What is Loitering for the Goal of Engaging in a Prostitution? (Penal Code 653.22PC)

California not only prohibits prostitution itself, but it also makes it a crime to loiter in a public for the goal of engaging in prostitution. California codifies this prohibition in Penal Code 653.22. California Penal Code 653.22 PC applies to both the person offering the prostitution services and to the person requesting the prostitution services.

One of the problems with California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering is that you could actually be arrested for the sex crime, even if you did not actually participate in or request prostitution services. And you can be arrested California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering even if you actually did not have any intent to engage in a prostitution service. You CAN be arrested just on the basis of a policeman’s hunch that you intended to do so. For this reason, arresting someone for California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering violation is easy for police officers. They don’t actually need to find someone in an ongoing business transaction for prostitution. For this reason, many innocent people end up being arrested for California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering.

Let us examine the legal definition of California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering, so you can obtain a better picture what are your rights and liabilities. We encourage you to read the following section because understanding the legal definition of California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering will help you determine what will be the key issues in your particular sex crimes case. If you have a better understanding of the issues, it will help your Sex Crime Attorney develop a stronger defense for your case.

What is the legal definition for Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering for the Purpose of Participating in a Prostitution Offense?

In a California sex crimes trial, whether by judge or jury, a prosecutor must demonstrate that your case meets all the elements of California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering. An element is simply a particular fact related to the commission of a crime. Each of the elements need to be proven to a certain degree of certainty. In California, the legal standard used is called “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Now, keep in mind that a prosecutor only has prove all the elements of California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering in a California court trial. Many defendants opt to take a plea bargain for a reduced charge or sentenced. In this case, there is no requirement that all of the elements of a sex crime be proven. If you take a plea for a certain crime, it is considered a conviction for almost all purposes.

The elements of California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering are as follows:

  • You loitered.
  • The loitering was committed in a public place.
  • You acted with the intention to participate in prostitution.

Let us now examine each of the elements of California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering in more detail. We will focus on what are common, major issues in California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering criminal prosecutions. Remember, the prosecutor must demonstrate all of the elements of California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering. This means if even one element cannot be proven, then you cannot be convicted of California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering in a California criminal trial.

What is Loitering?

Remember for California Penal Code 653.22 PC, there is no requirement that you actually engage or solicit prostitution services. You can get in trouble just for “loitering.” Under California Penal Code 653.22 PC, you are considered to be loitering if you remain in a particular place in order to commit a criminal misconduct. The idea behind this law is the police want to prevent people from hanging around certain areas so they can commit a crime in case the opportunity presents itself.

It is not considered loitering if you pass through a particular location. To commit California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering you had to be in a certain place for some time. Additionally, you are not guilty of California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering if you had a lawful or legitimate purpose for being in the place in question.

Example: Carlton just saw the Lakers win a close one with a buzzer beating shot. After the game, he happily walks to his car, which he parked in a lot far away from Staples Center to save a little money on parking. Unfortunately, he walked under a bridge, which is known to have many prostitutes. The police arrest Carlton and charged him for California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering for the purpose of participating in prostitution.

It is not uncommon for people like Carlton to find themselves in such an unfair predicament. Fortunately, Carlton has a good defense to the California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering charge. Carlton had a lawful and legitimate purpose for being in the area. He was walking back to his car. Furthermore, his Sex Crime Attorney could argue that Carlton was simply passing through the area; Carlton was not waiting around trying to find a prostitute to solicit. Carlton’s Sex Crime Attorney could submit into the evidence the Lakers game and the parking ticket to demonstrate to the court Carlton’s true intentions.

What is considered a Public Place under California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering?

Remember, California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering only applies to Public Places. Under California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering, a public place is any space that is open to the public.

Obviously, a public place will include parks, sidewalks, and parking lots. But there are some nuances to the rule that you might not expect. For the purposes of California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering, public places include alleyways and driveways. In fact, cars are also considered public places. This applies to both cars in motion or parked cars, unless it is in a private garage.

Additionally, spaces inside buildings, even privately owned buildings, are often considered public places. Hence, places like bars or restaurants subject you to California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering liability. Naturally, this includes the entranceways, and any surrounding areas to these places are still subject to the public place rule. An area that will not subject you to California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering liability is a private home. This is the case even at a private party in a private home.

Example: Mario’s girlfriend takes forever to get ready. So when he went to pick her up, he decided to just park his car in the apartment’s parking lot and play on his phone until she called. Unfortunately, his girlfriend’s neighborhood is covered with prostitutes at night. An undercover police officer, dressed as a prostitute, knocked on his window. Mario is about to open the window to shoo her away when his girlfriend calls. So he decides to drive away, but before he gets to his girlfriend’s place, the police pull him over and arrest him.

In this example, Mario is in a parked car in a parking lot, which most certainly qualifies as a public place. It doesn’t matter that the parking lot is on privately owned property. His situation would most certainly meet the public place element of California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering. If the parking lot was in a underground garage, there would be room to argue that it was not a public place.

What does “Intent to Participate In Prostitution” mean?

To be found guilty of a California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering, it is not enough that you were loitering in a public place. You have to be loitering in a public place with the intent to participate in prostitution. Like all the other elements of California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering, the prosecutor has to prove you had this intent to convict you in a court trial.

Let us first clear up the definition of “prostitution” before we explore the concept of “intent” in detail. California defines prostitution as sex services exchanged for some kind of consideration, which is usually money. Exempted from the definition are acts of sexual conduct committed as part of a performance or other publicly accessible entertainment. Hence, strip clubs or pornography is not included in the definition of prostitution.

Now, let’s talk about the concept of intent and how it can be proven or disproven in a California sex crimes trial. The concept of intent involves getting inside a person’s head. Hence, it is always hard to figure out what exactly a person is thinking when they do something. A prosecutor or a policeman can’t get inside a person’s head and extract what they were thinking. Hence, intent has to be proven by the surrounding evidence and circumstances.

The fact that intent is difficult to proves work for you and against you. On one hand, you can argue that you were not committing the acts you are accused of by presenting evidence that you had a legitimate reason for being in a certain area. On the other hand, because prosecutors and police presume intent to participate in prostitution just on the basis that you were in a certain area, you might get unfairly arrested and charged with a crime all because you were at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Because prosecutors can’t get inside your head to show that you had the necessary intent to commit a California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering violation, they do so through the use of behavior and circumstantial evidence. In fact, the actual language of California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering points out certain behavior that can be used to infer intent to participate in prostitution. Some examples of behavior included on this list include:

  • You were driving around in a car gesturing to people on the street or in other cars.
  • You were convicted of a sex crime in the past 5 years, especially crimes involving participating in or soliciting prostitution. Of course, past California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering violation will also be admissible evidence against you.
  • You repetitively attempt to stop or talk to people walking or driving by in such a manner that demonstrates solicitation of prostitution.

The above list is not exhaustive of the type of behavior that could be used against you in a sex crimes trial. In fact, the language California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering very clearly points out the type of behaviors included in the code are just examples of conduct that could be used against you. The following are common types of evidence used against people charged with California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering that is not included in the language of the law.

  • The fact that you were carrying condoms.
  • The fact that you gave the police officer who questioned you a fake name.
  • You were hanging out with another person who has past convictions for sex crimes, especially those related to prostitution.
  • You were hanging out in an area known for prostitution, even though you don’t live or work nearby.

As you can tell, prosecutors and police have a lot of latitude when it comes to presenting evidence that you had intent to be involved in prostitution. Because the authorities have so much discretion, people are unfairly arrested for California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering because of their race or because they happen to live in a troubled area.

Now that you have a better idea of the elements of California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering and the type of evidence that could be used against you, let us now explore how you can defend yourself against such accusations.

What are the legal defenses available to fight accusations of California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering?

The potential punishments associated with a California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering violation can be quite harsh. Fortunately, there are a variety of legal defenses available to your Sex Crime Attorney that can be used to fight such charges. You should speak with an experienced Sex Crime Attorney to learn more about what legal defenses are available for your particular case. Below, we discuss some of the more common legal defenses to California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering.

There is Not Enough Evidence Indicated Intent to Participate In Prostitution.

Above, we discussed what type of evidence can be used against you to demonstrate intent to participate in prostitution. However, the prosecutor and police can’t use just one or two facts to infer such an intent. The law requires that there be sufficient evidence to infer intent. In addition to making it difficult on the prosecutor to prove their case, a seasoned Sex Crime Attorney can submit into evidence a version of events that contradicts the police’s version. For example, your Sex Crime Attorney can find and develop admissible evidence that demonstrates a lawful, legitimate purpose. For example, they can argue before the Court that you were in the area to get gas for your car or because you liked to eat at a local taco truck.

You are a victim of Police Entrapment.

You cannot be convicted of California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering if the police entrapped you into committing the act that lead to your arrest. Entrapment occurs when the police entice you to commit criminal conduct that you would not have committed if the police didn’t entice you.

This defense is most often available in cases where someone is arrested by an undercover police officer. In the case of California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering, entrapment can occur when a police officer aggressively pursues you to commit a crime. They may do this by harassing you or tricking you. But they can also do it by complimenting you or threatening you.

A Sex Crime Attorney can present evidence that the police used entrapment to get you to act the way that you did. By doing so, a Sex Crime Attorney can get the charges against you dropped even before trial.

If convicted under California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering, what potential punishments might you face?

A California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering conviction is classified as a misdemeanor. A conviction could result in any of the following punishments: up to six months in county jail, up to $1,000 in fines, and/or informal probation.

Note, some California counties also could prohibit you from using public transportation for a specified amount of time. For example, Fresno County and Sacramento County may issue an order banning you from public transportation if you are convicted of California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering in their county.

I was arrested for California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering. What should I do now?

Contact a Sex Crime Attorney immediately. The earlier you contact a Sex Crime Attorney, the more likely you will be able to avoid a California Penal Code 653.22 PC Loitering conviction. This is because evidence is always fresher in the early stages of criminal prosecution. Furthermore, in certain circumstances, your Sex Crime Attorney may be able to persuade the prosecutor to not file formal charges. This will save you time, money, and headaches in the long run.

Our Sex Crime Attorneys are experienced and zealous about criminal defense. They when into law because they believe everyone deserves a high standard of criminal defense. Call our Sex Crime Attorney to get a free consultation. They will review the specific circumstances of your sex crimes case, discuss with you potential defenses and punishments, and answer questions that you might have.

Call 424-835-9799