Prostitution is illegal in the state of California. Despite this, it is possible that if a person is arrested for prostitution, they may not be prosecuted. It is not just the person selling prostitution services who can be arrested and charged with crimes, the buyer of such services can also be arrested. “Johns” may also face harsh criminal penalties if convicted of soliciting sex services.
If you have been arrested for a sex crime, either selling or soliciting sex services, you will need a skilled criminal defense attorney protecting your interests. Since law enforcement engages in sting operations to identify sex workers, but mainly their customers, being caught engaging in these illegal acts can have devastating results. Working with a San Diego sex crime defense attorney improves your chances of overcoming your charges and getting the most favorable results.
How Do Prosecution Stings Happen in San Diego?
Police officers in San Diego who are tasked with finding prostitution activities go undercover in many different ways including:
- Posing as a prostitute on websites, chat rooms, social media, and other online forums.
- Renting venues that are commonly associated with sex solicitors. Massage parlors are common.
Prostitution stings in San Diego have the main goal of identifying the people who are looking for sex services and willing to pay for them. If you are arrested for solicitation of sex services in San Diego and convicted, you can spend months in jail and pay heavy fines. With multiple solicitation arrests, you may be subject to an extended jail sentence.
It is necessary that the authorities show that a defendant had the intent to engage in a sexual act with another party and that there would be a transaction of some form of compensation for the sex. One defense available to a defendant is that they have been the victim of entrapment. Entrapment by police is different from simply being caught in a sting. If entrapment exists, it can make for a strong defense against solicitation charges.
Entrapment happens when a person is forced into committing a crime they had no prior desire to commit. For example, if it can be shown that a defendant was tricked, intimidated, pressured, or was on the receiving end of other forceful acts to get them to pay for sex services, this would be considered entrapment.
Law enforcement largely goes after solicitors more so than prostitutes themselves. This is because it is believed that if the demand for sex services is eliminated, the supply will disappear. Also, there is some belief that it is improper to punish someone for offering sex-related services. Amnesty International, for instance, believes that all sex services, both buying, and selling should be decriminalized.
Still, in some cases, prostitutes themselves are arrested and people who are shown to be their pimps can also be arrested. Continue reading