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Prostitution Ticket, Figueroa, No Substantial Step, No File

Our client, age 38, was driving to work one morning at about 6:30 a.m.  He was driving his car on Figueroa Avenue near the University of Southern California (U.S.C.).  He was stopped at a red light when his eyes wandered to see a woman standing along the roadside and decided to circle back to speak with her.  She was wearing a black mini-skirt, white high heels and a white top that revealed a body many women strive for.

The conversation between our client and the woman was very brief, but a certain sum of money was agreed upon for sexual services.  The woman then instructed our client to pull forward to let her get into his car.  At this point, the client’s anxiety and sense of what was about to happen got the better of him and he told the woman “Never mind, I don’t have the money.  I need to go to the bank.”  

The woman, who most likely was a police decoy, offered to get into the client’s car to accompany him to the bank.  She did not want a customer to leave.

The client declined this suggestion and drove off, only to be pulled over almost immediately by a Los Angeles Police Department police officer only a block away.  The officer issued our client a citation for violation of Penal Code § 647(b), solicitation of prostitution.

The Client signed a promise to appear in the Clara Shortridge Foltz courthouse for his arraignment about three months later.

Our client, who was not a U.S. citizen, was a permanent resident here with a valid green card.  He did not have a significant criminal history.  He had a conviction for DUI from 2016 in Riverside Superior Court, but nothing else.

He had a solid construction job with various school districts, so he was quite concerned about the effect  of a conviction for 647(b) or 653.22 on his job.  He also was worried about the effects of such a conviction for renewing his green card, or even losing it due to such a conviction.

With such concerns, he called Greg Hill & Associates later the same day and spoke with Greg Hill.  The client explained what had happened and Greg told him that he did not think the client had completed the crime because he told the prostitute, “Never mind, I don’t have the money.  I need to go to the bank” and when the prostitute offered to get into his car to go to the bank with him, the client declined.  The client, in other words, while agreeing to exchange money for sexual services, did not take a substantial step towards completing the crime.

The client also explained his immigration status and Greg commented that while he was not an immigration attorney, the client should consult first and foremost with an experienced immigration attorney about the offense.  However, Greg commented that he understood that a conviction for solicitation of prostitution, as long as the prostitute was not alleged to be underage, was not a crime involving moral turpitude (C.I.M.T.) if he were convicted.  Nonetheless, having a second misdemeanor conviction (along with his DUI conviction) may pose problems for renewing his green card / permanent resident status.

Greg then explained what he would do.  He explained how such cases are handled in the Clara Shortridge Foltz criminal courts building (C.C.B.) by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.  Greg also explained how the District Attorney’s office, under George Gascon, would not prosecute such offense unless the client had a prior recent conviction for the same thing within the last two years.

Greg then explained that he would first and foremost write the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, explaining the lack of a substantial step in the case, and request that the matter be not filed, or at the most, referred to an Office Hearing or the Neighborhood Justice Program (NJP).  Greg then explained to the client what an Office Hearing and the NJP was.

Greg would hope to hear from the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office, but if he did not, he would appear on the client’s behalf in court for the arraignment.  Greg also explained that the client did not need to come to court with him.  Greg would appear on the client’s behalf under Penal Code § 977(a).  He would thereafter request judicial diversion, which he explained to the client.

The client then retained Greg Hill & Associates.  Greg then prepared and delivered the letter to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, who did not respond.  Greg then appeared at the Clara Shortridge Foltz criminal courts building, but no case was filed.  It was rejected for filing.  The client was more than happy with this.

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