On July 30, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB233 into law, protecting sex workers from arrest if they either report serious criminal offenses or are caught carrying condoms.
This new legislation will take effect on January 2020.
SB233 protects such workers from getting charged with a misdemeanor-level sex crime if they report being victims or witnesses to a felony sex or violent offense, including as rape or sexual assault. Additionally, law enforcement and prosecutors cannot use condoms as evidence to prosecute someone for conducting sex work.
California is the first state to provide health and safety protections to sex workers. The current law discourages sex workers from reporting crimes or using protection against STDs.
Prostitution and solicitation are considered misdemeanors in California. A conviction for a first offense is punishable by a maximum six-month jail sentence and/or a fine not exceeding $1,000.
Supporters of the new law praise that it will save lives. On the other hand, critics believe it will also protect sex trafficking buyers and workers.
If you have been charged with prostitution or solicitation in Ventura County, contact Wilfert Law P.C. today at (805) 994-0560 and schedule a free case evaluation.