Solicitation of Prostitution Laws in Florida
Solicitation of prostitution is a crime in the state of Florida, and it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. If convicted, individuals face fines up to several thousand dollars, jail time, community service, and/or probation.
In some cases, suspects may also have to register as sex offenders. Enhancements can occur when other offenses such as solicitation of minors, public display of lewdness, or pandering prostitution take place.
In this article, we take a closer look at this crime and its penalties.
Defining Solicitation of Prostitution
Solicitation of prostitution is an illegal offense in which an individual pays or agrees to pay for a sexual act.
It is considered a crime because the law believes it encourages the objectification of a person. More recently, law enforcement has also used solicitation charges to claim they are helping stop human trafficking.
Possible Penalties for Solicitation of Prostitution in Florida
In Florida, solicitation of prostitution is classified as a misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to one year in jail and fines up to $1,000.
A second offense could result in a third-degree felony. Conviction can lead to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
If the court is merciful, it could sentence an offender to attend an intervention program in lieu of other penalties. This will likely come as part of a probation agreement. Offenders are also subject to fees for any costs associated with the conviction, including these court-ordered programs.
There may be additional charges if the prostitute was a minor or if drugs were involved.
Defenses Against Solicitation of Prostitution Charges
When someone is accused of solicitation of prostitution, there are numerous available defenses you can explore.
Common effective defenses include:
- Mistaken identity
- Entrapment (especially if the suspect was pressured into the transaction)
- Asking a prostitute to do something other than engage in a lewd, sexual act
A solid defense strategy can make a world of difference when facing any charges related to prostitution. Make sure to seek solid legal counsel whenever you are accused of a crime. If you are in Florida, The Law Offices of Phillip T. Ridolfo, Jr. is ready to help protect your rights and preserve your freedom.
Other Offenses Related to Solicitation of Prostitution
Aside from solicitation, involvement in pimping, pandering, or any other selling and buying of sex can also be heavily punished by law enforcement.
Pimping and pandering involve the management of prostitutes and their activities. This includes recruiting clients and maintaining the proceeds generated from their work. Simply living off of an individual's prostitution earnings is recognized as a criminal offense. This is true even if the two people live in an otherwise healthy relationship, and one of them happens to make their living through sex work.
Sometimes a drug crime can get tied into a prostitution accusation. The police may believe that someone plans to use drugs as payment for sex. Such assumptions make an already heavy offense even worse.
Other Impacts of a Solicitation Offense
An arrest or conviction for soliciting, patronizing, or promoting a prostitute can adversely affect an individual's immigration status. They can be disqualified from renewing their immigration or even get deported.
Depending on an individual’s job, a solicitation allegation could also affect their professional license. Teachers and law enforcement officials, for instance, could be blocked from continuing to work.
Our firm is here to help defend you against any sex work accusations, whether you are accused of being a seller, buyer, or trafficker. For a free consultation, reach out to our office online or call us now at (561) 475-2752.