Florida has been cracking down on the entire prostitution industry. The Florida Prostitution Statute can implicate those possibly participating in prostitution, soliciting a prostitute, or even gaining some sort of financial support from the business of prostitution. A charge of prostitution, if it turns into a conviction, can mean a jail time sentence and large fines. Additionally, it has continual consequences for your future as you will have a permanent criminal record you may be required to disclose on future job or housing applications. This is a setback that can do irreparable damage to any chance at a fresh start. At Herman Law, P.A., we know what our clients are up against and we take our job of defending them serious. Contact dedicated criminal defense attorney Ron Herman today and start the fight for your future and your freedom.
What are the Potential Penalties for Prostitution?
Under Florida law, prostitution is considered to be the giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity in exchange for money or something of value. This is different from solicitation as solicitation refers to a person who is asking for sexual activity in exchange for money or something of value. An actual exchange of money is not required to substantiate a prostitution or solicitation charge. Both prostitution and solicitation can be established without any physical evidence. Statements alone can be enough to result in a charge and even a conviction of prostitution or solicitation.
Most commonly, undercover law enforcement agents posing as customers will result in prostitution charges. On the other side of things, law enforcement has been known to engage in reverse sting operations in which an officer will go undercover posing as a prostitute in order to root out those who may be seeking to solicit. With increasing use of technology, law enforcement agencies are turning to websites like Craigslist to uncover possible involvement in prostitution.
The penalties for a prostitution conviction will vary depending on your previous criminal history. A sentence for a first offense means up to 60 days in jail and fines up to $500. A second offense can include up to one year in jail and fines up to $1,000. A third offense can include up to 5 years in prison and fines up to $5,000. First and second prostitution offense are usually considered misdemeanors. Third and subsequent offenses are considered felonies.
Facing a prostitution charge is not the end. There are ways to successfully defend against this kind of criminal charge. Common defenses include:
- No agreement to exchange money for the sexual activity
- Investigation mistakes by law enforcement officers
- Failure to be informed of your Miranda Rights
It is also important to remember that a minor cannot be arrested for prostitution. This is pursuant to recent changes in human trafficking laws. Any minor engaging in prostitution is considered to be a victim of human trafficking and, therefore, cannot be criminally charged.
Aggressively Defending You Against All Criminal Charges.
A prostitution charge or a solicitation charge can be a particular source of stress and anxiety. Yes, there are the penalties like prison and fines to consider, but there is also the public outcry and judgment that can inevitably follow those accused of these kinds of crimes. Some charged may face the incident being publicized. You may be faced with intense scrutiny from friends, families, and strangers. At Herman Law, P.A., our job is to stand up for you at a time when you need a zealous advocate by your side. We are here to help you fight any criminal charge you come up against. Contact us today.