Prostitution is Illegal in California

Prostitution is illegal in California and is a misdemeanor under Penal Code Section 647(b).

This includes "soliciting" (asking) another person to have sex for money. If two people agree to have sex for money, both can be charged with soliciting prostitution. (See Leffel v. Municipal Court.)

Further, exchanging anything of value for sex is illegal. Typically, the item exchanged is money.


What Is Prostitution?

Having sex or engaging in a lewd act for money

The prosecution must prove that the defendant had sex or performed a lewd act in exchange for money.

Asking another person to have sex for money

The prosecution must prove that the defendant intended to have sex for money, requested to do so, and that someone received the request.

Agreeing to have sex in exchange for money

The prosecution must prove that the defendant intended to have sex for money, agreed to do so, and acted "in furtherance" of having sex for money.

Act in Furtherance

An act "in furtherance" can be words alone, provided the words convey that sex for money will occur and move the parties toward the completion of that act.

Here are some examples of words that can be acts "in furtherance:"

  • Asking to go somewhere private.
  • Telling the person to take off their clothes.

Similarly, giving money is an act in furtherance. However, you can be convicted of soliciting prostitution even if you do not exchange money.

Why Hire Us?

Robert Landheer has over 34 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney and is a certified criminal law specialist. He believes in his clients and fights to protect their reputations.

Fighting to Protect Your Reputation

A prostitution charge can impact your reputation. In addition, a conviction can result in jail time and hundreds of dollars in fines. Certified criminal law specialist Robert F. Landheer will fight to restore your reputation in the community.

Defending Against Prostitution Charges

The Law Office of Robert Landheer will create a defense strategy that is custom-designed to meet your needs. In addition, our experienced, dedicated staff is here to assist you and keep your personal information confidential.

A History of Quality Results

Our office is experienced in defending against prostitution charges. We will fight to have your case dismissed. However, if dismissal is not possible, we will work to get you the best deal to resolve your case.


924 Anacapa Street, Suite 1-T
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 962-5103