Prostitution may be the world's oldest profession, but it is punished harshly in Florida. You can be charged simply for profiting from prostitution even if you are neither a prostitute nor a client. When minors are involved in prostitution, the federal government may get involved, or the prosecution may be particularly aggressive. If you are being investigated or you have been arrested for this offense, Bradenton prostitution defense lawyer Will Hanlon can assist you. Hanlon Law fights for the rights of the accused.Fighting Prostitution Charges in Florida
Florida Statutes Section 796.07 defines prostitution as the giving or receiving of a body for sexual activity for hire, excluding sexual activity between spouses. Prostitution is an offense that encompasses acts performed on the street as well as high-end escort services. It is illegal under this code section to be involved in sexual acts for money or anything of value. The sex need not include penetration; it can also include fondling of sex organs for masturbation purposes. Acts done for bona fide medical purposes are not included.
Prostitution is also penalized when anyone age 18 or older perpetrates or offers to perpetrate prostitution, assignation, or lewdness. It is similarly penalized when anyone solicits, entices, induces, or procures another person to perpetrate prostitution, lewdness, or assignation.
It is illegal for a person to offer another person for the purposes of prostitution, or to own or operate a building, structure, or conveyance for the purposes of prostitution, assignation, or lewdness. It is also illegal to receive someone into those places for the purposes of prostitution, assignation, or lewdness, or to direct any person to those places while knowing or with reasonable cause to believe that the purpose of this is prostitution, lewdness, or assignation. Residing in or staying in any of these places for the purposes of prostitution, lewdness, or assignation is also illegal. Similarly, aiding, abetting, or participating in any of these activities, as well as buying the services of a prostitute, is criminalized under the code section.
When someone is on trial for a prostitution charge, testimony about the reputation of the place or the people operating the place allegedly used for prostitution is admissible. Testimony about the defendant’s reputation is also admissible to support the charge. However, a prostitution defense attorney can help Bradenton residents attack its credibility.
Prostitution that is charged as a first offense is a second-degree misdemeanor. This means that you will potentially face up to 60 days in jail and up to $500 in fines. A second violation is a first-degree misdemeanor. This means that you will potentially face up to 1 year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. A third or subsequent violation is a third-degree felony. This means that you will potentially face up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. In addition to fines and jail time that may be imposed upon a conviction, the court is supposed to order you to perform 100 hours of community service and pay for and go to an educational program about the negative effects of prostitution and human trafficking. The court is also supposed to sentence someone who is convicted of a second or subsequent incident of solicitation or inducement of another person to perpetrate assignation, lewdness, or prostitution to a mandatory minimum period of incarceration of 10 days.
In some cases, a Bradenton prostitution defense attorney may be able to mount a defense when police officers did not realize that a prostitute was a minor. Just as they cannot consent to sex acts, minors cannot be punished for participating in prostitution. They are considered victims of human trafficking, and they can claim their age as their defense. Someone who is involved in soliciting or procuring minors for sex acts can be charged with lewd or lascivious crimes. When these acts are filmed and distributed, there may be child pornography charges brought against the adult. Many sex crimes in which minors are victims will require defendants who are convicted to register as sex offenders.Discuss Your Situation with a Criminal Lawyer in Bradenton
Prostitution offenses are aggressively prosecuted in Florida. Whether you are being investigated for or charged with prostitution, you should consult a skillful trial attorney as soon as possible. Will Hanlon has provided strong legal representation to people accused of sex crimes since 1994. Call Hanlon Law at (941) 462-1789 or complete our online form for an appointment with a prostitution defense lawyer in Bradenton.