The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Pimpin' Ain't Easy: Pandering, Pimp Laws and Punishments

Rap artists have long bemoaned the troubles involved in pimping. As Big Daddy Kane once said, “Pimpin’ ain’t easy,” and the lifestyle is not as glamorous as the media makes it seem. In fact, it’s downright illegal in California, and the punishments under pandering and pimp laws can be severe.

Prostitution laws in California typically make it a misdemeanor crime for both men and women to offer, agree to, or engage in a sexual act for compensation. However, pimping and pandering are both considered separate felonies punishable by imprisonment in state prison for up to six years and a maximum $10,000 fine. Further, if the person you are pimping or pandering is a minor, you must register as a sex offender and, if the minor is under 16, face a maximum eight-year prison sentence.

Pimp laws apply to people who knowingly live off the earnings of a prostitute's activities, whether they find clients for the prostitute or not. Pandering, on the other hand, is the act of encouraging or persuading someone else to engage in prostitution and making that person available for the sexual act, such as through transporting the person to the site. It does not matter whether or not you collect money for your services.

The most famous panderer of all is probably Los Angeles' own Heidi Fleiss, who was once called the "Madam to the Stars." She was convicted of attempted pandering, money laundering and tax evasion for running a high-priced Hollywood call girl ring and served three years in prison.

It may be hard out there for a pimp, but considering California's pandering and pimp laws, it's even harder when you're in prison.

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