Pimping and Pandering Laws – California Penal Code 266h & 266i

California’s pimping and pandering laws are defined under California Penal Code 266h and 266i. The closely related crimes of “pimping and pandering” deal with the facilitation of – and receiving financial compensation from acts of commercial sex – infamously known as prostitution.

Again, these clearly are closely related sex crime charges and are frequently charged together in the same case, but they have separate elements of the crime under the California Penal Code.

If you have been accused of pimping and pandering, don’t make any statements to police as you might incriminate yourself. Rather, contact our Angeles sex crime attorneys to review all the details and options.

Our criminal defense law firm has decades of combined experience and a record of success in all Los Angeles County criminal courts.

Any accusation of being involved in a sex crime can result in life-changing consequences. It has the potential to destroy your reputation and impact future opportunities.

Penal Code 266h and 266i refer to distinct types of behavior. To give readers a better understanding of the pimping and pandering laws, our California criminal defense attorneys are providing an overview below.

Pimping – California Penal Code 266h

California Penal Code 266h criminalizes “pimping,” and is described as someone knowingly receiving financial support or maintenance from the earnings of another person who is engaged in prostitution – or they receive compensation for soliciting on behalf of a prostitute. PC 266h is defined as:

Anyone who, knowing someone is a prostitute, derives support or maintenance from the earnings or proceeds of the prostitute, or from money loaned or advanced to or charged against that them by any keeper or manager of a house or other place where prostitution is practiced or allowed, or who solicits or receives compensation for soliciting for prostitute, is guilty of pimping, a felony crime.

Penal Code 266h deals with someone, a “pimp,” receiving some form of compensation, but it doesn’t always have to be money.

In order to be convicted of Penal Code 266h pimping, the prosecutor must be able to prove all the elements of the crime listed under CALCRIM 1150 Jury Instructions:

  • You know someone was a prostitute, and
  • The money earned by the prostitute supported you, or
  • The money loaned to prostitute, by someone who operated house of prostitution, supported you
  • You asked for, or received payment for soliciting prostitution customers

California Penal Code 647b describes a prostitute as someone who engages in sexual intercourse or lewd acts with another person in exchange for money or other compensation.

Pandering – California Penal Code 266i

California Penal Code 266i criminalizes “pandering,” that is described as an act of procuring someone for the purpose prostitution, or persuading, encouraging someone to become a prostitute with promises, threats, or violence.

It includes finding someone a job in a house of prostitution, by persuading or encouraging someone to continue to work there by using fraud, duress.

It also includes procuring someone to become a prostitute or to enter a location where prostitution is allowed or encouraged, or to enter or leave the state of California for the purpose of prostitution, or receive or give money or other compensation to persuade another person to become a prostitute.

Penal Code 266i primarily addresses the facilitation and encouragement of the act of prostitution itself.  Where there are several scenarios where someone can be guilty of pandering, they all are related to encouraging prostitution.

In order to be convicted of Penal Code 266i pandering, the prosecutor has to be able to prove all the elements of the crime listed under CALCRIM 1151 Jury Instructions:

  • You successfully persuaded someone to be a prostitute
  • You used promises, threats, or violence to persuade them
  • You arranged for another person to be a prostitute in a brothel
  • You used fraud, duress, tricks to peruse them to enter place of prostitution
  • You received or gave money in exchange for somebody to become a prostitute

Since most pimping and pandering scenarios involve encouraging and receiving money from prostitution, they are both normally charged against the same person.

Related California Sex Crime Offenses

Penal Code 647(a) – Lewd conduct in public
Penal Code 647b – Prostitution
Penal Code 653.22 – Loitering to commit prostitution
Penal Code 653.23 – Supervising or aiding a prostitute
Penal Code 261 – Rape
Penal Code 272 – Contributing to the delinquency of a minor
Penal Code 314 – Indecent exposure

Penalties for Pimping and Pandering

A pimping and pandering conviction is a felony crime that carries a sentence of 3, 4, or 6 years in a California state prison, a $10,000 fine, or both.

It should be noted that if the commercial sex acts involve a minor under 18 years old, the penalties will increase.

It should also be noted that it might be possible to face human trafficking charges, which could result in a sentence of life in prison.

Fighting Pimping and Pandering Charges in Los Angeles

In addition to defenses that could be argued by our sex crime lawyers, such as false allegation, insufficient evidence for lack of intent, there might be some fact-specific defenses in your pimping or pandering case.

These types of criminal charges usually involve specific arrangements, agreements, and a relationship between a pimp or panderer with their prostitutes.

This means every case is unique and the viability of fact-based defenses will be different from one case to the next.

If you have been accused of pimping or pandering, consult with a skilled Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer immediately to have the best chance at a favorable outcome.

The specific details in pimping or pandering cases are often involving conflicting information. We will closely examine the details in an effort to uncover the truth, not just a one-sided story from the prosecutor or police detective. We are familiar with how prosecutors will attempt to obtain a conviction.

Early intervention into you case by our experienced defense attorneys can make a huge difference on the outcome. We are skilled negotiators and may be able get the charges reduced or dismissed. A sex crime conviction can change your life.

Cron, Israels & Stark is a criminal defense law firm located at 11755 Wilshire Blvd, 15th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90025. Contact our office for free case evaluation at (424) 372-3112.