According to Florida Statutes Chapter 796, prostitution or the solicitation of prostitution can result in either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on your circumstances.
However, there are ways to either beat the charges, get them reduced, or defend yourself if you were falsely arrested. To do this, you will need to hire a sex crimes lawyer to defend you.
Defining Solicitation of Prostitution in Florida
Statutes Section 796.07 defines prostitution as “the giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity for hire but excluding sexual activity between spouses.” Money is accepted for sexual favors from someone other than a partner.
On the other hand, solicitation of prostitution is when someone “encourages, bribes, requests or commands a person to engage in sexual acts.” Here, money is offered for sexual favors to someone other than a partner.
Related Acts and Offenses
Not all sexual acts that seem like prostitution fall under the same umbrella.
Escorting involves paying for someone’s time to accompany you as a companion or date. Hiring escorts is not illegal unless you have sex with them during your reserved time. No crime has been committed if you have sex during your personal time.
This is when two consenting adults meet at a specific location, sometimes for sexual activities. This is not illegal, even if it is done at a hotel and one person pays for the room.
Acts that are obscene, vulgar, or promiscuous to the point that they are visible or done to affect someone directly are considered lewd. This can include public nudity or sexual activity. While lewdness is illegal, it does not count as prostitution/solicitation.
Conveyance involves transporting people or supplies to specific locations so that people may engage in prostitution/solicitation. It is illegal but does not carry the same penalties as other sexual offenses.
Penalties for Solicitation of Prostitution
The consequences for solicitation of prostitution vary depending on the factors of your case. Generally, the state will order a fine ranging from $500 to $10,000 and jail time of up to one year. Fines and terms of incarceration are based on how many times the charges have been levied against you.
Repeat offenders get harsher sentences. However, if the crime involves minors or someone was hurt or killed during the act, you can face significant jail time, even if it was your first arrest.
How to Beat a Solicitation of Prostitution Charge in Florida
There are ways to either beat or reduce the charges.
John Awareness Diversion Education (JADE)
You can reduce your charges through the John Awareness Diversion Education (JADE) program. The program is a six-week educational course about prostitution and human trafficking.
The goal is to teach you about how your actions affect everyone involved. You can volunteer to take the program and will need the approval of the assistant state attorney prosecuting your case.
Possible Defenses Against Solicitation of Prostitution Charges
An excellent way to fight charges is the entrapment defense. This is when law enforcement convinces you to commit a crime like solicitation when you would not have otherwise done something illegal.
Statute of Limitations for Prostitution Crimes in Florida
Florida Statute Section 796.07(4)(a)1 says that someone or the state has one year to bring charges against you. After that, the statute of limitations is up, and you cannot be charged with a crime.
Contact a Florida Solicitation Lawyer for Help
Fighting prostitution or solicitation charges in Florida can be challenging. So, you will need to hire a lawyer to represent you aggressively in court.
Attorney Metcalf Falls, Criminal Defense Attorneys, P.A., has defended many people against sex crime allegations for years. Contact him at 813-258-4800 or use the online form to schedule a free consultation.