In a first offense prostitution case, the prostitution diversion program or “PDP” often sounds like a great option. For many people it is a great option. Take an educational class, submit to an HIV test, wait a year and get the case dismissed. Sounds pretty good right? Yes, but not to everyone. I’ve been practicing law in California for over 2 decades. During that time I have handled so many prostitution cases, I have lost count. The case run from soliciting acts of prostitution, to full blown human trafficking and everything in between. The thing that I cannot lose sight of is the fact that every client is truly different. And when it comes to prostitution clients, this is very true.
Many of my prostitution cases stem from massage parlor situations where masseuse is enticed by the prospect of a large tip, to perform a sex act for money. Many of my prostitution clients have been non-citizens. For a non-citizen, the prostitution diversion program can be devastating. Pleading guilty to a misdemeanor such as prostitution can cause serious immigration consequences, even if the case is ultimately dismissed. A much better result would involve finding an alternative charge or informalization of the case. Since the statute lapsed in California allowing judicial diversion in many misdemeanors, informalization has been much harder to achieve, but not impossible. Getting charges changed is a more realistic outcome and very much achievable here in Los Angeles County.
How do we go about getting the charges changed to lesser charges?
Simply put, we ask. Many prosecutors are actually sympathetic to immigration-based requests to reduce criminal charges. First, I find out as much about my client as possible: Family make-up, criminal history, work history, education, charitable work, religious affiliations. I do my best to put together an effective mitigation package to give to the prosecution. Then I go to work. I’ve been very effective in getting charges reduced in prostitution cases, so that my clients don’t suffer convictions for moral turpitude crimes and can still benefit from a dismissal after successfully completing the same or a similar program as PDP.
Courts and prosecutors have been pressuring defendants and defense lawyers to resolve their cases at the earlier stages of the prosecution. There is intense pressure in Los Angeles County to resolve misdemeanors within 90 days of the arraignment. As a defense lawyer, I don’t care about an arbitrary 90 day rule. I care about justice for my clients. I care about getting the right result for my clients. I care about making my clients happy, and if that takes an extra court appearance or a meeting with a head deputy or fighting with a judge about a case being “too old”, then this just what I have to do.
The PDP program can be a great outcome for some clients, but it can be a disaster for others. Please, talk to a lawyer who knows the difference between a great outcome and potential deportation.
If you or someone close to you has been arrested or charged with a crime, call a veteran criminal defense lawyer, call me:
Attorney Jeffrey Vallens (818) 783-5700 or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to helping you.
Please visit my sites for more information:
www.4criminaldefense.com or www.westlakecriminaldefense.com