Domestic violence remains a widespread issue affecting millions of families across the United States each year. While rates have declined in recent decades, domestic violence continues to shatter lives and tear families apart.
In California alone, law enforcement responded to over 160,000 domestic violence calls in 2020. Over 15,000 victims obtained restraining orders from alleged abusers.
When allegations of domestic violence arise, they must be taken seriously. However, it is also important to ensure due process and fair treatment for the accused. A domestic violence conviction can carry life-long consequences.
This article provides an overview of California’s domestic violence laws, penalties, and defense strategies. We will examine the most common criminal charges in domestic disputes and key legal protections for defendants.
Whether you are a victim seeking justice or an accused facing false allegations, it is critical to understand California statutes regarding domestic abuse. Doing so helps ensure your rights are protected throughout the legal process.
Pimping and Pandering Laws – Penal Code 266(h) and 266(i) PC
In California, pimping and pandering are illegal under Penal Code 266h and 266i. These laws prohibit inducing, persuading, or encouraging another person to engage in prostitution, as well as living off the earnings of or procuring a prostitute. Pimping and pandering are felony offenses that carry years of prison time and large fines.
Pimping – California Penal Code 266h
California’s pimping law prohibits someone from knowingly living off the earnings of another person’s prostitution, or soliciting customers for prostitution. This covers anyone who:
- Lives off the earnings of a prostitute, including money, clothes, car, or shelter provided by the prostitute.
- Solicits customers for a prostitute.
- Collects or receives money from a prostitute earned from prostitution.
To convict under PC 266h, prosecutors must prove the defendant lived off a prostitute’s earnings or solicited customers and knew the person was a prostitute.
Pandering – California Penal Code 266i
California’s pandering law prohibits encouraging, inducing, or persuading another person to engage in prostitution. This covers anyone who:
- Persuades another person to become a prostitute.
- Procures a prostitute for a customer.
- Encourages someone to continue working as a prostitute.
- Promises anything of value to induce prostitution.
To convict under PC 266i, prosecutors must prove the defendant encouraged or procured prostitution, and intended to influence or persuade the other person.
What Type of Evidence Are Prosecutors Seeking?
Prosecutors will look for both direct and circumstantial evidence to prove pimping and pandering charges, including:
- Wiretaps, text messages, and emails discussing prostitution or earnings.
- Financial records show income from prostitution.
- Hotel records, customer lists, or prostitution ads.
- Surveillance footage of the defendant with known prostitutes.
- Witness testimony from prostitutes, customers, or others.
- Photos, social media, or communication indicating prostitution.
- Ledgers noting prostitution earnings or expenses.
- Condoms, sex toys, or costumes in the defendant’s possession.
Penalties and Related California Crimes
Pimping and pandering are felonies punishable by:
- 3-6 years in prison.
- A fine of up to $10,000.
- Mandatory AIDS education if the offense involved a minor.
Related crimes that may apply include:
- Human trafficking – Penal Code 236.1
- Statutory rape – Penal Code 261.5
- Contributing to the delinquency of minors – Penal Code 272
- Money laundering – Penal Code 186.10
Factors That Determine Charges
Several factors influence potential charges and penalties for pimping and pandering, including:
- Criminal record of defendant.
- A number of victims were involved.
- Ages of victims, especially minors under 16.
- The sophistication of the operation, such as organized crime ties.
- Duration of the illegal activity.
- Amount of money earned from prostitution.
- Use of force, threats, and coercion against victims.
- Possession of weapons or assault of victims.
Contact a Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer
Pimping and pandering charges should be handled by an experienced criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles. An attorney can carefully examine the evidence and build the strongest defense to fight the charges and seek a reduction or even dismissal of charges where appropriate.
Related California Sex Crime Offenses
Pimping and pandering laws fall under California’s overall laws prohibiting prostitution-related crimes, including:
Prostitution – Penal Code 647(b)
This code section prohibits engaging in or soliciting any lewd act between persons for money or other consideration. Prostitution is usually charged as a misdemeanor offense.
Keeping a House of Ill-Fame – Penal Code 315
This law bars anyone from owning, leasing, operating, or managing any property for the purpose of prostitution or lewdness. This is a misdemeanor offense.
Supervising or Aiding a House of Prostitution – Penal Code 316
This code prohibits overseeing, managing, or otherwise assisting with a house of prostitution. It can be filed as a misdemeanor or felony.
What are the Penalties?
The penalties for pimping-related crimes include:
- Pimping: Felony, up to 6 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
- Pandering: Felony, up to 6 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
- Prostitution: Misdemeanor, up to 6 months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
- Keeping House of Ill-Fame: Misdemeanor, up to 6 months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
- Aiding House of Prostitution: Misdemeanor or felony, up to 3 years prison and/or $2,000 fine.
Fighting Pimping and Pandering Charges
Given the serious penalties for pimping, pandering, and related crimes, the most important step is contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can carefully examine the evidence, pinpoint weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and develop an aggressive defense strategy. This may lead to charges being reduced or dismissed, so you avoid the life-changing consequences of a conviction. Don’t risk going to court alone if you are facing prostitution-related charges.
Here is a draft section covering those topics:
Serious Felony Crimes
Pimping and pandering are serious felony crimes under California law. They involve facilitating or profiting from the commercial sex trade, which exploits vulnerable individuals.
Pandering Laws Pimping
California’s pandering laws make it illegal to recruit, encourage, or solicit another person to engage in prostitution. This includes promising someone a job but instead involving them in the sex trade. Pandering laws target “middlemen” who enable prostitution to take place.
Even if someone initially agrees to commit prostitution, it is still pandering if another person induced or persuaded them into it. The focus is on the defendant’s intent to procure someone for prostitution.
California’s pimping laws prohibit deriving support from the earnings of a prostitute. This includes living off the proceeds of prostitution in any way or soliciting customers for a prostitute. Pimping targets those who profit from and promote prostitution.
Commercial Sex Acts
Both pimping and pandering laws aim to curb the demand for commercial sex acts. This involves sexual conduct or pornography for money or other goods. California law recognizes that the commercial sex trade breeds exploitation, especially of vulnerable populations like immigrants, minors, and those suffering from poverty or drug addiction.
Let me know if you would like me to expand on any part of this section further. The key points cover how pimping and pandering laws target different elements of the commercial sex trade as serious felony crimes.
What can criminal defense attorneys do for pimping and pandering convictions?
Skilled criminal defense lawyers know how to fight these charges using legal defenses and negotiating for reduced charges or dismissals. Hiring an attorney greatly improves the chances of avoiding a conviction.
What are some examples of felony crimes related to pimping and pandering?
Felony crimes include pimping a minor under 16, using force or threats to pimp someone, and pandering a minor under 16. These can lead to years in state prison.
What do pandering charges mean?
Pandering charges allege someone encouraged, induced, or procured another person to engage in prostitution. The charges can apply to pimps, madams running a brothel, or others facilitating illegal sex work.
How much time can you get in county jail for pimping and pandering crimes?
Misdemeanor pimping and pandering convictions can result in up to 1 year in county jail. But felonies bring years in state prison. Punishments get harsher for crimes involving minors.
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