Prostitution and Solicitation
In Florida it is illegal to sell any sexual service for money or to solicit any sexual service. It is illegal to engage in the prostitution business, which can include being a sex worker or forcing someone to sell their body for your own personal benefit, such as “pimping.” It also is a crime to run an establishment where prostitution is allowed.
Any prostitution or solicitation charge on your record could have life-altering consequences. Whether it is a charge for selling sex or attempting to buy sexual services from someone, it could affect your future. You need an accomplished sex crime defense attorney on your case.
The penalties for sex crimes vary per offense, but they likely could include jail time, fines or court-ordered classes. Your criminal record also could affect your ability to rent a home, find a job or have successful personal relationships.
West Palm Beach Prostitution and Solicitation Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with buying or selling sexual services in South Florida, contact skilled West Palm Beach prostitution and solicitation defense attorney Andrew D. Stine, P.A.. Stine has more than 10 years of experience fighting for those accused of crimes throughout Palm Beach County. He understands the charges you are facing and will fight to get them dropped or reduced.
Stine, a former public defender, represents clients in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington and surrounding cities. Call 561.880.4300 to schedule a consultation.
Information About Prostitution and Solicitation
- Definitions of Prostitution under Florida Law
- Solicitation Charges in South Florida
- Charges for Sex Workers
- Charges for the Business of Prostitution or “Pimping”
- Punishment for Prostitution and Solicitation in Fort Lauderdale
- Andrew D. Stine | Palm Beach County Sex Crimes Defense Attorney
Florida Statutes Annotated § 796.07 defines prostitution as a person allowing another to hire him or her for sexual activity. According to the law, the definition excludes sexual activity between spouses.
Sexual activity can mean a broad range of things, according to Florida law. It includes vaginal, oral or anal penetration and the fondling of sexual organs for masturbation purposes. The term does not include acts done for medical purposes.
In Florida, it is illegal to solicit or entice someone into prostitution, lewdness or assignation. Florida law says lewdness can include any obscene or indecent act. Assignation, according to the law, means making of any appointment or engagement for prostitution or lewdness.
According to Florida Statutes Annotated § 796.07, if you solicit, induce, entice or procure another to commit prostitution, you could be charged with solicitation. By this law, if a person tries to solicit sex from someone who is not a prostitute, he or she still could be charged.
For example, law enforcement agencies often engage in “stings” where undercover officers pose as prostitutes. If someone agrees to engage in and pay for sex with the officer, even though that person is not a prostitute, the person could be arrested for solicitation.
Soliciting a prostitute is a second-degree misdemeanor for the first offense. However, the charges are increased if the person is a repeat offender. For the second offense it is a first-degree misdemeanor and a third-degree felony for the third or subsequent offense.
If the sex worker is a minor the charges can be more severe. If the sex worker is a minor, the charge will be increased by one degree. For example, if the charge typically would be a second-degree misdemeanor, if a minor was involved it then would be a first-degree misdemeanor.
People who are accused of selling sexual services also could face criminal charges. If you are arrested and charged with prostitution, you could face a second-degree misdemeanor for the first offense. For the second offense, it is a first-degree misdemeanor, and the third offense is a third-degree felony.
Similar to solicitation, it is a crime to offer the services, even if they are not actually provided. Law enforcement agencies also can set up stings to catch prostitutes. Officers pose as “johns” and wait for the alleged prostitutes to offer services. If someone does offer sex in exchange for money, he or she could be arrested.
Being in the business of prostitution also is illegal in Florida, and often times the crime has penalties that can be much worse than those for the sex workers. You can be charged with managing prostitutes, also known as “pimping,” running a brothel or having some other establishment for illegal sexual services.
It is illegal to coerce, compel or force someone into prostitution in Florida, according to Florida Statutes Annotated § 796.04, and the crime is considered a third-degree felony.
Selling minors into prostitution, or purchasing a minor for the purpose of offering him or her for sexual purposes, is a first-degree felony. Procuring a minor to work in prostitution is a felony of the second degree, according to Florida Statutes Annotated § 796.03.
If you receive money from someone and you know the funds were earned through prostitution, you could fare third-degree felony charges, according to Florida Statutes Annotated § 796.05.
Businesses can face scrutiny from law enforcement for potentially using the grounds to provide illegal sexual acts. Officers still set up stings with undercover agents to catch the violations. It is a second-degree misdemeanor for a first offense and a first-degree misdemeanor for a second offense to knowingly rent space that will be used for prostitution, under Florida Statutes Annotated § 796.06.
Charges for prostitution and solicitation vary by the offense. If convicted, you could face:
- First-Degree Felony: Up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- Second-Degree Felony: Up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- Third-Degree Felony: Up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000
- First-Degree Misdemeanor: Up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000
- Second Degree-Misdemeanor: Up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500
If you are facing prostitution charges, whether it is for selling or buying sex, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your case. Andrew D. Stine, P.A. will work to build a strong defense against the charges and will fight to get the best outcome for you. Call 561.880.4300 to schedule a free case evaluation.