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What is “Pandering” and Why is it a Crime in Georgia?

If you search through the laws set forth by Georgia, you may find certain crimes with names that seem a little confusing. It may be difficult to figure out what these crimes actually are, but it is important to understand them nonetheless. Get past the “legalese” and somewhat misleading wording of Georgia’s laws, and you can gain a firmer grasp on the legal system in the Peach State. 

Pandering is one of the most confusing crimes for a lot of people, and the word itself has a very different meaning outside a legal context. The definition of pandering is to “gratify or indulge,” and usually someone is “pandering” when they are simply saying what they think you want them to say. For example, a politician might pander to a certain subset of the population in order to get more votes from them.

In the context of Georgia’s legislation, pandering has a very different definition. This is a serious sex crime, and you may face serious consequences if you have been charged with pandering. If you find yourself in this situation, it is always a smart move to connect with a qualified attorney who can help you plan out your next steps.

What is Pandering?

Under Georgia’s criminal code, “Pandering by compulsion” is listed as a sexual offense. The exact definition of this crime is “by duress or coercion causing a person to perform an act of prostitution.” In other words, you are guilty of pandering if you encourage someone to engage in acts of prostitution. Usually, there is some kind of implied or real threat involved to the victim. 

Note that there are actually two separate crimes in Georgia — “pandering” and “pandering by compulsion.” In contrast to pandering by compulsion, the definition of “pandering” involves the word “soliciting.” While “pandering by compulsion” involves encouraging someone to engage in prostitution, “pandering” usually involves participation in the act of prostitution – either as a pimp or as the recipient of the performed sexual acts. 

What are Some Examples of Pandering?

Pandering becomes easier to understand when you consider a few examples:

  • Assembling people together in a fixed location to participate in the act of prostitution.
  • Requiring sexual favors as a condition of employment
  • Encouraging your spouse/partner to engage in prostitution in order to pay the bills
  • Threatening someone with violence if they do not engage in prostitution
  • Threatening to reveal certain information about someone if they do not engage in prostitution (blackmail)

What are the Penalties for Pandering?

In the state of Georgia, pandering is a misdemeanor of a high or aggravated nature. Jail times and fines can vary depending on the exact nature of the crime. “Pandering by compulsion” is always a felony, and it involves a prison sentence of between 1 and 10 years. 

“Pandering” may become a felony if anyone involved was less than 18 years of age. If the “accomplices” are less than 16 years of age, the guilty party could spend as many as 30 years behind bars. 

Any type of pandering conviction requires you to register as a sex offender. You will also be required to undergo a test for STDs. 

Getting Legal Help

If you have been accused of pandering or pandering by compulsion, it is important to get legal help as soon as possible. Reach out to Lankford & Moore Law today, and we can help you clear up this issue as soon as possible. 

I realized the true function of a lawyer was to unite parties riven asunder. The lesson was so indelibly burnt into me that a large part of my time during the twenty years of my practice as a lawyer was occupied in bringing about private compromises of hundreds of cases. I lost nothing thereby — not even money, certainly not my soul.

Mahatma Gandhi

Lankford & Moore Law in Downtown Lawrenceville

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