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The Fine Line Between Escorts and Prostitutes in California

June 7, 2018

The Fine Line Between Escorts and Prostitutes in California

In the state of California, the line between being an escort – which is legal – and being a prostitute – which is illegal – can be a fine one. At Chambers Law Firm we can help clients with all sorts of sex crimes, including escorting without a license and soliciting a prostitute. Read on to learn more and then contact us at 855-397-0210 for your free legal consultation.

What exactly is an escort?

An escort is a person that’s paid to be a companion or date to another person. Generally this is done while the person paying is going to a social or entertainment event. Escorts are often booked via agencies or via internet ads. It is legal for a person to be an escort in California as long as they have a permit or license. That said, it is challenging to get an escort license in California and any escort who also provides sexual services for pay can expect to be aggressively prosecuted.

The difference between a prostitute and an escort

The simple definition is that prostitution is exchanging sex for money and it is a crime, while an escort only involves hiring someone for company and it is legal. California Penal Code states that soliciting a prostitute is illegal, as is engaging in prostitution, offering prostitution, or asking or inducing someone to engage in prostitution.

It is a misdemeanor charge and comes with up to six months in jail. It’s common for a woman to promote herself as an escort when she’s actually a prostitute, simply to avoid legal trouble. The bad news is that police are wise to this and it isn’t generally a good cover for prostitution.

Online escort / prostitution stings

Most of the time, when an escort is arrested for prostitution it’s due to a police sting. The way it often works is that the police will target internet ads that appear to be offering sexual services. An officer will respond to the ad an ask about services. Eventually the officer will set up a meeting. The officer goes to the location the escort gives them, and there a conversation is had about the available services at the price.

The officer’s goal is to get the escort to explicitly say what they’re offering in exchange for money. In most cases, an escort is aware of the potential for this type of sting and may avoid saying anything specific about the sexual services they’re offering. Instead, they may tell their client – the officer – to take their clothes off.

We can help if you’ve been arrested for prostitution

If you have been arrested for prostitution or for acting as an escort without a license, then we can help. You need to talk to a criminal defense attorney and we are here to stand in. Call Chambers Law Firm at 855-397-0210 for a free legal consultation. You have rights and we can ensure they are respected.

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