Being convicted of prostitution or solicitation can be embarrassing. It can follow a person for life; it can affect your marriage, employment opportunities and sometimes end up in the media.
Prostitution and solicitation are strictly enforced in Florida. If convicted, you could face time in jail and extensive fines. It is imperative that you contact an experienced defense attorney if you are charged with prostitution, solicitation or a related crime.
Defense Attorney for Prostitution/ Solicitation in Treasure Coast, FL
If you have been arrested for prostitution or solicitation on the Treasure Coast, contact a skilled defense attorney at Meltzer & Bell today. Our attorneys are experienced in defending those accused of prostitution or solicitation and will fight to protect your rights.
You will have an experienced attorney representing you, no matter the charge. Call Meltzer & Bell today at (772) 291-2534 or submit your information in the online form to schedule a free consultation. We represent clients in communities throughout Martin and Saint Lucie County.
Overview of Prostitution/ Solicitation in Florida
Prostitution is considered sexual activity in exchange for money. Section 796.07 of the Florida Statutes defines the act as an individual giving or receiving sexual activity for hire, but excludes sexual activity between spouses.
Sexual activity includes a broad range of acts such as oral, anal, vaginal penetration or union with the sexual organ of another. It can also include penetration with an object or the fondling of a sexual organ for the purpose of masturbation.
Solicitation is defined in Florida Statutes as inducing, enticing or procuring another person to commit prostitution, lewdness or assignation.
Lewdness is considered any indecent or obscene act while assignation means the making of an appointment or engagement for prostitution.
The extent of the penalties for prostitution and solicitation depends on whether or not it’s your first offense and a few other factors. When a person is charged with solicitation or prostitution, they could face both criminal and civil penalties. Listed below are the criminal penalties for prostitution:
- First Offense: This is considered a second-degree misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 60 days in jail, up to $500 in fines, or both.
- Second Offense: This is considered a first-degree misdemeanor that can entail up to a year in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, or both.
- Third or Subsequent Offense: This is considered a third-degree felony that can entail up to five years in jail, up to $5,000 in fines and the possibility of a pre-trial admission to a substance abuse treatment or intervention program.
If the offense involved a person who was under 18 years old, the penalties could be increased to a second-degree felony that can result in up to 15 years of imprisonment, fines up to $10,000, or both.
A change to the statute on prostitution and solicitation imposes civil penalties in addition to criminal penalties. For example, anyone who is caught soliciting for prostitution will be subject to a $5,000 fine. Other civil consequences can include:
- Perform 100 hours of community service
- Being ordered to pay for and attend an educational program about the negative effects of prostitution and human trafficking.
Florida law criminalizes the operation of services offering prostitution. This is known as pimping or pandering and can include the following offenses:
- Gaining financially from prostitution
- Recruiting other people to participate in prostitution
- Forcing another person into prostitution
- Providing transportation that participates in prostitution
- Pressuring a person into participating in prostitution
- Owning or operating a business that engages in prostitution
- Soliciting the service of a business that engages in prostitution
Pimping and pandering are charged more severe than prostitution. If convicted, you could be charged with a third-degree felony, up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
Additional Prostitution/Pandering Resources in Treasure Coast, FL
Prostitution and Related Acts | Florida Statue 796.07 – Follow this link to read the full text of the state’s statute over prostitution and related offense. The statue defines prostitution, solicitation pandering and penalties. The law can be read on Online Sunshine, the official site for the Florida Legislature.
Prostitution Sting Arrests in St. Lucie – Police commonly employ sting operations to make prostitution arrests. In a sting operation, an undercover police officer will pose as either a prospective customer looking to solicit a prostitute or pose as a prostitute to arrest unsuspecting offenders. The link here is to a story in the Treasure Coast Palm where undercover detectives pretended to be willing customers and were able to arrest two prostitutes.
Lawyer for Prostitution/ Solicitation in Treasure Coast, FL
If you are being charged with prostitution, solicitation or a related crime, you should contact an experienced defense lawyer at Meltzer & Bell. Our attorneys have a proven defense record and they will strive to achieve the best possible outcome for your situation.
We proudly defend clients of sexual offense in Martin and Saint Lucie County. Call Meltzer & Bell today at (772) 291-2534 or submit your information in the contact form to set up a free consultation.