Human Trafficking, Prostitution, and Pandering: What is the Difference?

On August 11, 2014, two Long Beach men were found guilty of human tracking, pimping, and pandering, among other felonies. More details about the case can be read here:

Human Trafficking, Pandering, and Pimping are three frequently misunderstood laws. California Human Trafficking laws are spelled out in Penal Code Section 236.1. According to Penal Code Section 236.1 (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…" In the case of the two Long Beach men recently found guilty, the men were not allowing the women to leave and forcing them to prostitute themselves.

A prostitute is a person who takes part in sexual activity in exchange for money. To a pimp, a prostitute is an employee. Under California Penal Code 266h, one is guilty of "pimping" if he or she locates customers for their prostitute then later collects money on behalf of their prostitute. Additionally, if a person takes a portion or all of the prostitute's money that she is paid for her services, despite not finding the customer, you can be found guilty of prostitutions. A person can be found guilty of pimping if he or she advertises a woman's services by means of any form of print, a street corner, the internet, or at a location known for prostitution (known as a brothel).

Pandering, which the two Long Beach men were also convicted of, is often confused with pimping. According to California Penal Code Section 266i, a person is guilty of pandering if he or she aids another person in their prostitution by influencing them to become a prostitute. To be found guilty of pandering, a prosecutor only needs to prove two things: (1) the accused persuaded another to be a prostitute and (2) the accused helped to make the person accessible for prostitution.

Human trafficking, pimping, and pandering are three very serious felonies which require the services of a skilled Criminal Defense Attorney. Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP not only understands the complex laws, but know the best ways to defend these cases. If you or a loved one has been accused of human trafficking, pandering, or pimping, Lessem & Newstat, LLP can help. Call now for a free consultation!