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 outside of 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 defending prostitution-related charges. As former prosecutors, our years of experience in sex crime defense and prostitution cases make our lawyers the premier sex crimes attorneys in Hillsborough County.How Does Florida Law Define Prostitution and Solicitation of Prostitution?
Florida Statues § 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 and
- To purchase the services of anyone engaged in prostitution.
Should you 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 Florida Rule of Evidence 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.How Do Florida Police Offices Investigate Prostitution Offenses?
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 on 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 on audio or video of the interaction with the prostitute.What is the Punishment for Prostitution in Florida?
First-time convictions for prostitution and solicitation of prostitution result in second-degree misdemeanor charges. A conviction for a second-degree misdemeanor carried up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. However, if you have prostitution-related convictions, the penalty increases significantly. For example, if you have two prior prostitution convictions, your third offense will be considered a felony of the third degree, carrying a maximum jail term of five years and a fine of up to $5,000.
Convictions for prostitution-related charges can result in jail time, probation, a fine, mandatory AIDS testing, and a judicial order to stay away from the area surrounding where the offense occurred.Are You Facing Prostitution or Solicitation of Prostitution Charges in Hillsborough County?
Though run-of-the-mill prostitution charges do not result in sex offender registration or sexual predator registration, the charge is embarrassing and often, its impact goes further than just the criminal penalties. Police have been known to 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. We offer free consultations to all prospective clients, during which we will answer your questions and explain what we can do to help you beat your case. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, give us a call at 813-444-7435. You can also connect with us through our online contact form.