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Los Angeles Arrest, Solicitation of Prostitution, No File

Our client, age 40, was a recent immigrant from Pakistan.  He was present in the United States on an M1-visa (for a non-citizen someone accepted at a U.S. junior college, community college or post-secondary vocational of business school).  His visa had expired years ago and he was now working in a gas station in the downtown Los Angeles area.  His English was not too good, but he was able to interact with most customers at the gas station.

On one afternoon in late April 2022, he was driving to work, heading northbound on Figueroa Avenue a few miles south of U.S.C.  As he crossed 60th Street, at about 5:00 p.m. he noticed a woman standing on the east side of Figueroa.  She was about 40, he estimated, and was dressed in a short red jacket that made her legs look longer.  She was also wearing bright red high heels.

Our client found her attractive and so, after he passed by her, he drove around the block and pulled up along the curb beside her.  In his broken English, he asked her if she need a ride.

The woman told our client, “No, I’m working.”  This confused our client, who did not understand that this meant she was advertising companionship and sex to passing motorists just like our client. 

The woman then asked our client if he had $40.  Our client did not, but he said “yes.”  The woman then told our client that she would offer him oral copulation in a “car date” if he pulled forward and met her around the corner.

This brief conversation was observed by uniformed police officers in a marked police car just about 50 yards away.
Our client responded to the woman’s offer by saying “O.K.” and pulled forward and made the turn onto the side street as instructed.  He then changed his mind and continued driving onward, never stopping. 

Our client was not aware, but a marked Los Angeles Police Department police cruiser was following him as he then made a further turn and continued onto work at the gas station about a mile away.

When our client pulled into the gas station and parked, the police pulled in behind him with their overhead lights flashing and blocked our client from backing out.  The police then asked our client if he had spoken with a woman in a red jacket and red high heels.  Our client, confused, told police that he had talked to the woman.

The police then demanded our client’s driver’s license and asked him to put his hands behind his back.  The police then walked our client to the police car and had him sit inside, telling him several times that “you are not being arrested – you are only being detained.”  However, the officers then closed the doors and took him to the Los Angeles Police Department station on 77th Street, also known as the 77th Street Precinct, where he was put in a holding cell.

Our client then had the handcuffs removed and was told to sit down.  He then waited for about two hours before he was fingerprinted and had his booking photo taken.  This was all very scary to our client, who had feared the police due to what he had seen on television and movies.

After about three hours, our client was released with a piece of paper advising him to report to the Clara Shortridge Foltz courthouse at 210 West Temple Street in Los Angeles.

The client called Greg Hill & Associates and spoke with Greg Hill.  The client’s English was difficult for Greg to understand, so he suggested that the client meet with Greg in person instead.

The client then came to our office and explained his ordeal.  Greg explained that he did not think a case would be filed against the client for solicitation of prostitution (Penal Code § 647(b)) because the client never stopped to meet the prostitute (most likely a police decoy working as part of a sting operation) as she instructed him, thereby failing to take a substantial step to paying the prostitute for sex. 

However, he could be prosecuted for loitering for solicitation of prostitution (Penal Code § 653.22) if the decoy or the police had observed our client circling back to talk to the prostitute.

Greg then explained how if the matter were handled by the District Attorney’s office, no case would be filed pursuant to the new policies for the office promulgated by Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon.  If the matter were handled by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office, it could be filed, as Gascon had no authority over the Los Angeles City Attorneys.

Greg, however, predicted that no case would be filed, as the evidence seemed extremely thin, so he charged the client a significantly reduced fee because he believed he would just need to appear in court once for the client, only to appear for the client as the client was ordered. 

Greg then did appear for the client and, indeed, no case was filed.  While no filing did not mean that the case was rejected for filing (a “DA Reject”), it was a relief for our client.

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"Thank you so much for putting so much effort in this case. We really appreciate it and we are happy that all turned out well." S.A., Torrance
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