This is a situation where an individual or a group of individuals keeps a house and the main purpose of the house is for prostitution activities. In order to prove this case, obviously the government is going to have to show that the house was being used as a house for prostitution, number one. And number two, any defendant that’s charged with this particular crime is going to have to be shown to know and be involved with the house being kept for prostitution.
Examples of this would be that the individual involved actually pays the rent for the house knowing it was being used for prostitution; collected some sort of proceeds from the prostitution activities; set-up the prostitution activity inside the house. Obviously, this is a serious crime. You don’t really see it charged a lot. A lot of times where I see the crime coming up is when individuals are being charged with other more serious crimes, like pimping and pandering, for example, which carries a 3-year mandatory minimum and instead of getting that 3-year mandatory minimum and a pimping and pandering conviction of their record, the attorney is able to negotiate this Penal Code Section 315 in Los Angeles – keeping a house for prostitution purposes.
The government doesn’t really prosecute this a lot. They do once in a while. Where I see it prosecuted is when people get greedy, meaning not only are they keeping a house of prostitution, they’re also mixing gambling, drugs, other illicit behavior. It ends up being a big operation. Maybe they’re stupid enough to do it in the neighborhood, the neighbors see it, they become angry about it, they call the police and the police either send somebody in there to surveil it — meaning they send somebody in there who pretends they’re a john and they’re trying to hook up with one of the women in the house and then they end up getting all the evidence they need to arrest everybody, or they just surveil it, watch people coming in and out and maybe bust a few people for drugs. Ultimately, they might even get a search warrant for the house — go in and try and corroborate their suspicions that this house is being run for purpose of prostitution.
So, if you have one of these convictions, you obviously want to get an attorney because some of the ramifications that could flow from any sex crime have to do with registering as a sex offender, jail time, prison time, all sorts of different bad things that the police and prosecutors can level against you if you get convicted of this particular crime.
So, what I have you do is come in. You give me all the background. We’re going to try to look for angles — either to get you out of it by asserting a defense, like maybe you didn’t know. You had no idea what was going on, even though you might have been involved with the house in some manner, you had no idea exactly what the activities were that were going on within the house. So, the key thing is you have to know and you have to be a part of it. If you don’t know and/or you’re not a part of it, then obviously you’re not going to be in a position where you’re going to take a conviction for this particular crime.
So, come in, sit down, we’ll go over everything. We’ll see what the best angle is. Whether it’s an angle to try to win the whole thing or whether we’re trying to negotiate a plea bargain for you with one of the Los Angeles County prosecutors.
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