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Will California Legalize Prostitution?

It’s no secret – prostitution is considered to be the world’s oldest profession. For years, there have been people who have felt that prostitution should be legalized. After all, it involves sexual relations between consenting adults. But still, there are those who believe it should be illegal because it’s not easily taxed, because it spreads sexually transmitted diseases, and because it promotes human trafficking.

According to an October 20, 2017 article published in Fortune, “A Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has ruled that a challenge to the state’s 145-year-old ban on prostitution may proceed, saying a 2003 Supreme Court ruling opened the door for closer scrutiny of the law.” There are definitely going to be California residents who applaud this new development, especially those who feel the existing laws are outdated and need to be eliminated.

The suit was brought by the Erotic Service Providers Legal, Educational and Research Project, by three former sex workers and by a client. Their argument is that the current laws on the books violate people’s rights to engage in consensual sex. They also contend that 14 years ago, the Supreme Court reinforced those laws when it revoked the laws that criminalized homosexual activities.

“Why should it be illegal to sell something that it’s legal to give away? Said Judge Carlos Bea, a conservative.

California’s Overburdened Jails & Prisons

Like Arizona, Texas and Florida and other states, California’s jails and prisons are overburdened, as are the state’s taxpayers. The school of thought is that by legalizing less-serious offenses, such as marijuana possession and prostitution, the state can focus on prosecuting violent criminals as opposed to non-violent offenders. This way, the state can prioritize its resources towards the criminals who pose a threat to society.

If California legalizes prostitution, it will not only help alleviate the burden on the criminal justice system, it will help free up law enforcement resources and it may encourage other states to loosen their prostitution laws as well. This at least, is how supporters of legalizing prostitution see it.

As of this writing, prostitution is a misdemeanor, which is criminalized under Section 647 of the California Penal Code. If you are facing criminal charges for prostitution or soliciting a prostitute in Orange County, contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. today.