Prostitution and Solicitation of Prostitution
Typically when someone thinks of prostitution or solicitation of prostitution they envision the scene where the street walking prostitute is on a street corner and is approached by an interested “john” or individual interested in purchasing sexual services. Though this scenario occurs hundreds of times a day in every major city in Florida, Prostitution charges encompass an incredible amount of conduct over and above what we typically envision. Whether you are accused of prostitution or solicitation of prostitution, there are serious direct and collateral penalties in addition to the embarrassment accompanying the charge. Every criminal defense attorney at The Mayberry Law Firm is experienced in both prosecuting prostitution related charges and defending those on the unfortunate end of an allegation. Our years of experience with sex crime defense and prostitution cases make our firm the premier sex crimes attorneys to defend you against your prostitution related charge.
Amongst the scenario mentioned above, Florida Statue 796.07 makes the following conduct illegal under the Prostitution statute:
- Own or maintain a place for the purpose of prostitution and its activities to take place
- To agree to secure another for prostitution
- To receive another into a place for the purpose of prostitution
- To take or give directions to a person seeking to prostitute or solicit prostitution
- To offer to commit prostitution
- To solicit prostitution
- To enter, reside, or remain in a place for the purpose of prostitution
- To aid or abet any of the aforementioned bullet points
- To purchase the services of anyone engaged in prostitution
Should an individual be accused of any of the conduct mentioned above and ultimately elect to go to trial, evidence of the nature and reputation of the neighborhood and surroundings where the prostitution or solicitation of prostitution allegedly occurred is specifically admissible into evidence under 796.07(3)(a). This is hugely significant as this type of evidence with respect to other crimes is generally not admissible due to it being speculative and ultimately too prejudicial under Florida Rule of Evidence 403.
The typical scenario leading to an arrest for this type of offense is a concentrated sting by a local police agency. Due to the increasing prevalence of these offenses, law enforcement is singling out these types of crimes and making arrests based off of audio and video surveillance. Generally an undercover officer poses as a prostitute and records the interaction between themselves and an interested john. Conversely, police will act as the john and make arrests based off audio or video of the interaction with the prostitute.
First time convictions for these offenses result in second degree misdemeanor charges. The more times one is arrested for prostitution related charges, the more the penalty increases. Convictions for prostitution related charges can result in jail time, probation, a fine, AIDS testing, and a judicial order to stay away from a mapped out area encompassing the area where the allegation took place.
Though for run of the mill prostitution charges there is no requirement of sex offender or sexual predator registration, the charge is embarrassing and often its impact goes further than just the criminal penalties. Police have been known overstep with respect to prostitution charges by making arrests for conduct that doesn’t satisfy the Prostitution statute. If you’ve been arrested or charged with a Prostitution related offense, contact the Tampa criminal lawyers at The Mayberry Law Firm as soon as possible.