Soliciting for Prostitution
Florida law makes it a crime to offer to commit or solicit any act of prostitution. Pimping and pandering also are against the law. The most common charges include soliciting for prostitution, soliciting another to commit a lewd act, deriving support or proceeds from prostitution, aiding or abetting prostitution, maintaining a house of prostitution and transporting another for prostitution.
Tallahassee Prostitution Defense Attorney
In many of these cases, law enforcement officers will stage elaborate sting operations. Important defenses exist in these cases including the entrapment defense. If you have been charged with soliciting for prostitution or a related offense, contact a Tallahassee prostitution defense lawyer at Pumphrey Law.
Our attorneys represent sex workers and those accused of soliciting their services throughout Tallahassee, Leon County and the surrounding areas in Florida. The team at Pumphrey Law is understanding about your situation and wants to help you understand the charges you face. Call (850) 681-7777 to schedule a free consultation about your case.
Information About Soliciting a Prostitute Charges
In Florida, a person can be charged with a crime if he or she is caught soliciting for prostitution. Solicitation is the encouraging, bribing, requesting or commanding a person to commit a crime. In the case of solicitation for prostitution, solicitation is literally asking a person to commit prostitution. Under Florida Statute § 796.07, solicitation is a misdemeanor for the first offense.
Florida law considers prostitution to be the giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity for hire. In these cases, sexual activity can mean several different things, such as the penetration of a sexual organ by another or any object. The term also could include handling or fondling of a sexual organ for the purpose of masturbation.
A person also could be charged with solicitation if he or she attempts to get someone to perform a “lewd act," which is considered anything indecent or an obscene act.
One of the interesting aspects of the sex crime is that money does not have to be exchanged to be considered solicitation. Only the offer of money needs to be made. In addition, a sexual act does not have to be committed for it to be considered soliciting.
For example, law enforcement officers often set up sting operations to catch people soliciting prostitutes. In these cases sexual acts are not performed, but the people who are charged with soliciting, often called Johns, still can face criminal penalties.
Certain enhanced penalties can apply if a minor was engaged in the prostitution, lewdness, assignation, sexual conduct or other prohibited conduct. For instance, if a person attempts to solicit a minor for prostitution, he or she could face a harsher punishment.
A conviction for prostitution or solicitation can result in large fines, probation or jail time and mandatory counseling programs. The conviction also could have repercussions on your social and professional lives. The penalties increase dramatically for repeat offenses.
A first offense for solicitation is a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. However, the penalties increase for a second offense which could be considered a first-degree misdemeanor. This would be punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
A third conviction would be a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Allegations of forcing or coercing another person into prostitution, such as pimping, also can be charged as a third-degree felony.
If the allegations involve a person under the age of 18, the offense automatically is a second-degree felony no matter if it is the first offense. A second-degree felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Finding a Prostitution Defense Attorney in Tallahassee
If you are charged with soliciting another to commit an act of prostitution, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Tallahassee. Pumphrey Law has years of experience representing clients throughout Leon County and the surrounding areas. Call us at (850) 681-7777 today to discuss your case.
Article last updated August 5, 2016.