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Pimping and Pandering

California Penal Codes (PC) 266h and PC 266i, pimping and pandering, are very serious charges that carry extensive consequences. They are closely related to prostitution under PC 647(b).  However, the penalties for pimping and pandering are more severe. Pimping and pandering are often charged together because they are so closely related. However, they are two distinct crimes that require some delving into in order to help differentiate them. 

What is the difference between Pimping PC 266h and Pandering PC 266i? 

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Under California law, PC 266h, pimping, it is a crime when the following is committed:  

  • You knowingly receive money or maintenance from the earnings of a person engaged in prostitution; or
  • You receive compensation when soliciting for the person who is a prostitute (i.e. finding clients for the prostitute).

California PC 266i, pandering, is when you:

  • Procure another person for the purpose of prostitution;
  • Induce, persuade or encourage someone to become a prostitute or to continue being a prostitute, through promises, threats, violence or any other means;
  • Procure for another person a place as an inmate in a house of prostitution;
  • Induce, persuade or encourage another person to continue working in a house of prostitution, through promises, threats, violence or any other means;
  • Use fraud, duress, or abuse of position to procure another person to become a prostitute, or to enter a place where prostitution is allowed, or to enter or to leave the state of California for prostitution purposes; or
  • Agree to, give, or actually receive money or other services/compensation for encouraging and/or successfully convincing someone to become a prostitute or continue being a prostitute. 

Related Offenses:

There are several related offenses to pimping, PC 266h and pandering, PC 266i. Here are just a few of them:

  • California PC 236.1, human trafficking is when these crimes are committed:
    • When you deprive another person of their freedom with the intent to use them for prostitution, either to pimp or pander them;
    • You try to persuade or convince a minor to engage in commercial sexual acts intending to break the laws of pimping, PC 266h and pandering, 266i. 
  • The crime of prostitution under PC 647(b), and includes
    • agreeing to exchange sex for money or other services,
    • engaging in the act of lewd or sexual intercourse for money or other services.
  • Loitering to commit prostitution, PC 653.22 which is when a person is hanging around in a public space with the intent of prostitution. 
  • Supervising or aiding in prostitution, PC 653.23 is when you supervised or aided in the act of prostitution either by:
    • knowingly bringing someone you know is a prostitute to a place where they will engage in lewd or sexual intercourse for money or other services; or
    • helping someone find themselves a prostitute, which can be done by driving them to a location where they will find a prostitute.

What the Prosecution Does:

If you are charged with pimping and pandering, under California PC 266h and PC 266i, it is recommended that you find an excellent criminal defense lawyer that can represent you and your Constitutional rights.  If you are convicted of pimping, PC 266h and pandering, PC 266i, you will face significant punishment under the law. 

In order for the prosecution to secure a conviction, they have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of directing, supervising, recruiting, or helping another person who:

  • commits acts of solicitation/prostitution,
  • loiters for the intent to commit prostitution,
  • commits acts of prostitution and collect all or part of the prostitute's compensation; or
    • if you receive money that a prostitute earned in order to support yourself; or
    • the prostitute's earnings helped to fully or partially support you.

Here are some scenarios in which pimping, PC 266h and pandering, PC 266i, can be charged: 

  • Example: The owner of a strip club has private champagne rooms where the strippers entertain some of the patrons. After each patron leaves the room, he asks the strippers for a cut of what they earned while in the room. 
    • The owner knows and is fully aware that the strippers are engaging in lewd/sexual acts for money and he is taking a cut of that pay. 
    • Thus, the owner can be charged with pimping under California PC 266h. 
    • If the owner of the strip club knew some of the strippers were committing acts of prostitution and helped to gain them clients for the champagne room, he could get charged with pandering as well under California PC 266i. 
  • Example: A man gets a new roommate and they begin a romantic relationship. He finds out that she is a prostitute and that is how she pays her bills. He has no problem with it and in fact, he begins working for her as a driver and bodyguard. 
    • Because he is working for her, he earns part of the pay she gets as a prostitute and uses it to support himself and his living expenses. 
    • He drives her wherever she needs to go for an encounter with a “john” and as her bodyguard, he protects her should any of the clients attack her or refuse to pay. 
    • He also helps her attain new clientele and asks/receives a cut of the pay for it. 
    • He could then be charged with both pimping PC 266h and pandering PC 266i because he is not only receiving monetary compensation for her prostitution, he is supporting himself on it, and soliciting others to engage in lewd/sexual acts in exchange for money. 

Legal Defenses:

A common legal defense to a charge of pimping, PC 266h, and pandering, PC 266i is Entrapment.

  • Entrapment takes place when the crime originated from police officers or government agents. 
  • For instance, when undercover vice sets up an operation where they talk someone into engaging in pimping or pandering by using any of these:
    • Fraud
    • Harassment
    • Extreme pressure
    • Violence or threats
    • Promises and/or flattery. 

Example: A more specific scenario is as follows: an undercover female cop posing as a prostitute asks someone else to help her gain more customers and protect her against possibly violent clients. She uses her wit, flattery, and promises of payment from her work. After multiple refusals, the person begrudgingly agrees to her terms. Once this person agrees and follows through, he is arrested for pimping and/or pandering. 

With the right criminal defense lawyer, they can help fight the charges by pointing out that the defendant had refused to pimp or pander for the undercover cop, but she used promises of money and flattery to encourage and finally convince him to commit the crimes. 

Penalties for Pimping, PC 266h and Pandering 266i:

These crimes are considered felonies under California law and the penalties for them are: 

  • Pimping, PC 266h and Pandering, PC 266i
    • Probation
    • Fines up to $10,000
    • Fines of up to $5,000 may also be charged in addition to the original fine if profit was gained and/or if the victim/prostitute suffered any losses
    • You could also face 3, 4 or 6 years in a California state penitentiary. 
  • If you are a non-U.S. citizen and are charged and convicted of pimping PC 266h and pandering PC 266i, you could face these penalties: 
    • Possible deportation, or
    • Restricted from being able to become a U.S. citizen and/or permanent resident. 

Penalties for Related Offenses:

California PC 236.1, human trafficking

  • Fines up to $500,000, 
  • 5, 8 or 12 years in a California state prison, 
  • If minors were involved or the commercial sex of child pornography or extortion were committed, the penalties include, 
    • up to $500,000 in fines, 
    • 5, 12, or 15 years in a state prison, 
    • 8, 14, or 20 years in a state prison, and 
    • Mandatory registration as a sex offender. 

The following are related offenses that are considered misdemeanors:

  • solicitation of prostitution under PC 647(b)
  • Loitering to commit prostitution, PC 653.22
    • and the penalties for these offenses include,
    • informal probation,
    • fines of up to $1,000, and/or
    • up to 6 months in county jail
  • Supervising or aiding in prostitution, PC 653.23 
    • There are additional penalties on top of probation, $1,000 fine, and up to 6 months in a county jail;
    • For instance, if it is discovered that a health care professional committed these crimes in the workplace;
      • additional fines of up to $2,500,
      • up to $5,000 more in fines for each subsequent offense, and
      • they could lose their professional/healthcare provider license. 

With so many related offenses to the crimes of pimping, PC 266h and pandering, 266i, it is very important that you find excellent legal representation. If you are located in the Los Angeles, Orange County, or greater San Diego area and are facing charges of PC 266h and PC 266i, then call the Law Offices of Anna R. Yum. 

These are felony charges that you should not attempt to fight against without a San Diego criminal defense attorney by your side. If you have further questions or would like a free consultation, contact the Law Offices of Anna R. Yum at 619-233-4433.  If you prefer to contact them via email, just click here and you can leave your name, number, and details about your case.

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