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Pandering Crimes
(PC 266i)
Law, Punishment, Defense

Information on the crime of pandering is found at California penal code section 266i(a) (PC266i).


Basically, the crime of pandering means to intentionally cause a person to become a prostitute, or remain a prostitute, by encouragement, persuasion, duress, or threats.

To prove that the defendant is guilty of pandering, the prosecutor must prove:

  • The defendant persuaded, or used threats or duress, to cause a person to become or remain as a prostitute, and

  • The defendant intended to influence the person to be a prostitute.

Duress Defined: Duress means a direct or implied threat of force, violence, danger, or retribution that would cause a reasonable person to do something that he or she would not ordinarily do.

A prostitute is a person who engages in sexual services or sexual lewd acts with another person in exchange for some benefit such as money or services.

The difference between pimping (PC 266h(a)) and pandering (PC 266i(a) is that pimping derives support from a prostitute, a panderer influences or threatens another person to be a prostitute, but the panderer does not necessarily derive support from the prostitute.

Punishment for PC 266i(a)

Prison Sentence: Pandering, or PC 266i(a), is charged as a felony. If found guilty of pandering the defendant may be sentenced up to six (6) years in prison.

Related Pandering Crimes

  • PC 266i(b)(1) pandering of a minor sixteen years or older: Felony crime with a maximum prison sentence up to six (6) years.

  • PC 266i(b)(2) pandering of a minor under sixteen years old: Felony crime with a maximum prison sentence up to eight (8) years.

  • PC 266e hiring a panderer: Felony crime with a maximum prison sentence up to three (3) years.

Probation Sentence: Probation sentences are not allowed in in pandering cases. In addition, any conviction for pandering will require a California state prison sentence (as opposed to a local county jail sentence), and no part of that state prison sentence may be split or suspended.

Sex offender registration: If found guilty of the crime of pandering (PC 266i), the defendant will be ordered to register as a sex offender with local law enforcement. For more information, see Sex Offender Registration Requirements & CA Tier System for Sex Offenders.

Additional Penalties: A conviction of any pandering crime can subject the defendant to other punishments besides a prison sentence, including, harsh probation or parole terms, criminal protective orders (restraining orders), firearm restrictions, court fines and fees, restitution, loss of employment or immigration status, civil lawsuits, and more.


Defense to PC 266i(a)

Common defenses to pandering charges include, insufficient evidence (to prove that the defendant intended another person to engage in prostitution), mistake of fact (as to the prospective prostitutes age), coerced confession, statute of limitations, insufficient evidence (lack of trustworthy evidence or trustworthy witnesses), and more.

If you have been charged with pandering, or any PC 266i crime, contact our sex crimes criminal defense attorneys to learn your rights and options without delay. Our criminal defense attorneys are available seven days a week to answer questions. Call today!


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