When individuals speak about solicitation it is usually with reference to the prostitution and solicitation laws that govern the state and federal system. Soliciting in this context is offering someone a ‘good’ in exchange for sexual favors or lewd acts. The person receiving the monetary incentive or any other type of good, is considered a prostitute. Prostitution like solicitation go hand in hand and are illegal at the federal and state level. In the state of California and at the federal level, prostitution and solicitation are considered a sex crime that would require the prosecutor to register as a sex offender. Once you have registered as a sex offender you will find strict regulations regarding the places you may visit and the residency you may inhabit.

Depending on your situation, you can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. Customers and prostitutes will usually be charged with misdemeanors for their first offense. However, pimps and brothel owners can be charged with felonies that include prison time of up to 6 years in the state of California. Individuals who solicit minors for sexual favors or prostitution may find more severe ramifications that can include a lifetime in prison and up to a quarter of a million dollars in fines.

The state and federal law explain that each sex crime is charged differently depending on a multitude of factors. Each case is treated differently from state to state which means you need to consult with a local attorney who is capable of applying the state and federal law to your case. Solicitation and prostitution are judged differently in every state with each state providing additional literature to the federal codes. In most states, solicitation and prostitution are charged as a misdemeanor and the perpetrators will not have to register as sex offenders. However, the judge in your courtroom has the final say and can enforce registration regulations on the defendants.

Sex offenders or individuals who have committed sex crimes will find that once their name is in the public domain, it will be very difficult to find housing and work. Sex offenders have strict residency regulations and are restricted from visiting locations where children may be found. The blanket approach to all sex offenders is being challenged in courtrooms across the country. If you have been convicted as a sex offender or you have been notified of a lawsuit, you are encouraged to speak with a local attorney. Sex Crimes Attorney will evaluate your case and provide an up to date status on the changing laws and regulations that apply to your case. Our Sex Crime Attorneys can be reached at 888-666-8480.

Having an attorney by your side will ensure that your case is privately investigated so that all of the facts are presented as clearly as possible in a courtroom. In many cases, you will find that you are being charged with false accusations or that you are mistaken by the accuser. These cases do happen and the fact of the matter is those innocent individuals are punished with the full force of the law. Having a ‘red dot’ on your name is never attractive. Contact an attorney who can clarify your situation and provide a program for your case.

Solicitation and Prostitution

Solicitation and prostitution involve the exchange of goods for lewd acts or sex. Under California Penal Code 647, prostitution, solicitation, and engaging in prostitution, are illegal acts considered sex crime acts. When a customer and prostitute have sexual intercourse, both are engaging in acts of prostitution under Penal Code 647. The following components are factors pertaining to prostitution and solicitation:

  • Customer: person paying a prostitute or pimp for sexual favors including lewd acts and/or sex
  • Prostitute: a person who has sexual intercourse or commits a lewd act in exchange for a good or monetary incentives
  • Pimp: a person that provides prostitutes to customers and is usually in charge of handling the currency or other goods. Unlike customers or prostitutes, pimps can be charged with felonies containing harsher penalties than misdemeanors.
  • Brothel owners: a person who owns a home where customers pay for sex with prostitutes. Like a pimp, the brothel owner will encounter felonies if charged under Penal Code 647.
  • Lewd Act: groping, caressing, fondling and touching of male and female sex organs

Soliciting and prostitution are acts that are treated as misdemeanors in the state court for first-time offenders. However, first-time offenders may be charged with a felony if the prostitute was a person under the age of 18. Sexual conduct with underage children is prohibited under state and federal law. If the solicitation occurred over the internet the act will be considered a federal crime. Individuals who are tried at the state and federal level must endure different types of penalties. In many cases individuals charged with multiple offenses will spend a lifetime in prison if the court believes they are too dangerous to be released into society.

State Penalties

In the state of California, there are different types of laws that govern different situations with regards to prostitution. There is a law regarding prostitutes, pimps, customers, and brothel owners.

  • Prostitute: A prostitute in the state of California charged with a first offense misdemeanor, will spend up to a year in jail and/or must pay $1000 in fines. Federal law under Title 18 Part 1 Ch. 67 Sec. 1384, prostitution can be fined with up to a year in prison if prostitution occurs within ‘reasonable distance’ of any federal areas including military or naval camps, forts, posts, or training camps.
  • Customers: A customer in the state of California will face similar fines as a prostitute. The customer may be required to pay up to $1000 in fines and/or may be required to spend up to a year in jail. The customer will be charged with a misdemeanor for prostitution with a person over the age of 18.
  • Pimps: Pimps in the state of California charged with prostituting, will face between 3 to 6 years in a state prison. The pimps situation will highly depend on the number of prostitutes, the duration of his prostitution establishment, and other factors. A pimp will be charged directly with a felony.
  • Brothel owners: In the state of California brothel owners face much of the same penalties as pimps. Brothel owners will be charged with a felony and may be required to spend between 3 to 6 years in state prison.

The penalties mentioned above are penalties regarding the solicitation and prostitution of a person over the age of 18 years old. However, if you are caught soliciting a minor for sexual pleasures you will find that the penalties (fines and jail time) will dramatically increase. The United States Code 18 Sections 2422 and 2423, explain that a person can be charged with a felony by the federal government if:

  • The adult intimidates, encourages, and/or provokes a minor to engage in sexual favors in exchange for money or other incentives
  • The adult intimidates, encourages, and/or provokes a minor to travel across state or federal borders to engage in prostitution or other sexual activities deemed unlawful by the federal government
  • The adult transports a child across federal borders to engage sexual acts with a minor
  • The adult travels an international border to engage in sexual activity with minors (non-US citizens)

Solicitation of a minor for sexual pleasures is a felony that can be charged by simply contacting a child for sexual favors. The adult can be charged with the felony even if the adult did not have sexual intercourse with a minor. The simple solicitation of a minor for prostitution or other sexual activity is enough to be charged with a felony at the federal level. The federal court is being involved more and more in cases where individuals solicit children for sexual pleasures over the internet. Soliciting a child for lewd acts or for sexual pleasures across state lines or through the use of the internet will allow the federal government to penalize the sex offender under federal laws. The penalties for soliciting a minor for prostitution or sexual favors differs depending on the circumstances. However, soliciting a minor for sexual favors is never going to end well. Individuals caught having sex with children are usually classified as Tier 3 sex offenders who may be required civilly committed (removed from society through imprisonment).

  • Adults convicted of soliciting a minor for sexual pleasures or prostitution may be fined up to $250,000 and their prison time can range from ten years to a lifetime in federal prison.
  • Adults convicted of engaging in sexual activity with children within the United States or outside of the United States can be fined with $250,000 and/or may spend up to 30 years or more in federal prison.

The adult convicted of soliciting with a child will be required to register as a sex offender for a lifetime. Under the U.S Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act a sex offender will have to periodically register his or her full legal name, his or her address, school information if the sex offender is a student, his or her employer name, and address, vehicle information, along with a headshot of the sex offender. The sex offender will have their information published to the public through the U.S Department of Justice: National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW).

The ramifications for soliciting with a minor are severe and could greatly alter your lifestyle. If you have been wrongly convicted or you happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, you should contact an attorney capable of applying state and federal laws to your case. Contact a local Sex Crime Attorney immediately if you are being charged with soliciting with a minor.


Depending on the circumstances of the situation, sex offenders may be required to register their personal information with state and federal registries. For individuals who committed crimes that violated a federal and state code, may be required to share their private information with the public domain. Sex offenders are sometimes required to maintain registry regulations that aim to track and monitor their lives. Sex offenders may be required to share their housing information, their full legal name, their employer name and address, their vehicle information, their housing information, their school information (if the sex offender is a student) and other information that is requested by the different state registry systems. However, in the state of California, individuals are not automatically required to register as sex offenders on the state registry for soliciting or prostituting. Usually, those soliciting or prostituting will face fines and jail time and may only be required to register as a sex offender if ordered by a judge.

Individuals who are facing a prostitution or solicitation charge have few defenses against the law. However, there are ways in which a penalty can be discharged or levied. Individuals charged with solicitation or prostitution might be able to defend themselves if they:

  • Were entrapped through police sting operations that aim to pressure or harass an individual to commit a certain act
  • Mistaken for another person
  • Charged with poor or insufficient evidence.

Different states may also offer charge reductions that may enable a sex offender certain freedoms. Sex offenders being charged with prostitution or solicitation usually face the least strict penalties and regulations than offenders of other sex crimes. If you are being charged with a sex crime, you are encouraged to speak with a local sex crime attorney. State laws differ and are applied differently in every case which is why your case should be evaluated by a trusted law professional. To contact the Sex Crimes Attorney, please contact our offices at 888-666-8480. Our team is ready to handle your case so that your case is presented with your side of the facts.