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Prostitution Charges in Florida: Laws, Penalties and Fighting the Allegations

March 21, 2024 Uncategorized


Prostitution Charges in Florida: Laws, Penalties and Fighting the Allegations

Getting busted for prostitution or solicitation can be scary. But with the right legal help, you may be able to get charges reduced or even dismissed. In this article, we’ll break down Florida’s prostitution and solicitation laws. We’ll also look at common defenses that lawyers use to fight these allegations.

Prostitution Laws in Florida

Florida law defines “prostitution” as giving or receiving the body for sexual activity for money or other value[1]. Both the prostitute and the customer can face charges. Here are some of the specific laws around prostitution[1]:

  • It’s illegal to own, operate, or work in a brothel, massage parlor, strip club, or other place used for prostitution.
  • It’s illegal to transport someone to a location for prostitution.
  • It’s illegal to receive money or anything of value from prostitution.
  • It’s illegal to offer to commit prostitution or accept an offer.

As you can see, the law prohibits a wide range of activities related to the sex trade. Cops often go undercover to try and bust johns and prostitutes. But even this tricky police work doesn’t always hold up in court.

Penalties for Prostitution in Florida

A first offense for prostitution in Florida is a 2nd degree misdemeanor[2]. This can lead to:

  • Up to 60 days in jail
  • Up to $500 fine
  • 100 hours community service

But penalties get harsher for repeat offenders[2]:

  • 2nd offense – 1st degree misdemeanor, 1 year jail
  • 3rd offense – 3rd degree felony, 5 years prison

As you can see, multiple prostitution busts can lead to years behind bars. That’s why it’s so important to fight the charges up front.

Solicitation of Prostitution Laws

“Solicitation” means asking someone to commit a crime, in this case prostitution. Under Florida law, it’s illegal to[3]:

  • Solicit someone for prostitution in person
  • Solicit someone for prostitution online/phone
  • Hire someone you know is a prostitute
  • Agree to pay money in exchange for sex

The person doing the soliciting is often called a “john.” But cops posing as prostitutes can also charge johns with solicitation.

Penalties for Soliciting Prostitution

Like prostitution, solicitation penalties get harsher for repeat offenders[4]:

  • 1st offense – 1st degree misdemeanor, 1 year jail
  • 2nd offense – 3rd degree felony, 5 years prison
  • 3rd offense – 2nd degree felony, 15 years prison

Other penalties for solicitation may include[4]:

  • Up to $5,000 fine
  • 100 hours community service
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Mandatory STD testing

With so much at stake, putting up a strong defense is critical.

Defending Against Prostitution and Solicitation Charges

When facing prostitution or solicitation allegations, here are some legal defenses to consider:

  • Entrapment – If police used coercive tactics to push you into committing a crime, that may be entrapment[5].
  • Mistaken identity – If cops nabbed the wrong person, an alibi could prove it wasn’t you[5].
  • No agreement – Without evidence you agreed to exchange sex for money, there’s no crime[5].
  • Unlawful search – If police lacked probable cause for a search, evidence may be thrown out[5].

A skilled criminal defense lawyer will look at every angle to get charges reduced or dismissed. Don’t take chances – get experienced legal help right away.

Prostitution Stings – How Police Make Arrests

In Florida, police often run elaborate undercover stings to catch johns and prostitutes. Common techniques include[6]:

  • Posing as prostitutes online to arrange meetups with johns
  • Using female cops as “bait” to get solicitation offers
  • Tapping phones and reading texts to identify prostitution activity
  • Sending undercover cops into massage parlors and strip clubs

While these methods are sneaky, they don’t always hold up in court. Skilled lawyers can challenge the investigation tactics.

Avoiding Prostitution & Solicitation Charges

The best way to avoid prostitution and solicitation charges is simple – don’t break the law! Here are some tips:

  • Never agree to pay money for sexual acts
  • Don’t transport people to locations for paid sex
  • Avoid owning or working in shady massage parlors or strip clubs
  • Don’t post escort ads or respond to suspicious solicitations

Remember, cops often disguise themselves as prostitutes or johns. Don’t take the bait!

Finding the Right Lawyer for Prostitution Charges

If you do get busted, finding the right lawyer is key. Look for a criminal defense attorney with experience fighting prostitution and solicitation cases. Key credentials include:

  • Knowledge of Florida sex crime laws
  • Familiarity with local cops and prosecutors
  • Track record getting charges reduced or dismissed
  • Skill at challenging questionable police tactics

Don’t go with the cheapest lawyer you can find. This is your freedom at stake. Invest in the best defense you can afford.

The Bottom Line

Getting busted for prostitution or solicitation is scary. But an experienced Florida sex crimes lawyer can carefully analyze the case and build the strongest defense. In many cases, charges can be reduced or even dropped. Don’t take chances with your future – get experienced legal help right away.


[1] http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0796/Sections/0796.07.html

[2] https://www.husseinandwebber.com/crimes/sex-crimes/prostitution/penalties-defense/

[3] http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0796/Sections/0796.07.html

[4] https://www.miami-criminal-lawyer.net/sex-crimes/solicitation-of-a-prostitute/

[5] https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/defenses-to-a-prostitution-charge-40093

[6] https://www.tbo.com/news/crime/dozens-of-men-arrested-in-hillsborough-prostitution-sting/2298436/


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