Grand Junction Pimping and Pandering Defense Attorneys
Sex crime charges, especially ones involving violence, can destroy your relationship with family and friends, and leave your hard-earned reputation in tatters. Even if you have been falsely accused, you may still find yourself behind bars for pimping or pandering. Your number-one priority should be to protect yourself, and the first step to doing so is contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney.
With years of experience working with clients in need, we at Peters & Nolan, LLC, are among the best lawyers in Colorado. We provide our clients with skilled and strong defense, and we can do the same for you. To set up a free consultation with a member of our incredible team, call us at (970) 243-4357 today.
The crimes “pimping” and “pandering” are often referenced together, to the point that many people assume they are the same crime. Many Coloradans get the two mixed up. However, pimping and pandering have very different legal definition, and very different penalties. Understanding the differences is key when building your defense.
Pimping: When a person makes money, or receives some other form of goods and services, off of another person’s prostitution. In order for pimping to be a criminal offense, the alleged pimp must know that the other party is performing sexual acts in order to get the money or goods. The pimp does not need to force the prostitute to perform sexual favors; nor does the pimp need to be directly involved in sex work or prostitution him or herself, in order for it to be considered a crime.
Pandering: On the other hand, pandering, which can be considered a worse crime than pimping, is when one person forces another person, through threat or use of force, to perform sexual favor;, or when a person arranges for another person to be in a situation where he or she may engage in prostitution. Whereas someone who is pimping doesn’t have to be involved in sex work himself, someone who is pandering is directly involved.
The key difference between the crimes is the level of the alleged criminal’s involvement with the prostitute’s actions. Contrary to popular belief, a pimp does not have to be in control of a prostitute in order to commit a pimping crime. All a pimp has to do is collect money that was obtained through sex work. Someone who commits pandering, however, does have to be in control of a prostitute’s actions in order for the charge to stick.
Despite the differences, these two crimes are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, they are often charged together -- if you are facing a pandering charge, chances are high you are also facing a pimping charge. On top of that, both crimes come with heavy penalties that could leave your life in tatters.
Since pimping and pandering are often charged together, if you are convicted, you will have to complete both sentences to finish your time behind bars.
Pimping in Colorado leads to:
- Between four and twelve years in prison
- A fine of up to $750,000
- Sex offender registration if a child was involved
However, pandering is considered a “wobbler” crime, which means it can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. What you are charged with will depend on the circumstances of your crime. If you knowingly arranged for someone to be in a position where he or she could commit prostitution, even if you did benefit from the sex work, then you will probably be charged with a misdemeanor, which carries penalties of:
- Up to six months in jail
- A fine of up to $750
On the other hand, if you forced someone, either through threats, blackmail, or violence, into prostitution, even if you do not directly benefit from it, then you will likely be charged with felony pandering. That means you could be facing:
- Between one and three years in prison
- A fine of up to $100,000
- Sex offender registration if a child was involved
If a minor was involved, even if you did not force him or her into prostitution and instead just provided the opportunity, then you will be charged with felony pandering. It is also important to remember that pimping penalties can and will be added to your pandering penalties, which means a one-year sentence could turn into a fifteen-year one. If you want to make sure your time behind bars is minimal, or even beat your charges completely, then you need a strong defense.
While pimping and pandering are similar crimes, they are distinct enough to have separate defenses. Since a key aspect of pimping is that you knowingly took money that was obtained through prostitution, a key defense is that you were unaware the money or goods you were given were obtained through sex work. Other defenses include:
- You did not receive money or anything of value from the prostitute
- The person you received money from was not a prostitute
- The money you received was not obtained through sex work
Misdemeanor pandering, which is the act of creating a situation in which someone can engage in prostitution, is also a knowledge-based crime. You may argue that you had no idea that you were introducing someone to prostitution, or that you had no idea the person you were working with intended to use the situation to engage in sex work. However, felony pandering involves the use of force, or the threat of force, and so defenses must go beyond proving ignorance, such as:
- You did not threaten, force, or coerce the alleged victim into prostitution.
- You are not the alleged criminal and it is a case of mistaken identity.
- You are being falsely accused.
- The officers who arrested you were practicing misconduct.
Building a proper defense is not something you can do on your own. Every case is different, which means every argument has to be different. While it may help one person to tell the court he was falsely accused, it may not help you. In order to have as concrete a defense as possible, you need to work with an experienced lawyer, who can do an in-depth investigation on your behalf.
Facing serious charges like pimping and pandering is no easy task. We understand that you are probably feeling stressed, frightened, and alone. That is why we at Peters & Nolan, LLC, want to offer our support and help. As tough criminal defense attorneys, we have worked with countless clients to get their charges reduced, or dropped altogether. To speak with a member of our team and get a free consultation, call our firm at (970) 243-4357. We are ready to help.
Peters & Nolan, LLC is your ideal source for high quality legal representation throughout the state of Colorado. Known for being personable and responsive, attorneys Andrew J. Peters and Andrew Nolan are aggressive trial lawyers with an excellent record of trying and settling cases in criminal defense, DUI/DWAI and personal injury.