I. Penal Code 266h: Pimping Laws
Legal Definition: Any person who, knowing another person is a prostitute, lives or derives support or maintenance in whole or in part from the earnings or proceeds of the person’s prostitution, or from money loaned or advanced to or charged against that person by any keeper or manager or inmate of a house or other place where prostitution is practiced or allowed, or who solicits or receives compensation for soliciting for the person, is guilty of pimping.
For a person to be convicted of a violation of PC 266h, the prosecution must prove the following:
1. You knew that the person was a prostitute;
2a. The money/proceeds that the prostitute earned as a prostitute supported you;
2b. Money that was loaned to/advanced to/charged against the prostitute by a person who kept/managed/was a prostitute at the house or another place where the prostitution occurred, supported you in whole or in part;
2c. You asked for payment or received payment for soliciting prostitution customers for the prostitute;
3. (If the Prostitute was a minor), The prostitute was a minor over the age of 16 years/under the age of 16 years when they engaged in prostitution.
II. What does this mean?
A prostitute is a person who engages in sexual intercourse or any lewd act with another person in exchange for money or other compensation. A lewd act means physical contact of the genitals, buttocks, or female breast of either the prostitute or customer with some part of the other person’s body for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratiﬁcation. One room of a building or other place is sufficient to constitute a house of prostitution, and one person may keep such a place to which others resort for purposes of prostitution.
The second element above under 2b shows that you can be convicted of Pimping even if you are not the person directing but instead deriving the income directly from a prostitute. For example: If you encourage and direct a woman to prostitute herself so that the woman can help you with his rent or drug habit then you are pimping the woman to support you financially in whole or in part.
Penalties for PC 266h depend on what subsection your case or charge falls under.
1. PC 266h: This is a felony charge. If you are convicted under this section, you could be sentenced to State Prison for up to three, four, or six years. You would be required to serve 50% of that time in custody. This section under Pimping law is not a Strike offense under California’s Three Strike Law. You would not be required to register as a Sex Offender under this section.
2. PC 266h(b)(1): This is a felony charge when the person that is being pimped is a minor over the age of 16, but younger than 18 years old. If you are convicted under this section, you could be sentenced to State Prison for up to three, four, or six years. You would be required to serve 50% of that time in custody. This section under Pimping law is different from the PC 266h(a) section above is a Strike offense under California’s Three Strike Law. In addition, you will also be required to register as a Sex Offender for life.
3. PC 266h(b)(2): This is a felony charge when the person that is being pimped is a minor under the age of 16 years old. If you are convicted under this section, you could be sentenced to State Prison for up to three, six, or eight years. You would be required to serve 50% of that time in custody. This section under Pimping law is different from the PC 266h(a) section above is a Strike offense under California’s Three Strike Law. In addition, you will also be required to register as a Sex Offender for life.
4. PC 266g: This is a wobbler offense, meaning you can be charged under this section as a misdemeanor or as a felony offense. This charge involves when a person prostitutes their wife. If you are convicted under this section as a misdemeanor, you could be sentenced to County Jail for up to one year. If you are convicted under this section as a felony, you could be sentenced to State Prison for up to two, three, or four years. You would be required to serve 50% of that time in custody. This section under Pimping law is not a Strike offense under California’s Three Strike Law. You would not register as a Sex Offender under this section.
PC 266h(a) is considered a crime of moral turpitude, which means that pimping is considered a morally wrong act and that carries special punishments for non-U.S. citizens and people who possess professional licenses.
IV. Common Defenses
- Statute of Limitations
- Insufficient Evidence
- Mistake of Fact
- Violation of Rights
- False Accusations
- Coerced Confessions
The elements of this offense as listed above do involve a certain knowledge as to what the other person, the prostitute is doing. If a person is simply having sex with others for money, and you are not deriving any income from that, or you do not direct that conduct, then you cannot be found guilty under this section. This can commonly happen when a person rents a room to an individual who is engaging in prostitution. If you do not know that you are receiving the rent checks because of their prostitution, you cannot be found guilty under this section. Therefore, you must know the other party is a prostitute to even begin a proper analysis under this section.
V. Call Today
A pimping case is extremely serious. As indicated above, it is most likely a felony charge and can involve many years in prison, a strike on your record, and even Sex Registration. Those can affect a person much longer in their lives than simple custody time. I have handled many Pimping cases, and I can help you or your loved one have hope to get through these difficult times. Our PC 266h Ontario attorney has successfully defended numerous cases involving Pimping and Pandering charges under sections PC 266h. The initial consultation is free and we are available to answer your questions 24/7. Call the Inland Empire Criminal Defense today at 909-939-7126! Located in Ontario, CA.
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