Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Thank you for your reply.The police only need probable cause that a person has committed an offense to make an arrest and charge a crime. Because the facts you describe are ambiguous, the police likely had sufficient grounds to make an arrest. However, to obtain a conviction, the prosecutor would need to prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. The elements of the offense of solicitation are taken from the statute.As you are likely aware through your research, under the statute a person commits the crime of disorderly conduct who: “solicits or who agrees to engage in or who engages in any act of prostitution. A person agrees to engage in an act of prostitution when, with specific intent to so engage, he or she manifests an acceptance of an offer or solicitation to so engage, regardless of whether the offer or solicitation was made by a person who also possessed the specific intent to engage in prostitution. No agreement to engage in an act of prostitution shall constitute a violation of this subdivision unless some act, in addition to the agreement, is done within this state in furtherance of the commission of an act of prostitution by the person agreeing to engage in that act. As used in this subdivision, "prostitution" includes any lewd act between persons for money or other consideration.” Therefore, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt 1) a solicitation or agreement to engage in an act of prostitution which is defined; 2) the specific intent to so engage 3) and manifest acceptance of offer or solicitation to engage. In addition, the prosecutor must prove some act in addition to the agreement. Based on the circumstances you describe, in addition to the defense of entrapment which you have set forth, your husband may have grounds to challenge the charge arguing that the facts and evidence are insufficient as a matter of law to support a conviction. However, your husband would need to see the police report which would give an indication of how the police would testify. Their version of events could be very different. Your husband is entitled to copies of the police report and any video and audio recordings. Your husband would obtain these from the prosecutor through discovery. He would also be entitled to review any other evidence the prosecutor has such as witness statements. At this point, your husband may want to consult with a local criminal defense attorney who would be in the best position to advise him on his options and evaluate his defenses based on the unique circumstances of the case. The State Bar of California has a lawyer referral service that can be found here http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Public/LawyerReferralServicesLRS.aspxWith most referrals you are entitled to a low cost half hour initial consultation. If your husband cannot afford an attorney, he may want to ask the court for the appointment of a public defender. Please feel free to ask any follow up questions.
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