Prostitution is often referred to as “the world’s oldest profession.” In fact, there are references to prostitution in the Bible and in documents from ancient Rome.
Despite its legacy, this crime is still illegal in almost all American states — except for Nevada. It is certainly very illegal in Florida, where law enforcement fights to dismantle sex trafficking rings.
To find out what happens after someone is arrested for prostitution in the state of Florida, read the information below.
What Is Prostitution?
The Florida Statutes describe illegal prostitution and related acts that can lead to a criminal charge as:
- Offering prostitution services
- Giving or receiving a person for prostitution
- To own, establish, or maintain a place for prostitution
- To direct, take, or transport a person for prostitution
- Purchasing prostitution services
People in Florida can also be charged with a crime should they financially profit from prostitution or aid and abet this crime in any way.
There are only a few successful defenses to these criminal charges. One is entrapment, or law enforcement tricked a civilian into engaging in this crime. Another is that there, despite the sexual activity, there was no money exchanged.
The Different Charges
Almost all of these different charges are second-degree misdemeanors. The only exception is that renting a place for prostitution is a first-degree misdemeanor. However, coercing someone to become a prostitute is a third-degree felony and financially benefitting from prostitution is a second-degree felony.
Second-degree misdemeanors carry a maximum sentence of 60 days and a maximum fine of $500. A first-degree felony carries a maximum sentence of one year and a maximum fine of $1,000.
Felonies are more serious violations of the law. A third-degree felony has a maximum sentence of 5 years and a maximum fine of $5,000. A second-degree felony has a maximum sentence of 15 years and a maximum fine of $15,000.
Arrested for Prostitution Solicitation
If someone is arrested for prostitution solicitation in Florida, they have one of three options. They can post bail and get out of jail until their court hearing, or they can seek bail bonds services for financial assistance.
The first offense is a first-degree misdemeanor; however, a repeat violation bumps it up to a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony carries a maximum sentence of 5 years and a maximum fine of $5,000. Should someone commit this offense a third time, the penalty becomes a second-degree felony.
In addition to serving jail time or paying a fine, there may be other types of punishment. These include community service, vehicle impoundment, registering on a criminal database, or attending an educational program.
Hiring a Defense Attorney
First-time offenders arrested for prostitution may have the opportunity to avoid jail time by paying a fine and completing a program instead. For repeat offenders, the punishment becomes more severe with each violation. To dodge jail time, make sure to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney.
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