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California Pimping And Pandering Law | Penal Code 266h, 266i


In California, pimping and pandering are criminal offenses related to prostitution. To fully grasp these offenses, it’s important to first understand what constitutes prostitution under state law.


According to California Penal Code 647(b), a person is considered a prostitute if they engage in sexual intercourse or any form of sexual contact involving the genitals, buttocks, or female breast in exchange for money or other forms of compensation. This means that any lewd act carried out in exchange for payment is considered prostitution.

Understanding the legal definition of prostitution is crucial when it comes to cases involving pimping and pandering. These offenses involve facilitating or promoting prostitution in some way, and can result in serious legal consequences.

In California, when someone commits a crime, the prosecutor needs to prove certain things in order to secure a conviction. These things are called “elements” of the crime. To be found guilty of either pimping or pandering, specific elements must be proven to be present in a case.


In California, it is a crime to profit from another person’s prostitution. This is known as pimping, and it constitutes a felony offense. If you are convicted of pimping, you could face up to six years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

To convict someone of pimping in California, the prosecutor needs to prove two things:

  • Firstly, that the defendant was aware that someone else was working as a prostitute.
  • Secondly, it must be shown that the defendant benefited financially in one of three ways:
    • either by receiving a portion of the money earned by the prostitute,
    • by receiving money from the prostitute in exchange for finding customers,
    • or by receiving financial assistance from the brothel owner through money that was lent to the prostitute.


Pandering is a felony offense in California that is closely related to pimping. Pandering is defined as the act of persuading or influencing another person to become or remain a prostitute. This can be done through threats of violence, trickery, bribery, or other methods. Pandering is a serious crime that can result in imprisonment in California state prison.

To convict someone of pandering in California, the prosecutor needs to prove two things:

  • Firstly, that the defendant had a specific intention to persuade another person to become or continue working as a prostitute.
  • Secondly, it must be demonstrated that the defendant acted on that intent in one of several ways. This may include:
    • Persuading someone to work as a prostitute
    • using threats, promises or violence,
    • or using deceit or fraud to convince someone to become a prostitute.

Here are some examples of pandering:

  • Threatening to harm someone if they do not become a prostitute.
  • Lying to someone about the nature of prostitution in order to get them to become a prostitute.
  • Paying someone to become a prostitute.
  • Forcing someone to become a prostitute.


In California, pimping and pandering are both serious crimes that can result in felony charges. Each offense carries its own set of penalties, but there are also some similarities in the legal repercussions.

Pimping is a violation of Penal Code 266h(a) pc, and is punishable by:

  • up to 6 years in state prison,
  • or the option of felony probation.
  • If convicted of pimping a person under 18 years of age, the penalty increases to up to 8 years in state prison, and mandatory registration as a California sex offender.

Pandering is a violation of Penal Code 266i pc, and is punishable by:

  • up to 6 years in state prison
  • or the possibility of felony probation.
  • In addition, pandering may result in a fine of up to $10,000.
  • If convicted of pandering a person under 18 years of age, the penalty increases to up to 8 years in state prison, and mandatory registration as a California sex offender.


If you’re facing charges of pimping or pandering, there are several legal strategies your lawyer might use to defend you. Here are some of the most common defenses:

  • False accusation: It’s common for someone in a romantic relationship with a prostitute to be falsely accused of pimping or pandering, often out of jealousy or revenge.
  • Entrapment: Law enforcement officers sometimes use undercover sting operations to catch those involved in pimping or pandering. However, if an officer used illegal tactics to get you to commit the crime, such as threats, harassment, or fraud, this could be considered entrapment and may be a valid defense.
  • No knowledge: To be convicted of pimping, the prosecution must prove that you knew the person you received money from was a prostitute. If you can demonstrate that you did not have this knowledge, you cannot be convicted of violating Penal Code 266h(a) pc.
  • No specific intent: For pandering, the prosecutor must show that you intended to encourage someone to become or remain a prostitute. If you can prove that this wasn’t your intent, even if someone did become a prostitute because of your actions or words, you may not be found guilty of pandering.


Being convicted under pimping and pandering laws in California can have serious consequences for non-citizens, particularly in regards to their immigration status.

Under US immigration law, certain types of criminal convictions, including “aggravated felonies,” can lead to a non-citizen being deported or marked as “inadmissible.”

Therefore, if the facts of your case show that your pandering offense was an aggravated felony, you could face deportation or be barred from re-entering the country. It’s important for non-citizens to understand the potential immigration consequences of a criminal conviction and seek legal advice from an experienced immigration attorney.


If you are convicted of pimping or pandering, there is a possibility of getting sex crime charges expunged. To qualify for an expungement, you must successfully complete probation or finish serving your jail term, whichever is applicable. Even if you violate a term of probation, you might still have a chance to get the offense expunged, but this will be up to the judge’s discretion.

An expungement, according to Penal Code 1203.4, frees you from almost all the penalties and limitations resulting from the conviction. For more details you can get in touch with Los Angeles expungement lawyer


If you are convicted of pandering, it will negatively affect your right to possess or acquire a gun in California. This is because California law prohibits convicted felons from possessing or acquiring a firearm, and pandering is considered a felony offense.


There are a few other criminal offenses related to pimping and pandering in California that have some similarities to Penal Code 266h(a) pc and Penal Code 266i pc. Depending on the circumstances of the case, a person may be charged with one of the following instead:

  • Supervising or aiding a prostitute – Penal Code 653.23: This offense is similar to pimping in that it involves helping a prostitute, but the key difference is that the person charged did not financially benefit from the proceeds of the prostitution. Instead, they may have supervised or assisted the prostitute in some other way.
  • Human trafficking – Penal Code 236.1: Human trafficking is a much more serious crime than pimping and carries much harsher penalties. It involves forcing or persuading someone to engage in labor or commercial sexual activity against their will, or trafficking a minor for the same purposes.
  • Contributing to the delinquency of a minor – Penal Code 272: While pandering involves trying to persuade someone to engage in prostitution, Penal Code 272 is an offense in which a minor’s delinquency is a direct result of the defendant’s actions or inactions. For example, if a minor becomes a habitual truant or a juvenile delinquent because of something the defendant did or failed to do, they could be charged with violating Penal Code 272.


If you or someone you know has been accused of pimping, 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. 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

Tabibnia Law Firm retains years of experience successfully representing individuals charged with misdemeanor and felony crimes,Theft Crimes, Crime Against Children, Driving Crimes, Rape Crimes, driving under the influence (DUIs), domestic violence cases, drug possession cases, state and federal crimes, white color crimes, driving on a suspended license offenses, violent crimes, sex crimes, Forgery and all other criminal defense cases throughout Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Orange County, San Fernando Valley, Ventura County, Riverside County, San Bernardino, Van Nuys, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills. An expungement attorney in Los Angeles who can assist you in clearing your criminal record in the state of California. Call for a consultation today: 866-713-2159

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