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Penal Code 266i - California Pandering Laws


Los Angeles Criminal Defense LawyerPandering is a criminal offense under California Penal Code 266i PC. It involves the act of attempting to persuade someone to become or stay engaged in prostitution. This offense is considered a felony and can result in a maximum sentence of up to 6 years in jail or prison.

266i: (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), any person who does any of the following is guilty of pandering, a felony, and shall be punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for three, four, or six years:

(1) Procures another person for the purpose of prostitution.

(2) By promises, threats, violence, or by any device or scheme, causes, induces, persuades, or encourages another person to become a prostitute.

(3) Procures for another person a place as an inmate in a house of prostitution or as an inmate of any place in which prostitution is encouraged or allowed within this state.

(4) By promises, threats, violence, or by any device or scheme, causes, induces, persuades, or encourages an inmate of a house of prostitution, or any other place in which prostitution is encouraged or allowed, to remain therein as an inmate.

(5) By fraud or artifice, or by duress of person or goods, or by abuse of any position of confidence or authority, procures another person for the purpose of prostitution, or to enter any place in which prostitution is encouraged or allowed within this state, or to come into this state or leave this state for the purpose of prostitution.

(6) Receives or gives, or agrees to receive or give, any money or thing of value for procuring, or attempting to procure, another person for the purpose of prostitution, or to come into this state or leave this state for the purpose of prostitution.


To secure a conviction for pandering, a prosecutor must establish the following elements:

  • The defendant had the intent to influence someone to become or continue as a prostitute.
  • The defendant engaged in one or more of the following actions:
    • Persuading someone to become a prostitute.
    • Using promises, threats, or violence to encourage someone to become a prostitute.
    • Arranging for someone to be a prostitute in a brothel.
    • Using promises, threats, or violence to persuade someone to remain as a prostitute.
    • Using fraud or deception to persuade someone to become a prostitute, enter a place of prostitution, or travel into or out of California for prostitution purposes.
    • Receiving or providing money in exchange for someone engaging in prostitution.

The defendant does not have to succeed in convincing the person to become a prostitute. Merely encouraging or influencing the individual is sufficient for liability.

Furthermore, pandering is considered a specific intent crime in California. This means that the defendant is only guilty if they act with the purpose of encouraging or persuading someone to become a prostitute.


A violation of Penal Code 266i is considered a felony offense. The potential penalties for this crime include:

  • Up to six years of custody in state prison.
  • A maximum fine of $10,000.

In some cases, a judge may choose to impose felony probation instead of prison time.

If you are convicted of pandering a minor under the age of 18, the penalties are more severe:

  • Up to eight years of custody in state prison.
  • Lifetime registration as a California sex offender.


A conviction under this law can have negative immigration consequences.

Under United States immigration law, certain criminal convictions can result in deportation and being marked as “inadmissible.”

Aggravated felonies” are considered a category of crimes that can lead to deportation or being marked as “inadmissible.”

If it is determined that your pandering offense meets the criteria of an aggravated felony, you may face deportation or be marked as “inadmissible.”


You may be eligible for expungement if you fulfill either of the following conditions:

  • Successfully complete probation
  • Complete a relevant jail term

Even if you violate a probation term, the possibility of having the offense expunged remains at the discretion of the judge.


An expungement under Penal Code 1203.4 can release you from almost all the “penalties and disabilities” that arise from the conviction.


If you are facing a pandering charge, it is possible to challenge it with a legal defense. Here are three common defenses:

  • Entrapment: If an undercover sting operation was involved in your arrest and you can demonstrate that the police lured you into committing the crime through pressure, harassment, fraud, or threats, you may have a valid defense based on entrapment.
  • Falsely accused: If you were in a romantic relationship with a prostitute and can prove that the accusation of pandering is false, such as if the prostitute made the accusation out of revenge, to reduce their own criminal liability, or due to jealousy, this can be a strong defense.
  • No intent to persuade: Pandering is a specific intent crime, meaning you are only considered guilty if you committed an act with the purpose of encouraging someone to engage in prostitution. If you can demonstrate that you did not have this intent, it can be a valid defense.

It is important to consult with a legal professional to determine the best defense strategy based on the specifics of your case.


  • PimpingPenal Code 266h PC
  • Supervising or aiding a prostitute – Penal Code 653.23 PC
  • Contributing to the delinquency of a minor – Penal Code 272 PC


Facing a pandering case is a very serious matter, as convictions under PC 266i are considered felonies and come with harsh consequences such as lengthy prison sentences, a strike on your record, and potentially requiring registration as a sex offender. The impact of such a conviction can extend far beyond immediate custody and have lasting effects on your life.


In these challenging situations, having a skilled attorney is crucial.  Our PC 266i attorney, Cyrus Tabibnia, at Tabibnia Law Firm, has a successful track record of defending individuals against charges under PC 266i. He has a deep understanding of the complexities involved in these cases and is committed to mounting a strong defense on your behalf.

If you or someone you know has been accused of pandering or a related crime, seek expert legal assistance as soon as possible. Cyrus Tabibnia, a Los Angeles sex crime defense attorney, has extensive experience representing clients facing such charges. Cyrus is available 24/7 to ensure that you have the support you require during this critical period. He can provide you with valuable guidance, answer all your questions, and create the most effective defense strategy for your specific case. No matter how serious the charges may be, you don’t have to face them alone. Call the Los Angeles Pimping and Pandering Lawyer at Tabibnia Law Office today to schedule your free consultation at 866-713-2159.

Cyrus Tabibnia

Cyrus Tabibnia

Cyrus Tabibnia, also known as Shahrooz Tabibnia, is a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles, California. With a law degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, he has been practicing law since 2005 and holds license #237348. With over 18 years of experience, Cyrus specializes in various misdemeanor and felony criminal Law including Domestic Violence, Theft Crime, Sex crime, DUI & DWI, Personal Injury, Employment Law, and Cannabis & Marijuana Drugs Law. Being bilingual in English, Persian, and Spanish enables him to effectively communicate with a diverse range of clients. From 2014 to 2018, he served as a board member of the Iranian American Bar Association. An expungement attorney in Los Angeles who can assist you in clearing your criminal record in the state of California.

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