While the term “prostitution” used to be defined as sex being exchanged for money, there are a number of variables that any individual has to consider. There are a number of laws relating to disorderly conduct pertaining to prostitution, each with its own punishments. 

Penalties for Prostitution 

The crimes relating to prostitution, pimping, or pandering can result in differing sentences. Punishment and sentencing for a first offense could be up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, a second offense could be between 45 days and six months in jail, and a third offense could be between 3 and 6 months in jail. 

Additionally, there can be fines, probation charges using the criteria outlined in Rule 4.414 of CA Rules of Court. Additionally, there could be ancillary laws that could be brought against friends and family, for example, if a friend or family member was indirectly involved by driving the person who committed the offense at the scene. 

The Legal Definition of Prostitution

Prostitution is defined, as per the California Penal Code 647(b) as someone:

“willfully or purposefully engaging in sexual intercourse or a lewd act with the specific intent of sexually arousing or gratifying another person in exchange for money, gifts, drugs, or other consideration. Anyone who offers, agrees to, or engages in prostitution can be charged under California Penal Code 647(b).”

The terms in this definition can be broken down as follows: 
Lewd act is an act that involves touching the genitals, buttocks, or female breast of another person.
Willfully is classed as committing the offense being fully aware, or doing it intentionally, deliberately, or knowingly.
Other consideration is classed as other types of compensation made or given in return for or appreciation of the sexual act.  
Soliciting is classed as requesting somebody else to engage in prostitution, or intending to engage in an act of prostitution with another person, or that other person receiving the request. 
It’s important to note that the solicitation laws apply to all parties involved in the crime, which included prostitutes, clients (also known as “johns”), and facilitators (also known as “pimps”).” 

How Can a Person Be Arrested for Prostitution?

A person can get arrested for prostitution in one of three ways:

  • Offering to engage in the act in exchange for money or another form of payment.
  • Agreeing to engage in the act in exchange for money or another form of payment. Even in this instance, smiling, or nodding your head in the acknowledgment of the act can get someone arrested.
  • By engaging in the act of being a prostitute.

In addition to these three components, the court must prove a number of things to obtain a prostitution conviction relating to the defendant engaging in the act:

  • The defendant approves and consents to the prostitution act with the individual.
  • The defendant exchanged money, goods, services, or “other consideration” to further the agreement of prostitution.
  • The defendant engaged in the prostitution act for the said money, goods, services, or “other consideration.”

To prove a defendant solicited prostitution, the court needs to establish the following:

  • The defendant needs to have requested that another person engage in an act of prostitution.
  • The defendant intended to engage in an act of prostitution with the other party.
  • The other person received the communication with the request.

Common Legal Defenses in Prostitution Cases

In these cases, there are some common defenses, such as:


Whereby law enforcement used a number of tactics, such as coercion, manipulation, or other tactics to trick, entice, or encourage the person to commit a crime that a law-abiding citizen would not. A defendant needs to prove two things here:

  1. There was no intent to commit the crime.
  2. The defendant only did so because the law enforcement tried to get them to commit the crime.

Insufficient Evidence

The defendant needs to show evidence of mitigating circumstances which would render the prosecutor’s evidence inconsequential or insufficient.

Lack of Intent

Also known as “mens rea,” if the defense can provide sufficient evidence that a specific sexual act was never discussed, payment was never addressed, they didn’t have condoms or any form of payment on their person, or any other evidence to the contrary of the intent to participate in the charges of engaging or soliciting prostitution, this is proof that they were not intending to be a part of the charges. Many plead ignorance of a situation as a way to gain “mens rea,” but this is not classed as a viable defense.  

No Exchange of Money or “other Consideration” 

If the accused agreed to have sexual relations with another individual of legal age, and there was no agreement made regarding an exchange or “trade-off” the court has no case against the defendant as it is two consensual adults having sex, which is not a crime, in and of itself.

The other defenses in this situation include Denial of Right to Counsel (where deprivation of a counsel or choice of attorney without good cause results in the reversal of the defendant's conviction) and Violation of Miranda Rights (f the police fails to read a suspect their Miranda rights, the prosecutor cannot use, for most purposes, anything the suspect says as evidence ).

How Much Is the Bail Bond for Prostitution?

The total bail amount will depend on numerous variables, including the number of offenses committed, previous arrests, and other extenuating circumstances, such as drug use. The total bail bond could start from $1,000 to $15,000.

The overall cost for prostitution-related charges, pimping, pandering, solicitation is usually 10% of the bail amount.

Find the Right Bail Bonds Company Near Me 

Southern California experiences numerous prostitution cases. Some of those arrested are innocent while others are guilty, but regardless of the situation, the case must go to trial. Charges could take a long time to conclude, sometimes weeks or months, which is why a bail bond can be necessary for these circumstances.

If you are in Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Diego, and San Bernardino and want to secure freedom awaiting trial, call 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds at 800-930-8999 for more information on bail bonds and how we can help you at this time.