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Offering to Commit Prostitution

Offer to Commit Prostitution

In Florida, offering to commit or engage in prostitution is a criminal offense that involves making an offer, agreement, or engagement to engage in sexual activity for the exchange of money or other compensation. Even if the sexual act did not take place, a person can still face criminal charges for offering the sexual act.

If you have been charged with offering to commit prostitution in Florida, it is essential to understand the severity of the situation and the legal implications of this type of sex crime. Sex work-related offenses carry significant penalties such as paying fines, imprisonment, and carrying a criminal history that can follow you for the rest of your life.

It is crucial to seek the guidance and representation of a criminal defense attorney. A skilled lawyer can assist in navigating the legal landscape, gathering evidence to build a strong defense, and working to mitigate the potential penalties from the charge.

Many prostitution prosecutions involve elaborate sting operations by police officers, where they pose undercover as someone seeking sex work to lure those that commit prosecution. Currently, law enforcement officers target those engaged in prostitution by advertising as escorts in online websites and publications. Your attorney should be experienced with sting operations and how to fight charges when entrapment or other means of execution violates the defendant’s rights.

With the right defense strategy, it may be possible to get the sex crime charges against you reduced or even dismissed. The key is to act quickly and seek legal assistance from a sex crime lawyer in and around Tallahassee and Leon County, FL.

Attorneys for “Offering to Commit Prostitution” in Tallahassee

The attorneys at Pumphrey Law recognize that those who offer to commit prostitution may themselves be victims of the sex trade industry. Human trafficking is a serious issue in Florida and the rest of the U.S. This makes finding legal representation even more important for the outcome of your case. You need a voice that will advocate for you and fight for your future.

If you or a loved one were charged with offering to commit prostitution in Florida, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Tallahassee, FL. The attorneys at Pumphrey Law Firm vow to stand by your side and fight for you throughout the entire process. Call for a free consultation with an attorney to discuss the criminal charge pending against you and the most effective ways to fight for an outright dismissal.

Call (850) 681-7777 today or leave us an online message on our website.

What is Prostitution?

Prostitution is the act of engaging in sexual activities with another person in exchange for money or other forms of compensation. Prostitution is also referred to as sex work or commercial sex. The practice is often associated with a range of both social and legal issues including exploitation, human trafficking, violence, and health risks such as sexually transmitted diseases.

Although legal in certain parts of the world, prostitution is illegal in the state of Florida and most of the United States. A person who offers to commit prostitution, or a person who solicits to pay for prostitution can both face criminal charges. In Florida, these charges carry extensive penalties.


Florida’s Prostitution Statute

Florida Statute Section 796.07 defines “prostitution” as the giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity for hire, excluding activities between spouses. Sexual activity is considered the oral, anal, or female genital penetration by, or in union with, the sexual organ of another, the anal or female genital penetration by another object, or the handling or fondling of the sexual organ of another for the purpose of masturbation. Any of the above acts done for a bona fide medical reason are excluded from this terminology.

Under Florida law, it is illegal for any person 18 years or older to offer to commit, or to commit, or engage in prostitution, lewdness, or assignation. “Assignation” means the making of any appointment or engagement for prostitution or lewdness.

Penalties for Offering to Commit Prostitution

Under Florida Statute Section 796.07, the criminal offense of offering to commit prosecution can be classified as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the defendant’s criminal history. The penalties for each offering to commit prostitution are as follows:

  • First Offense – A defendant charged with a first-time offering to commit prostitution, lewdness, or assignation can be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. The penalties for a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida include up to a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail.
  • Second Offense – A defendant charged with a second offense of offering to commit prostitution, lewdness, or assignation can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. The penalties for a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida include up to a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail.
  • Third or Subsequent Offense – A defendant charged with a third or subsequent offense of offering to commit prostitution, lewdness, or assignation can be charged with a third-degree felony. The penalties for a third-degree felony in Florida include up to a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison.

In 2016, Florida Legislature passed HB 545 titled “Human Trafficking.” Under the bill, minors can no longer be charged for specified prostitution offenses. This bill amended Section 796.07 and made it so that any person under the age of 18 cannot be prosecuted for prostitution, as the State recognizes that minors are unable to consent to prostitution and should therefore be viewed as victims of human trafficking.

Defenses Against Prostitution Charges

Even if you have already been charged with a prostitution offense, it does not mean you are automatically guilty. By working with a defense attorney, you can explore the options of possible defenses to your case which include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Mistaken Identity
  • Lack of Intent
  • Lack of Evidence
  • Procedural Mistakes by Law Enforcement
  • Entrapment

In order to determine which possible defenses are applicable to your case, we recommend reaching out to one of the defense attorneys at Pumphrey Law Firm.


Human Trafficking in Florida is a Serious Problem

Human trafficking is a serious and widespread problem in Florida. Human trafficking is considered a form of modern-day slavery. The state of Florida has consistently ranked among the top in the nation for reported cases of human trafficking. There are many dangers to human trafficking, and such offenses have devastating consequences for victims, their families, and all of society. The dangers of human trafficking in Florida include:

  • Sexual exploitation of the victims who are forced into prostitution or other forms of exploitation. Victims of human trafficking often suffer physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, along with the possibility of suffering from sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies, or other health problems;
  • Forced labor of victims who may be forced to work in a variety of industries such as agriculture, construction, domestic services, or sex work. Victims of human trafficking are often paid little to nothing, work in unsafe conditions, or fail to have access to basic necessities such as food, water, shelter, or medical care;
  • Physical and emotional abuse from the traffickers, including getting beaten, tortured, or psychologically manipulated;
  • Psychological trauma such as suffering from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or other mental health issues;
  • Drug addiction in instances where human trafficking victims are given controlled substances, or become addicted due to using substances to cope with their situation;
  • Criminal activity including other forms of trafficking such as drug trafficking, money laundering, or identity theft;
  • Family separation if the victims of human trafficking were kidnapped or forced to leave their families behind; and
  • Stigma and shame by the rest of society, which is isolating and can make it difficult to seek help or reintegrate into society even after escaping human trafficking.

The victims of human trafficking are often subjected to force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor. Victims include the most vulnerable children, teenagers, men, and women who are forced into commercial sexual servitude.

Commercial sexual exploitation of children is often controlled by a third party through an escort service, massage services, private dancing, drinking and photographic clubs, major sporting and recreational events, major cultural events, conventions, and tourist destinations.

The following is a list of data on human trafficking based on the 2017 “Human Trafficking by Numbers” report published by Rotary global service organization:

  • An estimated 4.5 million victims have been trafficked in the United States;
  • There are an estimated 300,000 new sex victims trafficked in the U.S. each year;
  • Of those, 80% of trafficking victims are female, with nearly half as children;
  • An estimated 18,000-20,000 victims are brought into the U.S. from another country;
  • 75% of victims were trafficked online;
  • New York, Texas, and Florida have the highest incidence of sex trafficking; and
  • More than 80% of all human trafficking is comprised of sex trafficking.

When a criminal defense attorney represents a person working as a prostitute, understanding these rules is extremely important. This is partially because we believe those offering to commit prostitution should be treated less seriously than those who are accused of soliciting for prostitution. Considering the real concern for human trafficking in Florida and the rest of the nation, the penalties for offering to commit prostitution should focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment.

Any person accused of a prostitution crime needs an aggressive defense attorney who can present all available defenses to fight for an outright dismissal of the charges.

Finding a Prostitution Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

If you or a loved one have been accused of offering to commit prostitution or any other sex crime offense, you should prioritize reaching out to a defense attorney near you. In Florida, sex offenses can carry extremely heavy baggage, even after the conviction. Certain sex crimes require a lifetime registration with Florida’s Sex Offender Registry. A person convicted of a prostitution offense may also be required to pay expensive fines, face imprisonment, be sentenced to probation, or all of the above.

The best way to protect yourself and your future is by working with an experienced defense attorney. Don Pumphrey and his team have years of experience representing clients across the state. Our attorneys will strive to get the charges against you lessened or dismissed completely. To receive a free consultation today, call Pumphrey Law Firm at (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message on our website.


This article was last updated on April 28, 2023.

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