Under Florida law, Prostitution is defined under Section 796.07 Florida Statutes.
The Florida Prostitution Statute covers a very broad category of crimes that seek to punish everyone involved. The statute targets the Prostitute (the person offering to perform a sex act for money), the John (Person offering money) and even the “Assigner” otherwise known as a Pimp (Person who sets up the appointment or engagement for sex).
Whatever charges you may be facing, retaining a lawyer to represent you immediately following your arrest could mean the difference between a conviction and an acquittal. There are several defense options exist for those facing prostitution related charges, You want to speak to and hire an attorney with years of courtroom experience dealing with these types of cases to help you build your best defense possible to fight your case Contact our office today to discuss your case.
A person commits the offense of Prostitution if they give or receive the body for sexual activity for hire.
Florida defines sexual activity as oral, anal, or vaginal penetration union with the sexual organ of another anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object handling or fondling of the sexual organ of another for purposes of masturbation, but does not include acts done for a medical purpose.
Florida Law also Prohibits:
- Owning or Operating a Building for the Purpose of Prostitution
- Offering another Person to Engage in Prostitution
- Offering a place for prostitution to occur
- Directing or transporting a person to a place of prostitution
- Offering to engage in prostitution
- Solicitation of another to commit prostitution
- Residing in, entering or remaining in a place for prostitution
- Aiding, abetting or participating in any of these acts
- Purchasing the services of any person engaged in prostitution
Penalties for Prostitution Related Crimes
If you are a First Time offender, it is a Misdemeanor of the Second Degree punishable by up to up to 60 days in county jail, up to 6 months of probation, up to $500.00 in fines.
If you are a Second Time offender, it is a Misdemeanor of the First Degree punishable by up to up to 12 months in county jail, up to 12 months of probation, up to $1,000.00 in fines.
If you are a Third or more time offender, it is a Felony of the Third Degree punishable by up to up to 5 years in Florida State Prison, Up to 5 years of probation and Up to $5,000.00 in fines.
Soliciting Another to Commit Prostitution
The law in Florida has recently changed. It used to be that you were charged the same for soliciting for prostitution as actually being the alleged prostitute. Now, being charged with soliciting another to commit prostitution is a much more serious matter. These cases usually arise in situations where police have set up a sting with an undercover female officer pretending to be a prostitute. If you are charged under this section of Florida Statute, you are liable for a mandatory $5,000.00 fine. This is a terrible injustice in the law and is extremely unfortunate for anyone facing these types of charges.
In addition to jail, probation and/or fines the Court will order that anyone convicted of Prostitution or engaging in any act of prostitution submit to a HIV/STD test. The results of this test are kept confidential to the Defendant.
Defense to Prostitution Crimes
Common defense to the charge of Prostitution is that the sexual activity or offer of sexual activity was consensual and did not involve the exchange of money. These cases are very fact specific and require a detailed examination of your particular charge.
Each Prostitution case needs to be reviewed on a case by case basis to determine whether certain pretrial defenses are applicable to result in a dismissal. However, if this is your first offense, most courts offer programs targeted towards first time offenders which can result in the dismissal of your Prostitution charges. Once the charges are dismissed, your case may be eligible for a record expunge or seal.
Defendants charged with Solicitation to Commit Prostitution is also eligible for diversion. However, some state attorneys offices will still make you pay the $5,000.00 fine as part of the program. Many people are simply not able to afford this cost and miss out on an opportunity to have their charges dismissed.
Contact a Broward County Prostitution Defense Attorney
The above is just some general information about the crime of Prostitution and a few examples of the potential defenses that could potentially be raised in a Prostitution case. The information and defenses can be extremely technical and should never be attempted alone without the assistance of an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney. You should always contact a Criminal Defense Attorney for a consultation immediately after being arrested or charged with any crime.