Compton Court, Prostitution, $50 Fine, AIDS Education Course

Our client, age 42 and married, was arrested by the Major Crimes Bureau Vice Unit and the Lynwood Special Assignment Deputies along Long Beach Boulevard.  He had pulled his car up alongside a female police officer posing as a prostitute and offered her $45 to engage in sexual intercourse.  It was about 5:30 p.m. on a Friday, during winter months, so it was dark out already.
Main Point:  Police Sting Operation on Long Beach Boulevard in City of Lynwood, Client Mistakenly Charged with Violating Penal Code § 647(a), Allegations Corrected, Case Resolved for $50 Fine, AIDS Education Class.
The police officer agreed and our client parked his car in the parking lot of a nearby motel that the police officer indicated she already had rented a room for such purposes.  Our client then walked with the police officer to the room.  Little did he know, the police termed the room a “take down room,” where he was promptly arrested once he entered.

Our client had no prior criminal history and was devastated by the arrest.  His wife’s disappointment would be brutal.

Making matters worse, police mistakenly charged him with a violation of Penal Code § 647(a), which is the code section for having sex in a public place, such as a public restroom in a park or an adult video shop or adult movie theatre.  The charge has a stigma of gay sex and for our client, a married man, it carried with it special stigma. 

The client came to Greg Hill & Associates explaining he had been arrested for solicitation of prostitution, but the charges he described as written on the ticket said otherwise.  The client explained what happened and how he was arrested.   Greg agreed that the charge on the ticket indeed appeared incorrect.

The case was then filed in the Compton Superior Court.

Greg Hill appeared in court on the arraignment date and carefully read the police report.  The complaint filed by the District Attorney’s office repeated the error, by charging our client with 647(a).  Greg pointed this out to the District Attorney, who quickly understood the error and amended the complaint.

The reader of this summary may question whether pointing this out is a good thing to do, as maybe the complaint would be dismissed later.  This is indeed a tactic, but if the goal is to have the case dismissed early and the case has a high potential for diversion (as in this case), it is better to gently point this out to the prosecutor.

Because the client had no prior criminal history, the prosecutor responded as Greg had hoped.  The prosecutor offered a deal in which our client could plead to the section 647(b) charge and be allowed to withdraw his plea in 18 months if he stayed out of trouble for that time.  As a condition of plea, he had to pay a $50 fine, plus penalties and assessments, to the Los Angeles Superior Court and had to attend an AIDS Education class.  This class costs about $65.

Our client accepted the deal, looking forward to later being able to withdraw his plea and have the case dismissed.

For more information about sex offenses and prostitution in specific, click on the following articles:
  1. What Convictions Require Registration as a Sex Offender under Penal Code § 290?
  2. Appeals Court Affirms LAPD Officer’s Conviction for Solicitation of Prostitution (Penal Code § 647 (b)).
  3. What is Penal Code § 647 (b), Prostitution and Solicitation for Prostitution?
Watch our video about sex offenses by clicking here.

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