Pimping and pandering laws are meant to undercut the sex industry by targeting the intermediaries - those who solicit money from sex workers, transport them to and from hotspots, recruit them into the sex industry, and advertise sex services. Even in Nevada, the only state in the U.S. in which prostitution is legal, pandering is a felony. All states, therefore, punish individuals seeking to encourage work in the sex industry. The choice to enter into and remain in the sex industry must be made entirely by the sex worker.
The Elements of Pimping and Pandering
Some states incorporate both pimping and pandering into one cause of action. In New Jersey, for example, the crime of promoting prostitution is a broad substitute for pimping and pandering, and specifically targets non-sex-worker individuals who benefit, promote, or earn money from prostitution. In most states, however, these crimes are related, but addressed separately.
Pandering generally requires the following elements:
Pimping, on the other hand, generally requires the following:
Penalties for Pimping and Pandering
The penalties for violating pimping and pandering laws are much more severe than those for prostitution or solicitation. Unlike prostitution and solicitation, which are classified as misdemeanors in most states, pimping and pandering are typically classified as felonies. Committing these crimes may subject the violator to over a decade of jail time and tens of thousands of dollars in monetary punishment, depending on applicable state law and whether the sex worker involved was a minor.
In California, for example, a violator faces three, four, or six years in state prison (and a $10,000 fine) for one count of either pimping or pandering. The penalties rise to three, six, or eight years in prison if the violator is accused of pimping or pandering a minor. In other states, the penalties can be as harsh as up to thirty years in prison for procurement of a minor into the sex industry.
Defenses to Pimping and Pandering
As with all criminal charges, a defendant may assert various affirmative defenses to avoid conviction. These include, but are not limited to, coercion/duress, insanity, entrapment, mistake of fact, and involuntary intoxication. It's important to keep in mind that the availability of a particular defense will vary significantly depending on the specific circumstances of your situation and state case law. For this reason, it's best to work with a local attorney to determine the best defense strategy for each case.
Get Professional Help with Your Sex Crime Charges
Defending against pimping and pandering charges is no easy task and requires a solid understanding of the law and your rights. The assistance of a competent attorney can help develop a defense plan tailored to your case. Get started today by meeting with an experienced sex crimes attorney near you.