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Penal Code 267 PC – Abducting a Minor for Prostitution

California Penal Code 267 PC makes it a felony crime to abduct minors under 18 for the purpose of prostitution. A conviction carries up to three years in state prison, a fine of up to $2,000, and lifetime registration as a tier-three sex offender.

PC 267 says, “Every person who takes away any other person under the age of 18 years from the father, mother, guardian, or other person having the legal charge of the other person, without their consent, for the purpose of prostitution, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, and a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000).

California Penal Code 267 PC – Abducting a Minor for Prostitution
Penal Code 267 PC makes it a felony to abduct minors for prostitution and carries severe penalties.

Simply put, this sex crime law makes it a serious crime to abduct a minor under 18 from their parent or anyone who is legally in charge of the minor, without the guardian's consent, to prostitute the minor.

This is a form of sex trafficking and or the purpose of prostitution, and taking or kidnapping them by force is not necessary. Instead, it's sufficient for a conviction if the taking is done or accomplished by improper solicitations or inducements.

Since a minor under 18 cannot legally consent to sex, their implicit agreement to go and engage in the acts of prostitution is sufficient to be charged and convicted.

Simply put, anyone who takes away a minor under 18 from their parents or legal guardian, father, mother, or guardian, without their consent, for the purpose of prostitution is guilty of abduction of a minor for prostitution.

Prostitution is the engagement, agreement, or solicitation of sexual services for money or other consideration. California Penal Code 647(b) makes solicitation of prostitution a crime.

What Are Related Crimes?

Several California laws are related to Penal Code 267 PC abducting a minor for prostitution and can be filed along with the underlying crime, as discussed below. 

California Penal Code 209(b) kidnapping for rape or other sex offenses

California Penal Code 209(b) kidnapping for rape or other sex offenses, which says, “A person who kidnaps or carries away an individual to commit robbery, rape, oral copulation, sodomy, or any violation of Section 264.1, 288, 289, or former Section 262, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life with the possibility of parole.”

Aggravated kidnapping is the more serious form of Penal Code 207 kidnapping. It often involves forcibly moving someone against their will with the intent to commit further illegal sexual conduct such as rape or lewd acts with a minor.

California Penal Code 236.1(c) causing a minor to engage in a commercial sex act says, “A person who causes, induces, or persuades, or attempts to cause, induce, or persuade, a person who is a minor at the time of the commission of the offense to engage in a commercial sex act, with the intent to effect or maintain a violation of Section 266, 266h, 266i, 266j, 267, 311.1, 311.2, 311.3, 311.4, 311.5, 311.6, or 518 is guilty of human trafficking.”

A conviction under this law carries imprisonment in the state prison  as follows:

  • Five, eight, or 12 years and
  • A fine of up to $500,000.
  • Fifteen years to life in prison when the offense involves force, fear, fraud, deceit, coercion, violence, duress, menace, or threat of unlawful injury to the victim or to another person.

A commercial sex act is sexual conduct that takes place in exchange for anything of value. The minor's consent or being mistaken about their age is not a defense to this crime. CALCRIM 3184, sex offenses sentencing factors cover using force or fear to cause minors to engage in commercial sex acts (Penal Code 236.1(c)(2)).

Other possible related sexual-related offenses in California include the following:

What are the PC 267 Penalties? 

A felony conviction for violating Penal Code 267 PC abducting a minor for prostitution carries the following penalties:

  • 16 months, two or three years in state prison rather than county jail; no part of the sentence can be served out of custody on work release or house arrest, and no part of the sentence can be “suspended.”
  • A fine of up to $2,000.
  • Penal Code 290 PC sex offender registration, regardless of whether you were granted a probation sentence. California has a three-tier sex registration system.
  • Possible separate civil lawsuit by the victim for damages.

PC 267 is not considered a serious or violent offense as defined under California Penal Code 1192.7(c) PC and PC 667.5(c) PC, meaning it would not count as a “strike” under the three-strikes law. However, if you have two prior “strike” convictions before a PC 267 conviction, it could count as a third strike, resulting in a 25-life prison sentence.

Other possible punishments include negative immigration consequences for non-citizens, loss of professional licensing, and loss of firearm rights.

Whether you receive a 16-month (low-term) prison sentence, a two-year (mid-term) prison sentence, or a three-year (high-term) prison sentence will depend on the following:

  • Your criminal history,
  • The facts of the case,
  • The level of sophistication of the criminal conduct.

You may be able to have your sentence reduced if you serve your incarceration with good behavior.

Is It Possible to Get a Probation Sentence? 

In PC 267 cases, the judge can impose a probation sentence, which means out-of-custody supervision rather than prison. Whether you receive probation will depend on your criminal record and any negotiated plea bargain terms between the district attorney. 

If you are granted a probation sentence (formal felony probation) after a PC 267 conviction, you will be supervised by a probation officer instead of the court's supervision. Formal probation will carry mandatory terms and conditions, such as the following:

  • Ordered to serve a jail sentence as a condition of probation, meaning a shorter county jail sentence rather than state prison.
  • Registration as a sex offender (Penal Code 290 PC).
  • Pay court fees and fines. 
  • Criminal protective orders to prohibit contact with the minor.
  • Commit no new crime and stay out of legal trouble. 

Suppose you fail to follow the terms and conditions set by the court. In that case, it could result in a probation violation, leading to the termination of probation and the sentence of prison or other punishments. If granted probation, you might be able to serve work release as part of the probation sentence.

What are the PC 267 Defenses?

If you were accused of abducting a minor under the age of 18 for prostitution, the defense strategy by a California sex crime defense lawyer will vary case-by-case. Some common defenses include the following:

  • Insufficient evidence to obtain a conviction.
  • No transportation or false imprisonment of the minor.
  • Mistake of fact as to the age of the minor.
  • Coerced confession by police.
  • Illegal search and seizure.
  • Miranda rights violations.
  • Statute of limitations

Perhaps we can negotiate with the district attorney for reduced charges, case dismissal, or persuade them not to file formal criminal charges (DA reject). Contact us for more information. The Hedding Law Firm has offices in Los Angeles, CA.

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