Pimping and Pandering
Pimping victimizes women, girls, and it is legally and morally wrong! Laws that deal with pimping and pandering are made to control the sex industry better by removing intermediaries. The intermediaries are those who:
- Recruit people into the sex industry
- Transport sex workers to their work area
- Solicit money from sex workers
- Advertise sexual services
Pandering and pimping are felonies, even in Nevada where prostitution is legal. Pandering and pimping laws are made to protect sex workers and ensure that the choice to perform sex work is an individual choice and not coerced.
What Is Pimping and Pandering?
Most states deal with pimping and pandering as separate crimes. New Jersey is an exception and pimping and pandering are dealt with under the criminal charge of promoting prostitution.
Here are the definitions of pimping and pandering.
Pandering is procuring people for prostitution such as:
- Threatening or coercing somebody to become a sex worker
- Enticing someone to become a sex worker through gifts or money
- Securing a place at a brothel for someone.
Any attempts at the above behaviors are also covered under pandering laws.
Intent to encourage, facilitate, or promote prostitution is also covered under pandering. Therefore intent is key in pandering charges and if the defendant can prove that they did not know about the prostitution, then they are unlikely to be charged with pandering.
Pimping is different as it is receiving benefits, financial or otherwise from a sex worker’s services. The benefits could be financial as in receiving a cut of the sex worker’s fee or receiving intangible benefits such as business contract.
Intent is also key in pimping charges. For example, a business owner or landlord who is paid for their products or services by money earned through prostitution are not guilty of pimping if they do not know that the money was earned through sex work.
What Are the Penalties For Pimping and Pandering?
Pimping and pandering attract much higher penalties than solicitation or prostitution. Offenders are likely to pay tens of thousands of dollars in financial penalties and more than ten years in jail for pimping or pandering charges. This is because the law seeks to stop sex work becoming large “businesses.” Pimping and pandering are considered felonies and prostitution or solicitation are misdemeanors.
Each state has different penalties for pimping or pandering. California has a state prison sentence of 3-6 years for a single case of pimping or pandering. If the defendant is found guilty of pimping or pandering a minor then they will receive state prison sentences of 3-8 years. Some states have sentences of up to 30 years for pimping or pandering a minor.
What Defenses Are Available to Those Accused of Pimping or Pandering?
The defendant has many legal defenses available to them, including:
- Involuntary intoxication
- Mistake of fact
A defendant should consider the circumstances of their case and state law when discussing defense strategy with their criminal defense lawyer. Contact a criminal defense attorney immediately upon being arrested for pimping or pandering to ensure your case is strong.