns following their release from police custody with questions ranging from whether their arrest details can be viewed by the public to how their careers or future employment prospects will be impacted if they are convicted.
If you are like most of our clients and have been arrested for the first time in your life on prostitution charges, this article could be of great value to you as it can provide with some insight into what you can expect moving forward and how an experienced Los Angeles prostitution defense lawyer can help you avoid a misdemeanor PC 647(b) conviction.
Prostitution and Solicitation charges in Los Angeles County
The majority of solicitation and prostitution arrests in Los Angeles County occur as a result of a “vice” or “sting” operation conducted by law enforcement. These operations can range from undercover police officers posing as streetwalkers to what is presently most common, undercover operations involving online classifieds ads on websites such as Craigslist.com and Backpage.com. Regardless of how you were caught, the arrest and booking procedure that follows is usually the same. You will be questioned by police and then released with a citation, generally on your own recognizance. Therefore, it is unlikely bail would be required. The citation you are released with functions as your notice to appear in court. You will NOT receive a courtesy reminder, so make sure you immediately and accurately calendar the appearance date as your failure to appear would result in a bench warrant issued by the judge. In addition, once you are released from custody, it is unlikely that you would receive a follow up call from the police or detective. However unlikely it is, if you are contacted by law enforcement afterward regarding a follow-up investigation, you should not make any statements and respectfully decline to answer questions without your attorney present, whether you actually have a lawyer or not.
Preserving your privacy after your release from custody
Anyone arrested on a first offense for solicitation or prostitution will have concerns about their family, friends, or work colleagues finding out. Your arrest and case details will more than likely remain private unless of course your background is checked, but it is important to note your arrest information is not privileged and is therefore considered public record. This allows law firms an opportunity to obtain your mailing information and in some cases, your phone number, to make unsolicited attempts to market their services. Therefore, it would be wise for you to monitor your mail as closely as possible to ensure you maintain your privacy until you are ready to disclose your arrest to a loved one or roommate on your own terms.
Be proactive in your preparation for your first court date
It goes without saying the best way to prepare for your arraignment appearance in court is to consult with prostitution defense lawyers who have experience defending prostitution-related cases in the court your case is out of. For example, if your prostitution or solicitation arrest took place in Torrance, you should consult with criminal defense attorneys in Torrance with extensive experience defending similar case in Torrance Court. Although searching for legal advice online can be helpful, it is important to understand that the information is very general and may not be completely applicable to your case. Therefore, it would be more productive for you to take advantage of the free consultations most defense attorneys offer to receive an assessment of your case and options based on the unique facts of your case. In addition to consulting with qualified defense attorneys, Our firm has achieved great success in obtaining reduced charges or complete dismissals for our clients charged with prostitution-related crimes by submitting mitigation packets during plea negotiations with city prosecutors and district attorneys. It would be wise to begin gathering documentation of awards, degrees/diplomas, proof of military service, etc. right away as the documents can be of value in your defense lawyers plea negotiations.
More questions regarding California prostitution-related crimes?
Call our criminal defense law office today if you have additional questions. The consultation would be free of charge and you would receive the benefit of our decades of legal experience to give you an insight most less experienced criminal law firms cannot duplicate. Call us at (866) 430-8383.