We remain open and steadfast in our commitment to helping our clients during these difficult days.

Proven Approach With Results Forged Through Experience

Image of attorney Mark L. Deniz

What to do when you have been arrested for a San Diego solicitation PC 647(b) charge. San Diego Lawyer Attorney Mark Deniz explains. Prostitution and diversion programs

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2018 | Firm News |

As a former prosecutor who has dealt with hundreds of solicitation cases in San Diego, there is no doubt that there has been a shift in how to handle a San Diego Solicitation case.

Why? In our profession, we must adapt our strategies to the changing of the laws, and the negotiation stances of the prosecution. In this case, the leadership in San Diego has taken a zero-tolerance stance on solicitation. I added an article below that helps illustrate their stance.

Previously, there you angled a client to either get the case dismissed or have them be eligible for a diversion program. A diversion program is usually when you plea to the charge but it does not become official until a later date. A person then completes some tasks in the interim. If the person has stayed out of trouble and completed the tasks (such as Aids education, solicitation education, etc) then the case would be reduced (usually to a disturbing the peace).

If you speak to an attorney who talks about this right off the bat, be careful, because the prosecution has changed their policies. Contact the Law Offices of Mark Deniz to get started at 858-751-4384.

Fire with fire

The prosecution has a zero-tolerance policy with no more diversion offers. Therefore, when

taking on a case there has to be a strategy formed when the other side is going to not want to negotiate. So, what does someone do? Do you go in a plead? That answer is no. You want to come in and challenge the charge and put the prosecution to the task of proving a case.

Sometimes, the prosecution’s case has issues and yet they believe that due to the stigma and sensitivity of the charge that someone would not fight it. BS. You are your own first line of defense. Stand up for yourself and your rights and make the prosecution prove their case. The next step is an attorney who knows how to fight this kind of cases. As a former prosecutor of almost ten years, I have handled this kind of cases. My firm knows how to examine these charges and find arguments. Contact the Law Offices of Mark Deniz to get started at 858-751-4384.

A little about Prostitution & Solicitation here in San Diego County

Prostitution is alive and well here in San Diego. The people who used to head to Tijuana for this kind of service do not go there as much. This resulted in a demand here on the US side for folks to provide. This is a military town, a tourist town, and there is a demand. On the provider side, there can be money made. San Diego Police do enforce the laws and providers and customers can be seen having to go to court. They face a variety of charges. The charges can be serious but with some maneuvering they can be handled. As a former Deputy City Attorney & Deputy District Attorney, our firm can navigate you through the process. Call (858) 7512-4384 for a free consultation.

San Diego has one of the largest concentrations of escort providers in the United States. It is a service that has high demand when considering the population of the city, tourism, military presence, and the overall demand for such services.

San Diego also has a large number of massage & wellness parlors that are intended to help supply the demand.

The various law enforcement agencies of San Diego, usually through their “vice” divisions, carry out various stings.

In this modern world, the term “escort” and “services” can mean a number of things. It can range from a private dancer
to simple companionship. Massage & wellness has evolved over the years to include a variety of practices.

Law enforcement takes all these types of services and lumps them into one: Prostitution

We defend San Diego prostitution cases. We are especially skilled and experienced in defending Backpage, Craigslist, Eros, and MyRedBook cases. We know how to defend against massage parlor sting operations. You may be eligible for a diversion program that can prevent a conviction of prostitution charges. Mark Deniz has seen the other side as a prosecutor and can navigate someone through the process.

I take pride in knowing the majority of clients who get caught up in trial obtain a favorable resolution of their issue. You have done the internet search and see there are not many private attorneys who are well versed on the issue. Our firm is different.

The first step is to ensure the police can prove their case. When dealing with prostitution there is a fine line of what is and what is not legal. Can the prosecution prove BEYOND a reasonable doubt the elements of the crime. I was a prosecutor for almost 10 years and handled prostitution cases and jury trials.

If this sounds like what you need it is best to get started as soon as possible. Contact our firm now at 858-751-4384 for a free case evaluation.

The Most Common Prostitution Related Offenses Charged In San Diego

Agreeing to Engage in an Act of Prostitution

Penal Code section 647(b)Agreeing to a sexual act in exchange for money or something of value. The prosecution must prove that there was an agreement to a sexual act, that the defendant agreed to engage in that act, and that the defendant “did something to further the act of prostitution.” This means that an agreement to exchange sex for money is not enough to prove the charge, the prosecutor must prove that there was an additional act beyond the agreement that was in furtherance of committing an act of prostitution.

Escorting Without A Permit

If the police try to set you up for a prostitution charge but can’t do it, they may charge you with “escorting without a permit” which is a violation of a San Diego Municipal Code. They may also charge this along with a prostitution charge. Escorting without a permit is a misdemeanor that can carry up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.


The SDPD Vice unit’s latest tactic is to troll internet classifieds looking for escorts, and yes, law enforcement have figured out to look in the “therapeutic Services” section of Craigslist now that the “Adult Services” section is gone. Often these escorts, massage therapists, or dancers are from out of town and advertise that they are in town for the weekend. The police will lure an escort, massage therapist or dancer to a hotel, and then – no matter what happens, even if no illegal activity occurs – the person is arreste
d and soon finds herself in a room with dozens of others who fell into the same trap. If this or something similar happened to you, call us right away to obtain a San Diego attorney who knows how to defend these cases. As a former prosecutor I have handled hundreds of these cases. I have seen the cases that have issues. Even if you think you may have violated the law, we can help you fight this charge. We have experience successfully fighting these cases.

Call the Law Offices of Mark Deniz for a free case evaluation at 858-751-4384.

You need to examine the case to see if the government can prove their case. At the same time we are working on obtaining a resolution for you to reduce your charges.

Call now.

See the full article here.

The 55-year-old bicyclist was dressed for a long-distance ride, from his paper-thin windbreaker to his tights to his shoes that clip into his expensive 10-speed road bike.

But police say he had a detour in mind.

ADVERTISING Mid-ride, the man got on Backpage.com, answered an ad for a prostitute and showed up at a Mission Valley location to meet her, police said. He had negotiated a menu of sexual services and had brought with him a variety of kinky toys.

He was met by law enforcement instead.

The man was one of 29 who was sent to jail on misdemeanor charges of solicitation of a prostitute last week during a countywide multi-day sting operation by the Human Trafficking Task Force.

The task force includes 11 full-time officers from local, state and federal agencies, as well as 13 part-time members and other agencies and nonprofits that provide wrap-around services to victims.

Called Operation Reclaim and Rebuild, a collaboration of state, federal, local, and prosecutorial, law enforcement agencies arrested men attempting to hire prostitutes in a sting operation in San Diego on Wednesday, January 24, 2018. The operation is an effort to combat human trafficking

A similar task force in Los Angeles also participated in the operation, dubbed Operation Reclaim and Rebuild.

The john sting was part of an effort to reduce demand for paid sex, with hopes that a night in jail and a criminal charge will deter the men from future transactions. The operation also sought to appeal to their humanity, with law enforcement officers educating the arrestees about the truths behind prostitution.

In a questionnaire, the johns are asked about their own buying habits and if they were aware that many prostitutes are human trafficking victims forced into the lifestyle. That many are underage. And that pimps often take all the earnings.

The answers help the task force to better understand the problem – what causes men to buy sex and what might change their habits.

“Many times people say prostitution is a victimless crime,” said Sara Campbell, special agent-in-charge of the state Department of Justice Bureau of Investigation in San Diego and manager of the task force. “That’s not necessarily the case.”

“Many people buying sex do not realize that many people are doing this against their will.”

The sting kicked off Wednesday night in Mission Valley, an area with a large concentration of hotels and motels that is often used for prostitution. Law enforcement posted fake ads online and surprised would-be buyers who arrived for dates in various locations.

The arrestees were then brought to the parking lot of San Diego police’s Western Division in Morena for processing. The Union-Tribune was granted access to the command post operations.

After being interviewed by officers, the arrestees were booked into jail. They would have to put down 10 percent cash on $2,000 bail if they wanted out before their arraignment date.

Those arrested on misdemeanor offenses such as solicitation aren’t usually jailed, but exceptions are made for these kinds of operations.

The arrestees who passed through the command post-Wednesday night spanned all ages and walks of life.

“It’s eye-opening that a large slice of humanity is involved in this,” said sheriff’s Sgt. Matt Blumenthal, one of the task force’s supervisors.

The first was a man in his early 20s with a prior sex-related crime on his record. Later, a 35-year-old traveling nurse and sex abuse counselor at a local hospital, dressed in scrubs, negotiated for two women for $200, authorities said. He also brought a baggie of ecstasy pills.

A 30-year-old former Marine tried to run when the officers attempted to arrest him. He apologized to them later, saying he didn’t realize they were law enforcement.

“I thought I was going to get beat up,” he said, a little blood still on his face from the scuffle. “I didn’t realize until I was on the ground I was getting arrested.”

He denied his reason for being at the hotel. “I don’t buy sex.” Instead, he expected “some cuddling and some talking.”

Before he was transported to jail, he had to slide off his wedding ring.

Another man, 36, told officers he was single and answered the online ad because he was “lonely.” He had bought the services of prostitutes before, he admitted.

Officers emptied his pockets: a wad of cash, two condoms, a baggie of marijuana and a glass pipe.

When asked if he was aware that many prostitutes were victims of sex trafficking, he responded: “I am.”

A 45-year-old retired Navy man appeared dressed for work in slacks and a blue button-down shirt when he was arrested. He also had a wedding band on. He said he was drawn by “curiosity” and that it was his first arrest. Unlike some of the other suspects, he grew uncomfortable with the questionnaire and declined to continue without a lawyer present.

If convicted, these men will likely end up with solicitation charges on their records. In the past, offenders would often be able to plead guilty and get the crime reduced to disturbing the peace – which can be anything from having music too loud to screaming drunk in the street. It is less embarrassing and can be explained away easier in job interviews or when employers ask.

But not anymore.

“We are taking a hard stance against it,” Blumenthal said.

A recent university study found that San Diego’s underground sex industry nets $810 million a year and victimizes an average of 5,000 women, girls and boys.

“Buyers convince themselves they are involved in a hobby where there are no victims,” District Attorney Summer Stephan said in a statement Tuesday announcing the sting results. “The anonymity of the Internet emboldens Johns to ask for and expect the most extreme acts. They are often more violent than the pimps and traffickers themselves. Johns treat sex trafficking victims as less than human and they believe that there will be no one to hold them accountable for their actions.”

FindLaw Network