Prostitution – PC 647

Prostitution – PC 647

Prostitution Solicitation

California Penal Code 647 PC

Lewd conduct; Solicitation; Prostitution; Public Intoxication, etc.

647 PC is California’s Penal Code that defines the crimes including lewd conduct; prostitution; solicitation; panhandling; public intoxication; squatting; loitering, and invasion of privacy.

647 (a) – applies to “lewd” conduct, in a public place, or place open to or exposed to public view.

(Examples of a lewd or lascivious act – flashing or exposing your genitals to another in public.)

(b) (1) – applies to “prostitution” and “solicitation”, and makes it a crime for a person to accept money or thing of value for prostitution, or offer an act of, agree to, or engage in, prostitution.

(2) – prostitution involving a person 18 years or older.

(3) – applies to prostitution involving a ‘minor’.

(4) – an offer or acceptance requires some act in furtherance to engage.

(5) – involving a child under 18 years old.

(c) – applies to panhandling, making it a crime to “accost” another person in a public place, or a place open to the public for the purpose of begging or soliciting alms.

(d) – loitering around a public restroom for the purpose of solicitating a lewd, lascivious or unlawful act. 

(e) – makes illegal “squatting” a crime when a person lodges anywhere without the permission of the property owner.

(Example: setting up a tent on the property of a business without its consent.)

(f) – Public Intoxication – it is a crime for a person to be under the influence of a controlled substance or alcohol in public (i.e. – street, sidewalk, or public way).

(g) – if reasonable to do so, a peace officer may take the person into protective custody under WIC §5170.

(1) – a person under the influence of drugs, alcohol or a combination.

(2) – a person a peace officer has probably cause to believe has committed a felony or misdemeanor in addition to f (being publicly intoxicated).

(3) – a person an officer in good faith believes will escape or be difficult to control. 

(h) – Loitering onto someone else’s property with the intent to commit a crime.

(i) – peeking into an inhabited building while loitering on private property.

(j) – Criminal invasion of privacy

(1) – using a device (such as binoculars or video camera) to view someone inside a private room,

(2) – secretly photographing or recording a person’s body under their clothing for sexual arousal,

(3) (A) – using a concealed camera or video-camera to record another identifiable person undressing/dressing in a bathroom/changing-room or similar.

(B) below are not defenses

(i) – the defendant was a landlord, tenant, cotenant, employer/ee or cohabitant (or an agent of the aforementioned) of the victim.

(ii) – the victim was not in a state of full or partial undress.

(4) (A) – applies to Revenge Porn – making it an offense to intentionally publish images of sexual activity or body parts of another where the persons agreed the images would remain private, and the distributor knew or should have known distribution would cause serious emotional distress, and the victim suffers such.

(B) – intentional distribution – a person distributes (or causes another to distribute) the image(s).

(C) – “intimate body part(s)” defined.

(Examples: texting to others (or posting on social media) naked and sexually graphic photos or video of an ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend.

(D) – DEFENSES codified

(i) – distribution was made for purposes of reporting unlawful activity.

(ii) – distribution was made in compliance with subpoena or court order for a legal proceeding.

(iii) – distribution was made in the court of a lawful public proceeding.

DEFENSES to lewd conduct; prostitution; public intoxication; squatting; loitering and invasion of privacy.Solicitation Prostitution

The officer did not have probable cause to arrest.

Defense to lewd conduct – the act(s) do not qualify as lewd or lascivious, or the defendant was not in public, or the area was not open to the public, or there was no loitering.

Defenses to solicitation and/or prostitution – there was no solicitation or agreement for sex. There was not an actual offer of a sex act for money, or there was not an acceptance of an offer.

Defenses to solicitation and/or prostitution – there was no mention of a price, monetary amount, or thing of value to be provided in exchange for sex.

Defense to solicitation and/or prostitution – there was only an agreement but no act in furtherance of that agreement.

Possible PLEA DEALS – an experienced attorney might be able to work with the client/defendant to construct a Mitigation Packet and include it when effectively proposing a plea-deal to the prosecution. Such plea-deal may be for one of the following:

  • Disturbing the peace – PC-415
  • Simple Trespassing – PC 602
  • Simple Indecent Exposure – PC 314


Time is Valuable – Call Today for your Free Consultation

When it comes to constructing the best possible defense strategies for you, time is valuable. There may be opportunities to propose no/low Bail (if applicable). Plus, memories fade, and possibly helpful evidence or witnesses become unavailable, and possible early negotiation meetings with the assigned prosecutor pass by.

Call the Law Office of James L. Hassey today at (619) 745-5555 so we can answer your questions as soon as possible and help you.