In the world of sexual services, escorting and prostitution are often used interchangeably, although they do not mean the same thing. While both involve providing companionship or sexual services in exchange for money, the legal framework differs significantly.
Escorting is a profession where individuals offer clients companionship without sexual acts. On the other hand, prostitution is the exchange of sexual services for money. However, the lines between the two realms can be blurry, as some escorts may engage in sexual activities. The following clarifies the difference between escorting and prostitution and how each is treated in Los Angeles, California.
What is Escorting?
As previously mentioned, escorting is a service where individuals, known as escorts, are hired to accompany clients to social events and business meetings to provide companionship. The escorts are paid for their time, attention, and social interaction, not sexual services. The payment can be in cash or something else of value.
Escorting is legal in California. However, engaging in sexual acts with an escort is considered a crime. Although escorting is legal in CA, individuals must obtain a license or permit. These licenses allow one to work legally in California while ensuring the escorts’ safety and well-being.
Is it a Crime to Have Sexual Activities With an Escort in Their Personal Time?
People often wonder if it is against the law to have sexual acts with an escort outside their working hours. Some may argue that it is not illegal as it was done during the escort’s personal time. However, if the police establish that the escort was explicitly hired to engage in sexual acts at a different time, then it becomes illegal. In such cases, both the escort and the client may face legal consequences if this is discovered.
Avoiding Prostitution Charges for Escorts
To avoid facing prostitution charges, escorts must:
- Communicate to clients that any sexual activities are off-limits
- Avoid accepting offers or requests for sexual services
- Avoid exchanging sex for valuable items
- Document interactions with clients
- Have clearly defined written contracts with clients
- Establish a network of support, including a sex crimes lawyer
What is Prostitution?
Prostitution involves exchanging sexual services for money or other forms of compensation. Unlike escorting, prostitution is explicitly engaging in sexual acts in return for payment. Prostitution is illegal in California, and a conviction for prostitution can have significant consequences on one’s life.
Penalties and Potential Consequences of Prostitution
The penalties for prostitution-related offenses in California under Penal Code 647(b) include:
- A potential sentence of up to six months in county jail and a fine of $1000 for a first-time conviction
- A minimum sentence of 45 days in county jail plus a $1000 fine for a second-time conviction
- A minimum sentence of 90 days in county jail and a $1000 fine if convicted for a third time.
Additionally, convictions for prostitution can also result in a permanent criminal record, having to register as a sex offender, which can negatively impact one’s employment prospects and reputation.
What to Do if You are Arrested for Prostitution in Los Angeles?
If arrested for prostitution in Los Angeles, California, do not answer any questions the police officer asks you or provide a statement. You have the right to remain silent. Instead, ask for legal representation immediately. Consulting with an experienced sex crimes lawyer who understands the nuances of California law can help you effectively navigate the legal process.
Legal Defenses Against Prostitution Charges
Your lawyer may employ several legal defenses against prostitution charges leveled against you. These may include:
- Insufficient evidence to substantiate the offense
- Lack of monetary exchange or other forms of compensation for sexual services
- Absence of agreement between the parties to engage in sexual activity in exchange for payment
- Unlawful tactics by law enforcement officers, such as entrapment or violation of constitutional rights to arrest you
- Mistaken identity or false accusations
A skilled attorney can thoroughly examine the facts of the case, gather relevant evidence, and build a strong defense strategy for your specific case.
Why Hire a Sex Crimes Lawyer?
Hiring a sex crimes lawyer is crucial when facing prostitution charges in California. A legal professional:
- Comprehensively understands the relevant laws
- Can develop a winning defense strategy
- Can help you avoid harsh penalties
- May negotiate for an alternative sentence
- Protect your rights
- Can help you avoid having a permanent sex crime record.
Contact Our Criminal Defense Lawyer at Kosnett Law Firm for a Free Consultation Today
If you have been charged with prostitution in California, taking immediate action to protect your rights is crucial. At Kosnett Law Firm, our experienced criminal defense attorneys can protect your rights and work towards the most favorable outcome for your case. Do not face prostitution charges alone. Contact us at (310) 445-5900 to schedule a free, confidential consultation today, and we can help you during this challenging time.