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Solicitation of a Crime

PC 653 & 653f(a) Law & Defense

To solicit a crime means to ask, encourage, request, entice, implore, try, plead, or invite another person to commit a crime. For example, if a wife asks her husband to help her hide property after telling her husband that she stole the property, then the wife has solicited her husband to commit the crime of being an accessory to the crime of receiving stolen property.

Note: A defendant can communicate his or her solicitation to commit a crime by just about any means of communication, including non-verbal communication.

 

The law on solicitation to commit a crime is found at penal code section 653f. Section 653f has several subsections that cover specific acts of solicitation. For example, PC 653f(a) Solicitation to commit a felony; PC 653f(b), Solicitation to commit murder; PC 653f(c), Solicitation to commit a sex crime; PC 653f(d) Solicitation to commit a drug offense, etc.

The most common criminal charge of soliciting a crime is found at penal code 653f(a) Solicitation to commit a felony not including murder. To be found guilty of PC 653f(a), the prosecuting attorney will need to show evidence that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did all of the following:

  • Encourage, entice, or otherwise request that another person commit a felony (such as a felony kidnapping, robbery, burglary, arson, felony vehicle theft, etc.),

  • Intended that the other person actually commit the crime solicited (as opposed to requesting in jest, joking, or without any reasonable belief that the other person would commit a crime), and

  • The other person received the communication of solicitation of a felony 

The crime of soliciting another to commit a crime is complete so long as the three elements above are proved. This is true even if the person solicited does not actually carry out the solicited crime.

The crime of solicitation must usually be proved by at least two witnesses to the solicitation. One witness may be used to prove solicitation where there is corroborating evidence so long as the corroboration is independent of the witness who testifies about the communicated solicitation. Without this minimum of at least two witness testimony requirement, or one witness with separate corroborating evidence requirement, the crime of solicitation would be too easy to accuse innocent people of committing.

Sentence

Jail: Solicitation to commit a crime charged under PC 653f(a) is classified as a misdemeanor or as a felony. If found guilty of PC 653f(a), the defendant may face up to three years in jail (felony) or one year in jail (misdemeanor).

Other soliciting crimes and relevant maximum incarceration include:

  • PC 653f(b) Solicitation to Commit Murder. Felony charge with a punishment up to 9 years in prison

  • PC 653f(c) Solicitation to Commit Sex Crime. Felony charge with a punishment up to 4 years in prison

  • PC 653f(a) Soliciting a Minor to Commit Crime. Felony charge with a punishment up to 7 years in prison

  • PC 653f(d) Solicit to Commit Drug Offense. Misdemeanor charge with a punishment up to one year in jail

Probation: A probation sentence is a period of supervision instead of an actual jail or prison sentence. Probation is allowed in most PC 653f c, including solicitation to commit a felony not including murder (PC 653f(a). Probation sentences usually include a sentence for work release or house arrest, which is intended to serve as an alternatively to jail or prison. Probation sentence are not guaranteed, but rather, they are allowed in some cases depending on the circumstances of the case, the defendant's criminal history, and the terms of a plea bargain, (if any).

PC 1170(h): If convicted of PC 653f(a) and not granted probation , the defendant may serve his or her incarceration in a local county jail, as opposed to a state prison. Also, any incarceration related to PC 653f(a) may be split (served partially out of custody on work release), or suspended.

CIMT: PC 653f crimes are crimes involving moral turpitude, which means that soliciting a crime is considered a morally wrong act. Crimes involving moral turpitude carry collateral punishments for non US citizens and licensed professional.

Three Strikes Law: Soliciting a crime not including murder (PC 653f(a)) is not a crime listed as a strike under California's Three Strikes Law; however, other PC PC 653f crimes could be considered a strike crime.

In addition to any possible prison or jail sentence, if found guilty of the crime of solicitation, the defendant could face stiff probation or parole terms, face civil lawsuits, be ordered to pay massive court fines and penalties, lose his or her immigration rights, face enhanced future penalties for subsequent criminal convictions, lose rights to own firearms, and more.

Defenses

Defenses to the criminal charge of solicitation to commit a felony include, but are not limited to the following: statute of limitations (three year statute of limitations for PC 653f(a), six year statute of limitations for PC 653f(b) and PC 653f(c)), insufficient evidence to prove the solicitation, insanity, intoxication, entrapment, double jeopardy, coerced confessions, suppression of evidence, and more.

If you or a loved one is charged with solicitation to commit a felony pursuant to PC 653f(a), or any other solicitation crime, contact our successful and experienced criminal defense attorneys today. Our consultations are provided at no cost to the accused. All consultations are private and our criminal attorneys are available everyday to assist you. Call today!

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