Is Soliciting a Prostitute Illegal? Florida’s Laws Explained
While there are many countries that have legalized prostitution, most parts of the United States still have strict laws prohibiting solicitation. Rather than primarily targeting sex workers, many states seek to punish “customers” or “Johns” in a bid to stamp out demand for illegal prostitution.
In Florida, you can expect to face strict penalties if you’re caught soliciting the services of a prostitute. Depending on the nature of the offense, you won’t just have to pay sky-high fines and perform community service, but may also have to serve time behind bars.
In this article, we take a closer look at Florida’s solicitation laws, the penalties for soliciting a prostitute, and how an attorney may be able to help you fight the charges:
What Is Solicitation for Prostitution?
In Florida, solicitation is defined as purchasing the services of any individual engaged in prostitution. Keep in mind that this definition isn’t just limited to cash transactions, but can include bribery, enticement, or sex acts in exchange for goods or other services. Additionally, you can still be charged with solicitation even if you didn’t have sex with an escort as long as authorities are able to prove that you intended to exchange money in return for their services.
What Are the Penalties?
Solicitation for prostitution is classed as a second-degree misdemeanor—provided that it is only your first offense. Punishments for this crime can include fines of up to $500, jail time, and a civil penalty totaling $5,000. Repeat offenders can face far harsher punishments including up to a year in jail and thousands of dollars in fines.
Should I Contact an Attorney?
As solicitation is a serious offense, it’s important to fight the charges while you still have a chance. A strong defense could help you reduce the penalties or even have the charges dismissed. When you call an attorney, he or she can jump into action, investigating the arrest and looking for any evidence that officers infringed on your rights, deviated from police protocols, or made any other serious mistakes.
If, for instance, you believe you were the victim of illegal entrapment, your attorney may be able to find evidence that shows a violation of your rights. Alternatively, if there is proof that shows the arresting officers aren’t credible, you may be able to have the case against you dismissed.
Discuss Your Case with a Solicitation for Prostitution Attorney in Port St. Lucie, FL
A solicitation for prostitution conviction can derail your life, leaving you with a permanent blackmark on your criminal record that could limit your education, housing, and work opportunities in the future. Thankfully, you may be able to fight the charges and walk away with a clean slate.
Attorney Todd A. Kawecki understands that the key to attacking these charges is to dismantle the prosecution’s case. He knows how to use weaknesses in a prosecutor’s case to his clients’ advantage— knowledge that could help turn the tides in your favor. Contact us today at 772-485-4500 or head over to our contact form HERE to set up a free case evaluation with a Florida solicitation for prostitution attorney.