“Pimping” and “pandering” are two distinct crimes in California law—though they are closely related and are often charged together.
California “pimping” is defined in California Penal Code 266h PC. You commit the crime of “pimping” if you either:
- Knowingly receive financial support or maintenance from the earnings of someone engaged in prostitution; or
- Receive or try to receive compensation for soliciting for a prostitute (that is, finding customers for him/her).1
“Pandering,” on the other hand, is described in California Penal Code 266i PC. Pandering occurs when someone:
- Procures another person for the purposes of prostitution;
- Persuades or encourages another person to become a prostitute, through promises, threats, violence or any other means;
- Finds another person a job in a house of prostitution;
- Persuades or encourages another person to continue working in a house of prostitution;
- Uses fraud, artifice, duress, or abuse of position to procure another person to become a prostitute, or to enter a place where prostitution is allowed or encouraged, or to enter or leave California for prostitution purposes; or
- Receives, gives, or agrees to receive or give any money or compensation for persuading someone to become a prostitute.2
Here are some examples of situations that could lead to charges under California's pimping or pandering laws:
- A man moves in with his new girlfriend, who works as a prostitute. Her earnings pay their rent, and he occasionally helps her out when a “john” behaves rudely toward her.
- A woman who owns a high-end “escort” service persuades a college student to work for her for very high rates.
- Faced with serious financial problems, a man uses guilt and threats to persuade his sister to work as a prostitute to help support their extended family.
Both pimping and pandering are California felonies.3 The penalties will usually be:
- Three (3), four (4) or six (6) years in California state prison; and/or
- A fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000).4
BUT if you are alleged to have pimped or pandered a minor under the age of eighteen (18), the maximum prison sentence rises to eight (8) years—and you will be required to register for life as a tier three sex offender under California's sex offender registration act.5
Prostitution may be the “world's oldest profession”—but that doesn't stop California law enforcement from doing their best to make it disappear. And one way they do that is by cracking down hard on people accused of assisting prostitution through pimping or pandering.
Because the penalties for PC 266h and 266i are so harsh, it is important to fight pimping or pandering charges with all the resources at your disposal, including the assistance of an experienced sex crimes defense attorney.
S/he may be able to help you assert one or more of the following common legal defenses:
- You were the victim of entrapment by law enforcement;
- You were falsely accused;
- There is insufficient evidence; and/or
- You lacked criminal intent.
In order to help you better understand the California crimes of pimping and pandering, our California criminal defense attorneys will address the following:
If, after reading this article, you would like more information, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group.
The legal definition of pimping in California is as follows:
- You knew that a certain person was a prostitute; and
- One or more of the following is true:
- The money that person earned as a prostitute supported you in whole or in part;
- Money that was loaned or advanced to that person by someone who ran a house of prostitution where s/he worked supported you in whole or in part; OR
- You asked for or received payment for soliciting prostitution customers for that person.6
Let's take a better look at some of the elements of the crime of pimping set forth in this legal definition.
A prostitute is defined as someone who engages in sexual intercourse or any lewd act with another person in exchange for money or other compensation.7
“Lewd acts” include any 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.8
Example: Daniel owns a strip club.
There are several back rooms at the strip club that are designated “VIP rooms.” Occasionally a stripper will take a patron into one of these rooms and give him a “hand job” for an extra fee, which the stripper will split with Daniel. Daniel knows that this is going on.
These strippers are engaging in prostitution because they are committing “lewd acts” for money. Daniel is guilty of pimping for taking a portion of their compensation.
Example: Brent also owns a strip club that has “VIP rooms.” In these rooms, customers can pay an extra fee to watch two female strippers perform sexual acts on each other.
These strippers are not committing prostitution because there is no physical contact between them and the customer.
Thus, if Brent takes a cut of the extra fee, he is not guilty of pimping.9
Derived support from proceeds of prostitution
Many people are surprised to learn that you can be convicted of pimping if you derive financial support from the proceeds of prostitution—even if you don't help arrange the prostitution transaction.
But in order to be guilty of this form of pimping, you do need to have known that the person supporting you was a prostitute.10
Example: After serving time in jail for possession of drugs with intent to sell, Will moves in with his sister Karla. He and Karla have not spoken for several years, but she agrees to help him get back on his feet by giving him free room and board.
Karla tells Will she works as a cocktail waitress. She goes out to work at night. Will has no reason not to believe her.
It turns out that Karla is actually working as a prostitute—and her earnings from that work are paying her and Will's rent and food costs.
But Will is not guilty of pimping, because he did not know Karla was a prostitute.
Example : Cornelius meets a woman named Ruth at a bar. They begin a romantic relationship. Ruth confesses to Cornelius that she makes most of her money as a prostitute at a brothel, but he is okay with that.
Cornelius is about to be evicted from his apartment because he hasn't paid rent in a while. Ruth asks for a loan from the madam who manages the brothel where she works, and the madam gives it to her.
Ruth then gives that money to Cornelius, and he uses it to pay his rent.
Cornelius is guilty of pimping, because he knew Ruth was a prostitute and allowed himself to be supported by money that she borrowed from her madam.
Asked for or received payment for soliciting customers
You are also guilty of pimping if you request or receive payment in exchange for finding customers for a prostitute.11
This is what most people think of when they think of the crime of “pimping.”
Example: Lucy owns a massage parlor. Some of her massage therapists have sex with their male clients for money in the massage rooms.
Lucy is the one who arranges these transactions, and she takes a cut of 50% from the money that the therapists earn in this way. If a customer ever refuses to pay or behaves violently, Lucy, who has a black belt in aikido, will threaten him with physical violence.
Lucy is guilty of pimping for setting up prostitution transactions and taking a cut of the proceeds.
Pandering is closely related to—but distinct from—pimping.
Under California Penal Code 266i PC, the legal definition of pandering is doing one of the following things, while intending to influence someone to become or remain a prostitute:
- Persuading or procuring someone to be a prostitute;
- Using promises, threats, violence or any other device or scheme to cause, persuade, encourage, or induce someone to become a prostitute;
- Arranging for someone to be a prostitute in either a house of prostitution (a “brothel”) or any other place where prostitution is encouraged or allowed;
- Using promises, threats, violence or any other device or scheme to cause, persuade, encourage or induce someone to remain as a prostitute in such a place;
- Using fraud, trickery or duress, or abusing a position of confidence or authority, to persuade or procure someone to be a prostitute, to enter any place where prostitution is encouraged or allowed, or to enter or leave California for the purpose of prostitution; or
- Receiving, giving, or agreeing to receive or give money or something else of value in exchange for persuading or procuring, or attempting to persuade or procure, someone to be a prostitute or enter or leave California for the purpose of prostitution.12
“Duress” is defined as a direct or implied threat of force, violence, danger, hardship, or retribution that would cause a reasonable person to do something s/he would not otherwise do.13
Example: Salvador is trying to join a criminal street gang in his neighborhood. The gang's operations include both drug sales and running prostitution rings.
As part of the initiation process into the gang, Salvador is required to do work to support these business operations.
One of the tasks he is asked to perform is befriending teenage girls from the neighborhood in order to recruit them to work as prostitutes. If the girls aren't interested, Salvador is supposed to use threats of violence against them or their families to get them to agree.
A gang leader offers Salvador $500 for each prostitute he recruits. Salvador agrees to these terms.
Salvador is guilty of PC 266i pandering—because he agreed to receive compensation in exchange for procuring someone to act as a prostitute.
You can commit the crime of pandering even if it turns out that the person you are procuring to act as a prostitute is already a prostitute (or you believe s/he is).14
Example: Erika is an undercover police officer. For a prostitution sting, she dresses like a prostitute and walks at night through a neighborhood where streetwalkers are known to hang out.
Joe drives up to her in his car. He tells her that he is a pimp and would be happy to “take care of” her. He offers to give her free food and housing if she will hand over all the money she currently has and will agree to work for him.
Erika calls for backup and has Joe arrested. He is charged with attempted pandering.
Joe can be found guilty of pandering, even though Erika was pretending to be someone who was already a prostitute. Pandering can include both recruiting a new prostitute to the trade AND encouraging an existing prostitute to work for someone else through a new business arrangement.15
However, you cannot commit the crime of pandering if you try to persuade someone to have sex with you for money. You are guilty of pandering only if you recruit or persuade someone to engage in prostitution with someone else.16
Both pimping and pandering are felonies in California.17
The potential penalties are:
- Felony (formal) probation;
- Three (3), four (4) or six (6) years in California state prison; and/or
- A fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000).18
The judge may also impose an additional fine of up to five thousand dollars ($5,000).19
In setting this fine, s/he may consider the circumstances of the allegations, whether the defendant derived any economic gain from pimping or pandering, and the losses suffered by the victim.20
Note that people must register for life as a tier three sex offender if they are convicted of pimping or pandering a minor. Read more about SB 384, California's law which created the three-tier sex registration system.
You will face harsher penalties if you are accused of pimping a minor or pandering a minor.
First, if you are convicted of either pimping or pandering a minor under the age of eighteen (18), you will be required to register as a sex offender for life in California.21
This means that, even after you serve your sentence, you will need to register your address with the state every year, and every time you move.22
Failure to do so will result in additional felony charges for failure to register as a sex offender.23
Second, if you are convicted of either pimping or pandering a minor under the age of sixteen (16), your potential prison sentence will increase to three (3), six (6) or eight (8) years.24
One important thing to note about the crime of pimping or pandering a minor: you will face these harsher penalties even if you believed in good faith that the minor was over 18.25
This is in contrast to crimes like statutory rape—where a good faith belief that the minor was over 18 is a valid legal defense.26
Pandering a minor and California human trafficking laws
Specifically, if you cause, induce or persuade a minor to engage in a commercial sex act, with the intent to violate California pandering a minor laws, you are guilty of human trafficking. As we discuss below, that offense carries even harsher penalties than ordinary pandering.28
Both pimping and pandering are considered crimes of moral turpitude in California.29
This means that a conviction for one of these offenses can be very bad news for defendants who are not U.S. citizens—even if they are legal immigrants.
A conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude—including pimping or pandering—will render you “inadmissible,” which means that you will not be able to:
- Re-enter the country after leaving;
- Become a citizen; or
- Obtain a green card.30
Also, depending on how long you have been in the U.S. and whether you have other crimes of moral turpitude on your record, a conviction for pimping or pandering could make you immediately deportable.31
Defendants accused of pimping and pandering often face a sentence that includes the Penal Code 186.22 PC gang sentencing enhancement.
If you engage in pimping or pandering for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a criminal street gang—with the specific intent to promote, further or assist in the gang's criminal conduct—you will face an additional prison term of two (2), three (3), or four (4) years.32
The crime of prostitution always involves multiple people—the prostitute and the john as well as the pimp. But law enforcement often comes down hardest on the pimp (or the person suspected of pimping).
If you find yourself facing PC 266h or 266i charges—and the associated harsh penalties—you and your criminal defense attorney may want to consider one or more of the following legal defenses:
You were entrapped
“Entrapment” occurs when a law enforcement officer conducting an undercover “sting” operation behaves in an overbearing way—and as a result the defendant commits a criminal act that s/he otherwise would never have committed.33
Entrapment can occur when a police officer talks someone into engaging in behavior that meets the legal definition of pimping or pandering, using either:
- Flattery; or
For example, let's say an undercover officer poses as a potential prostitute looking for the assistance of a pimp. Maybe she is an alluring young woman who seems vulnerable—and you agree to help her out because you are overwhelmed by her charms or worried that she may be exploited by someone else.
Or maybe an undercover officer offers you an obscene amount of money to recruit prostitutes—and you agree (thus committing the crime of pandering) because you badly need the money.
In either of these cases, you could argue that the charges should be reduced or dismissed because you were entrapped.
You were falsely accused
False accusations are all too common in pimping or pandering cases.
According to Riverside criminal defense attorney Michael Scafiddi35:
“You are most vulnerable to being falsely accused of pimping or pandering if you were involved in a romantic relationship with a prostitute, or you have a family member who is or has been a prostitute. Maybe that person is ashamed of their history of prostitution or is looking to reduce their own criminal liability. So they falsely accuse you of acting as their pimp, or talking them into prostitution—or even just living off of their earnings.”
In these “he said/she said” cases, it is all the more important to have a skilled defense attorney in your camp. An attorney knows that there are tricks to gathering the right evidence to build the case for your innocence.
There is insufficient evidence
Pimping and pandering cases are often built on evidence gathered during undercover sting operations.
But all too often the officers don't bother to get audio or video evidence. So the case ends up hinging on who the jurors at the defendant's jury trial choose to believe—the officer or the defendant.
In this day and age, when the public is skeptical about police integrity, lack of an audio or video recording can raise red flags for jurors. And your criminal defense attorney can and should remind them that you should not be convicted unless they are sure beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty.
You lacked criminal intent
You are not guilty of pimping or pandering if you lacked criminal intent.
Let's say, for example, that you derived support from someone else's prostitution earnings—but you did not know s/he was a prostitute. Or let's say you had a hypothetical discussion with someone about the benefits of life as a prostitute, not intending that s/he would actually then start working as a prostitute.
Also, law enforcement officers are increasingly using the internet to conduct sting operations to ensnare people for pandering.36 Misunderstandings are common when one is communicating over the internet rather than in person—and thus it is all too easy for a person who lacked criminal intent to find himself accused of pandering.
In that sort of case, you should not be convicted under Penal Code 266h or 266i PC.
Related offenses that are often charged instead of—or along with—pimping or pandering include:
The crime of Penal Code 653.23 PC “supervising or aiding a prostitute” occurs when a person helps someone else commit prostitution or solicitation.37
For example, if you drive a friend to an area where she or he plans to walk the streets looking for johns, you could be guilty of this offense.
Supervising or aiding a prostitute is a California misdemeanor. The potential penalties include up to six (6) months in county jail, and/or a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000).38
Because it carries lighter penalties and less stigma than pimping or pandering, supervising or aiding a prostitute can be a useful plea bargain from PC 266h or 266i charges—particularly in cases where the prosecution may have insufficient evidence to support a pimping or pandering charge.
Penal Code 272 PC contributing to the delinquency of a minor occurs when you commit any action that causes a minor to become a juvenile delinquent.39
This offense is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one (1) year in county jail and/or a fine of up to two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500).40
Defendants charged with pimping a minor or pandering a minor often face simultaneous charges for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
And in some cases where the prosecution's evidence is weak, defendants facing charges of pandering a minor may be able to get the charges reduced to contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
California's human trafficking laws provide for heavy penalties for people who:
- Deprive someone of his/her liberty with the intent to pimp or pander him/her; or
- Persuade or try to persuade a minor to engage in a commercial sex act, with the intent to violate California's laws against pimping or pandering.41
So you can face penalties under Penal Code 236.1 PC if you deprive someone of their liberty in order to engage in pimping or pandering—or if you engage in certain forms of pandering a minor.
Depriving someone of their liberty in order to pimp or pander carries a state prison sentence of eight (8), fourteen (14) or twenty (20) years, and a fine of up to five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000).42
Pandering a minor by convincing him/her to engage in a commercial sex act carries the same fine and a sentence of five (5), eight (8) or twelve (12) years—and if you are alleged to have used force, fear, violence or threat of injury to commit this crime, you could face a sentence of fifteen (15) years to life.43
So as harsh as the penalties are for ordinary pimping or pandering, a PC 236.1 charge is a far worse thing to contend with.
Call us for help…
For questions about the crimes of Penal Code 266h pimping and Penal Code 266i pandering, or to discuss your case confidentially with one of our California criminal defense attorneys, do not hesitate to contact us at Shouse Law Group.
We have local criminal law offices in and around Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Jose, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay area, and several nearby cities.
For more information on Nevada pimping and pandering laws, please see our page on Nevada pimping and pandering laws.
1 Penal Code 266h PC – Pimping and pimping a minor; punishment. (“(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), 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, a felony, and shall be punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for three, four, or six years. (b) 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, when the prostitute is a minor, is guilty of pimping a minor, a felony, and shall be punishable as follows: (1) If the person engaged in prostitution is a minor 16 years of age or older, the offense is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for three, four, or six years. (2) If the person engaged in prostitution is under 16 years of age, the offense is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for three, six, or eight years.”)
2 Penal Code 266i PC – Pandering and pandering with a minor; punishment. (“(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), any person who does any of the following is guilty of pandering, a felony, and shall be punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for three, four, or six years: (1) Procures another person for the purpose of prostitution. (2) By promises, threats, violence, or by any device or scheme, causes, induces, persuades, or encourages another person to become a prostitute. (3) Procures for another person a place as an inmate in a house of prostitution or as an inmate of any place in which prostitution is encouraged or allowed within this state. (4) By promises, threats, violence, or by any device or scheme, causes, induces, persuades, or encourages an inmate of a house of prostitution, or any other place in which prostitution is encouraged or allowed, to remain therein as an inmate. (5) By fraud or artifice, or by duress of person or goods, or by abuse of any position of confidence or authority, procures another person for the purpose of prostitution, or to enter any place in which prostitution is encouraged or allowed within this state, or to come into this state or leave this state for the purpose of prostitution. (6) Receives or gives, or agrees to receive or give, any money or thing of value for procuring, or attempting to procure, another person for the purpose of prostitution, or to come into this state or leave this state for the purpose of prostitution. (b) Any person who does any of the acts described in subdivision (a) with another person who is a minor is guilty of pandering, a felony, and shall be punishable as follows: (1) If the other person is a minor 16 years of age or older, the offense is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for three, four, or six years. (2) If the other person is under 16 years of age, the offense is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for three, six, or eight years.”)
3 Penal Code 266h PC – Pimping and pimping a minor; punishment, endnote 1, above; Penal Code 266i PC –Pandering and pandering with a minor; punishment, endnote 2, above.
See also Penal Code 672 PC – Offenses for which no fine prescribed; fine authorized in addition to imprisonment. (“Upon a conviction for any crime punishable by imprisonment in any jail or prison, in relation to which no fine is herein prescribed, the court may impose a fine on the offender not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) in cases of misdemeanors or ten thousand dollars ($10,000) in cases of felonies [such as pimping or pandering], in addition to the imprisonment prescribed.”)
See also Penal Code 290 PC – Sex offender registration act. (“(b) Every person described in subdivision (c),  while residing in California, or while attending school or working in California, as described in Sections 290.002 and 290.01, shall be required to register with the chief of police of the city in which he or she is residing, or the sheriff of the county if he or she is residing in an unincorporated area or city that has no police department, and, additionally, with the chief of police of a campus of the University of California, the California State University, or community college if he or she is residing upon the campus or in any of its facilities, within five working days of coming into, or changing his or her residence within, any city, county, or city and county, or campus in which he or she temporarily resides, and shall be required to register thereafter in accordance with the Act. (c) The following persons shall be required to register: Any person who, since July 1, 1944, has been or is hereafter convicted in any court in this state or in any federal or military court of . . . subdivision (b) of Section 266h [pimping a minor], subdivision (b) of Section 266i [pandering a minor] . . . .”)
6 Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) 1150 – Pimping (Pen. Code, § 266h). (“The defendant is charged [in Count ] with pimping [in violation of Penal Code section 266h]. To prove that the defendant is guilty of pimping, the People must prove that: 1 The defendant knew that <insert name> was a prostitute; [AND] <Alternative 2A—money earned by prostitute supported defendant> [2. The (money/proceeds) that <insert name> earned as a prostitute supported defendant, in whole or in part(;/.)] <Alternative 2B—money loaned by house manager supported defendant> [2. Money that was (loaned to/advanced to/charged against) <insert name> by a person who (kept/managed/was a prostitute at) the house or other place where the prostitution occurred, supported the defendant in whole or in part(;/.)] <Alternative 2C—defendant asked for payment> [2. The defendant asked for payment or received payment for soliciting prostitution customers for <insert name>(;/.)] <Give element 3 when defendant charged with pimping a minor.> [AND 3 <insert name> was a minor (over the age of 16 years/under the age of 16 years) when (he/she) engaged in the prostitution.]”)
7 CALCRIM 1150 – Pimping (Pen. Code, § 266h). (“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.”)
9 Based on the facts of Wooten v. Superior Court (2001) 93 Cal.App.4th 422.
10 CALCRIM 1150 – Pimping (Pen. Code, § 266h), endnote 6, above.
12 CALCRIM 1151 – Pandering (Pen. Code, § 266i). (“The defendant is charged [in Count ] with pandering [in violation of Penal Code section 266i]. To prove that the defendant is guilty of pandering, the People must prove that: <Alternative 1A—persuaded/procured> [1 The defendant (persuaded/procured) <insert name> to be a prostitute(;/.)] <Alternative 1B—promises/threats/violence used to cause person to become prostitute> [1 The defendant used (promises[,]/ threats[,]/ violence[,]/ [or] any device or scheme) to (cause/persuade/encourage/induce) <insert name> to become a prostitute(;/.)] <Alternative 1C—arranged/procured a position> [1 The defendant (arranged/procured a position) for <insert name> to be a prostitute in either a house of prostitution or any other place where prostitution is encouraged or allowed(;/.)] <Alternative 1D—promises/threats/violence used to cause person to remain> [1 The defendant used (promises[,]/ threats[,]/ violence[,]/ [or] any device or scheme) to (cause/persuade/encourage/induce) <insert name> to remain as a prostitute in a house of prostitution or any other place where prostitution is encouraged or allowed(;/.)] <Alternative 1E—used fraud> [1 The defendant used fraud, trickery, or duress [or abused a position of confidence or authority] to (persuade/procure) <insert name> to (be a prostitute/enter any place where prostitution is encouraged or allowed/enter or leave California for the purpose of prostitution)(;/.)] <Alternative 1F—received money> [1 The defendant (received/gave/agreed to receive/agreed to give) money or something of value in exchange for (persuading/attempting to persuade/procuring/attempting to procure)<insert name> to (be a prostitute/enter or leave California for the purpose of prostitution)(;/.)] [AND] [2 The defendant intended to influence <insert name> to be a prostitute(;/.)] <Give element 3 when defendant charged with pandering a minor.> [AND 3 <insert name> was (over the age of 16 years old/under the age of 16) at the time the defendant acted.]”)
13 CALCRIM 1151 – Pandering (Pen. Code, § 266i). (“[Duress means a direct or implied threat of force, violence, danger, hardship, or retribution that would cause a reasonable person to do [or submit to] something that he or she would not do [or submit to] otherwise. When deciding whether the act was accomplished by duress, consider all the circumstances, including the person's age and (her/his) relationship to the defendant.]”)
14 People v. Zambia (2011) 51 Cal.4th 965, 973. (“Our courts have repeatedly followed Bradshaw and have concluded that the phrase “to become a prostitute” [as used in California's pandering law] includes both recruiting someone to enter the prostitution trade for the first time and encouraging an existing prostitute, or an undercover officer, to work for him or someone else under some type of new business relationship.”)
15 Based on the facts of the same.
16 People v. Dixon (2011) 191 Cal.App.4th 1154, 1156. (“On appeal, defendant contends there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction because “a person who seeks sex for himself, and uses the money as an inducement, is not a panderer.” We agree.”)
17 Penal Code 266h PC – Pimping and pimping a minor; punishment, endnote 1, above; Penal Code 266i PC –Pandering and pandering with a minor; punishment, endnote 2, above.
18 Same. See also Penal Code 672 PC – Offenses for which no fine prescribed; fine authorized in addition to imprisonment, endnote 4, above.
19 Penal Code 266k PC – Additional fine on conviction for pimping, pandering, procurement of child under age 16, or abduction of person under 18 for the purpose of prostitution; deposit or grant of funds; administrative cost of collection. (“Upon the conviction of any person for a violation of Section 266h or 266i, the court may, in addition to any other penalty or fine imposed, order the defendant to pay an additional fine not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000). In setting the amount of the fine, the court shall consider any relevant factors including, but not limited to, the seriousness and gravity of the offense and the circumstances of its commission, whether the defendant derived any economic gain as the result of the crime, and the extent to which the victim suffered losses as a result of the crime. Every fine imposed and collected under this section shall be deposited in the Victim-Witness Assistance Fund to be available for appropriation to fund child sexual exploitation and child sexual abuse victim counseling centers and prevention programs under Section 13837.”)
21 Penal Code 290 PC – Sex offender registration act, endnote 5, above.
23 Penal Code 290.018 PC – Penalties for violation. (“(b) Except as provided in subdivisions (f), (h), and (j), any person who is required to register under the act based on a felony conviction [such as a conviction for pimping or pandering a minor] or juvenile adjudication who willfully violates any requirement of the act or who has a prior conviction or juvenile adjudication for the offense of failing to register under the act and who subsequently and willfully violates any requirement of the act is guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for 16 months, or two or three years.”)
24 Penal Code 266h PC – Pimping and pimping a minor; punishment, endnote 1, above; Penal Code 266i PC –Pandering and pandering with a minor; punishment, endnote 2, above.
25 People v. Branch (2010) 184 Cal.App.4th 516, 521-22. (“In People v. Hernandez (1964) 61 Cal.2d 529, 39 Cal.Rptr. 361, 393 P.2d 673 (Hernandez ), the California Supreme Court held a charge of unlawful sexual intercourse could be defended on the basis defendant lacked criminal intent because in good faith he had a reasonable belief the prosecutrix was 18 years or more of age. The court relied on the common law rule that an honest and reasonable belief in the existence of circumstances which, if true, would make the act innocent, was a good defense. . . . The present [pandering] case is distinguishable because defendant's conduct would be criminal regardless of J.V.'s age.”)
27 Penal Code 236.1 PC – Human trafficking; punishment; provisions regarding minors; definitions; consideration of total circumstances [may be charged along with pimping or pandering, and covers certain behavior that used to be considered only pandering]. (“(a) Any person who deprives or violates the personal liberty of another with the intent to obtain forced labor or services, is guilty of human trafficking and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for 5, 8, or 12 years and a fine of not more than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000). (b) Any person who deprives or violates the personal liberty of another with the intent to effect or maintain a violation of Section . . . 266h, 266i, . . . is guilty of human trafficking and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for 8, 14, or 20 years and a fine of not more than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000). (c) Any person who causes, induces, or persuades, or attempts to cause, induce, or persuade, a person who is a minor at the time of commission of the offense to engage in a commercial sex act, with the intent to effect or maintain a violation of Section . . . 266h, 266i, . . . is guilty of human trafficking. A violation of this subdivision is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison as follows: (1) Five, 8, or 12 years and a fine of not more than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000). (2) Fifteen years to life and a fine of not more than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) when the offense involves force, fear, fraud, deceit, coercion, violence, duress, menace, or threat of unlawful injury to the victim or to another person. (d) In determining whether a minor was caused, induced, or persuaded to engage in a commercial sex act, the totality of the circumstances, including the age of the victim, his or her relationship to the trafficker or agents of the trafficker, and any handicap or disability of the victim, shall be considered. (e) Consent by a victim of human trafficking who is a minor at the time of the commission of the offense is not a defense to a criminal prosecution under this section. (f) Mistake of fact as to the age of a victim of human trafficking who is a minor at the time of the commission of the offense is not a defense to a criminal prosecution under this section.”)
29 People v. Jaimez (1986) 184 Cal.App.3d 146, 150. (“Pimping and pandering involve the corruption of others. The perpetrator of these offenses encourages, or profits from, the commission of crimes by others. The offenses evidence a “readiness to do evil” ( People v. Castro, supra., 38 Cal.3d 301, 315) and are “extremely repugnant to accepted moral standards.” ( In re Fahey, supra., 8 Cal.3d 842, 849.) Accordingly, we hold pimping and pandering are crimes of moral turpitude.”)
30 Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) 212, 8 U.S.C. 1182 – (a) Classes of aliens ineligible for visas or admission [inadmissible crimes]. (“Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, aliens who are inadmissible under the following paragraphs are ineligible to receive visas and ineligible to be admitted to the United States: . . . (2) Criminal and related grounds (A) Conviction of certain crimes (i) In general Except as provided in clause (ii), any alien convicted of, or who admits having committed, or who admits committing acts which constitute the essential elements of-- (I) a crime involving moral turpitude [such as pimping or pandering] (other than a purely political offense) or an attempt or conspiracy to commit such a crime, or (II) a violation of (or a conspiracy or attempt to violate) any law or regulation of a State, the United States, or a foreign country relating to a controlled substance (as defined in section 802 of Title 21), is inadmissible.”)
31 INA 237(a)(2)(A), 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(A). (“(i) Crimes of moral turpitude [including pimping and pandering]. Any alien who--(I) is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude committed within five years (or 10 years in the case of an alien provided lawful permanent resident status under section 1255(j) of this title) after the date of admission, and (II) is convicted of a crime for which a sentence of one year or longer may be imposed, is deportable. (ii) Multiple criminal convictions Any alien who at any time after admission is convicted of two or more crimes involving moral turpitude, not arising out of a single scheme of criminal misconduct, regardless of whether confined therefor and regardless of whether the convictions were in a single trial, is deportable.”)
32 Penal Code 186.22 PC – Participation in criminal street gang; penalty [may enhance the sentence for pimping or pandering]. (“(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (4) and (5), any person who is convicted of a felony committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with any criminal street gang, with the specific intent to promote, further, or assist in any criminal conduct by gang members, shall, upon conviction of that felony, in addition and consecutive to the punishment prescribed for the felony or attempted felony of which he or she has been convicted, be punished as follows: (A) Except as provided in subparagraphs (B) and (C), the person shall be punished by an additional term of two, three, or four years at the court's discretion. . . .”)
33 See People v. West (1956) 139 Cal.App.2d Supp. 923, 924. ("Entrapment is the conception and planning of an offense [such as pimping or pandering] by an officer and his procurement of its commission by one who would not have perpetrated it except for the trickery, persuasion, or fraud of the officer. Persuasion or allurement must be used to entrap.")
34 See same.
35 Riverside criminal defense attorney Michael Scafiddi is a former police officer and police sergeant. He understands how police conduct sting operations and build evidence in cases involving crimes like pimping and pandering—and he knows how shaky that evidence often is. He represents clients in all San Bernardino County courthouses and Riverside County courthouses.
36 See, e.g., Man Sentenced for Pandering and Attempted Human Trafficking, Orange County Breeze, Apr. 21, 2015.
37 Penal Code 653.23 PC – Supervising or otherwise aiding a prostitute [may be charged in lieu of pimping or pandering]. ("(a) It is unlawful for any person to do either of the following: (1) Direct, supervise, recruit, or otherwise aid another person in the commission of a violation of subdivision (b) of Section 647 or subdivision (a) of Section 653.22. (2) Collect or receive all or part of the proceeds earned from an act or acts of prostitution committed by another person in violation of subdivision (b) of Section 647.")
38 Penal Code 653.26 PC – Violation is misdemeanor. ("A violation of any provision of this chapter [aiding or supervising prostitution, related offense to pimping or pandering] is a misdemeanor.") See also Penal Code 19 PC – Punishment for misdemeanor; punishment not otherwise prescribed.
39 Penal Code 272(a) PC – Contributing to the delinquency of persons under 18 years; persuading, luring, or transporting minors 12 years of age or younger [may be charged along with or instead of pimping a minor or pandering a minor]. (“(a)(1) Every person who commits any act or omits the performance of any duty, which act or omission causes or tends to cause or encourage any person under the age of 18 years to come within the provisions of Section 300, 601, or 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code or which act or omission contributes thereto, or any person who, by any act or omission, or by threats, commands, or persuasion, induces or endeavors to induce any person under the age of 18 years or any ward or dependent child of the juvenile court to fail or refuse to conform to a lawful order of the juvenile court, or to do or to perform any act or to follow any course of conduct or to so live as would cause or manifestly tend to cause that person to become or to remain a person within the provisions of Section 300, 601, or 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or by both fine and imprisonment in a county jail, or may be released on probation for a period not exceeding five years. (2) For purposes of this subdivision, a parent or legal guardian to any person under the age of 18 years shall have the duty to exercise reasonable care, supervision, protection, and control over their minor child.”)
41 Penal Code 236.1 PC – Human trafficking; punishment; provisions regarding minors; definitions; consideration of total circumstances [may be charged along with pimping or pandering, and covers certain behavior that used to be considered only pandering], endnote 27, above.