Prostitution Related Offenses in Florida
Most people are aware that is it illegal to prostitute yourself in Florida, but did you know that it is also illegal to compel someone else to become a prostitute? In fact, Florida has a variety of prostitution related offenses codified in chapter 796 of the Florida Statutes. This article provides a general overview of Florida’s main prostitution related offenses, outlines the associated penalties, and a provides a list of commonly argued defenses. However, it should be noted that anyone accused of a prostitution related offense in Florida should discuss their case with a local criminal defense attorney.
Florida’s Prostitution Related Offenses
Section 796.07 of the Florida Statutes notes that in Florida “prostitution” is defined as the giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity for hire (but excludes sexual activity between spouses) and that given this definition it is illegal to engage in any of the following activities:
- To own, establish, maintain, or operate any place for the purpose of prostitution,
- To offer or agree to secure another for the purpose of prostitution,
- To receive a person into any place, or permit a person to remain in a place, for the purpose of prostitution,
- To transport or agree to transport any person with knowledge, or reasonable cause to believe, that the purpose of the transportation is to promote prostitution,
- To commit, or offer to commit, or to engage in prostitution, or
- To solicit, induce, entice, or procure another to commit prostitution.
Those convicted of committing prostitution or a prostitution related offense in Florida face different penalties depending on how many prior convictions are on their record. Section 796.07(4) notes that convicted violators can receive the following sentences in Florida:
- For a First Violation– Second degree misdemeanor punishable by a fine, up to 60 days in jail, and/or probation.
- For a Second Violation– First degree misdemeanor punishable by a fine, up to one year in jail, and/or probation.
- For a Third or Subsequent Violation– Third degree felony punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, up to five years in prison, and/or probation.
However, it is important to note that courts in Florida are able to impose additional penalties beyond those listed above. For example, some repeat offenders are prohibited from entering certain geographic areas while they are on probation and under our state’s “John Statute” a $5,000 mandatory fine is imposed on individuals convicted of soliciting prostitution.
Commonly Argued Defenses
While each prostitution related criminal case is different, these are some frequently argued defenses. Some commonly argued defenses include:
- No exchange of compensation,
- Lack of intent,
- Lack of agreement, or
Contact Us Today for Professional Help
If you are facing a prostitution related charge in Florida you want an experienced lawyer by your side. Here at the Madonna Law Group our experienced criminal defense lawyers are committed to fighting tirelessly for our clients no matter what crime they are charged with. Our firm handles a wide variety of sex crime cases, including solicitation and prostitution, and we would be happy to assist you. Schedule a confidential consultation at our Dade City office by calling (352) 567-0411 today.