Prostitution is illegal in Florida, as well as in almost all the states in the U.S. Prostitution is the giving of one’s body for the purposes of sexual activity. This excludes sexual activity between spouses. In order to be charged with prostitution, the minimum that is required is the “solicitation.” That means that the act alone of asking a person if they want to be hired for sexual activity is sufficient for a charge of prostitution. No exchange of money or an actual sexual act has to take place, in order to be charged with the crime of prostitution. This is one reason why so many law enforcement agencies set up “prostitution stings.” In these stings the undercover officers/agents pretend to be looking to hire a person for sexually activity. The moment they find a willing participant and an agreement is made, police storm the scene and make an arrest. If you, or anyone you know have been part of any “prostitution stings” or been charged with prostitution, you should contact an experienced criminal defense trial attorney. Kenneth Padowitz, Esq. provides the aggressive representation that is needed when fighting a criminal charge.
Florida Statute 796.07 Prostitution
(1)(a) “Prostitution” means the giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity for hire but excludes sexual activity between spouses.
(2) It is unlawful:
(a) To own, establish, maintain, or operate any place, structure, building, or conveyance for the purpose of lewdness, assignation, or prostitution.
(b) To offer, or to offer or agree to secure, another for the purpose of prostitution or for any other lewd or indecent act.
(c) To receive, or to offer or agree to receive, any person into any place, structure, building, or conveyance for the purpose of prostitution, lewdness, or assignation, or to permit any person to remain there for such purpose.
(d) To direct, take, or transport, or to offer or agree to direct, take, or transport, any person to any place, structure, or building, or to any other person, with knowledge or reasonable cause to believe that the purpose of such directing, taking, or transporting is prostitution, lewdness, or assignation.
(e) To offer to commit, or to commit, or to engage in, prostitution, lewdness, or assignation.
(f) To solicit, induce, entice, or procure another to commit prostitution, lewdness, or assignation.
(g) To reside in, enter, or remain in, any place, structure, or building, or to enter or remain in any conveyance, for the purpose of prostitution, lewdness, or assignation.
(h) To aid, abet, or participate in any of the acts or things enumerated in this subsection.
(i) To purchase the services of any person engaged in prostitution.
Punishments for a Prostitution Charge
Prior convictions of prostitution can have an effect on the punishment handed down by the Court. A first time offense results in a Second Degree misdemeanor, punishable up to sixty days in county jail. A First Degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail is given for a second time offense and the charges jump to a Third Degree felony and up to five years maximum for a third violation. Sentences range anywhere from probation with community service and mandatory counseling, to fines and jail time.
Defenses to the Charge of Prostitution
There are a number of potential defenses available to a defendant who is charged with prostitution. Some of them are:
- Insufficient evidence
- Legal impossibility
- Lack of reliable evidence
For Instance, a commonly used defense for the charge of Prostitution is Entrapment. Plain-clothes under-cover agents many times, make the arrests in prostitution cases. These officers sometimes project themselves as pimps and trap unwary individuals by arguably luring them to engage in prostitution. Law-abiding citizens can fall victim to such tactics.
Prostitution and Drug Court
The notion is that those involved in prostitution are also involved in drugs. One of the many reasons people participate in offering their body is to enable them to purchase drugs via the money earned. Florida statute 796.07(5) was enacted by the legislature to help with this larger social issue. The statute mandates alternative sentencing for a third time offender. The offender is offered an option of either entering a drug treatment facility or to participate in a pretrial intervention program. If successful, the offender can avoid a lengthy jail sentence. The state may try to get around this procedure; this is one reason why it is essential to have a Criminal Defense Trial Attorney with the strategy and experience to aggressively defend any accusations. Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney Kenneth Padowitz provides just that, a strategic criminal defense.
South Florida Criminal Defense Attorney Kenneth Padowitz, P.A. aggressively defends clients charged with prostitution and other sex crimes.