Prostitution & Solicitation

As trusted criminal defense attorneys in Orland, Florida, we understand how difficult it can be to navigate prostitution and solicitation charges without top-tier legal counsel. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. Contact Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense for top-tier legal advice. 

When it comes to sex crimes like prostitution and solicitation, legal penalties are rarely the only consequences of conviction. For many clients, the social stigma associated with being convicted of one of these criminal offenses is almost as bad as jail time and fines. Their reputations suffer, as do their personal, social, and professional relationships. 

As a trusted criminal defense law firm in Orlando, we understand the many nuances associated with prostitution and solicitation charges. Here’s the good news: Being charged with prostitution or solicitation doesn’t mean you are actually guilty. Our talented criminal defense attorneys can mount an aggressive solicitation or prostitution defense to clear your name and protect your future. 

This article will explain everything you need to know about Orlando prostitution charges and solicitation offenses in Central Florida, including the specific Florida laws governing them, possible penalties, the best legal defense strategies, and more. 

Are You Facing Prostitution or Solicitation Charges in Orlando?

If you’re facing prostitution or solicitation charges in Orlando, you may be feeling embarrassed, sad, or even angry — especially if you are innocent. The most important thing to remember is that charges alone prove nothing. To secure your conviction, the prosecution will have to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, which is easier said than done. Our attorneys can design a robust legal defense that challenges the prosecution’s case and ensures the best possible outcome.

How Does Florida Define Prostitution and Solicitation?

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In the State of Florida, prostitution and solicitation are governed and defined by Florida Statutes, Chapter 796. These statutes define various activities related to prostitution, including engaging in an act of prostitution, soliciting an act of prostitution, and agreeing to engage in prostitution. Here are the key components of each:

  • Engaging in an act of prostitution. Engaging in an act of prostitution involves performing, offering, or agreeing to perform any sexual acts for money or other forms of compensation.
  • Soliciting an act of prostitution. Soliciting an act of prostitution involves asking, inducing, or attempting to persuade another person to engage in sexual activity for compensation.
  • Agreeing to engage in prostitution. Agreeing to engage in prostitution refers to agreeing or consenting to perform a sexual activity for money or for other forms of compensation, regardless of whether or not the act is carried out.

Prostitution and solicitation laws in Florida cover a range of activities, each of which carries various penalties based on the severity of the offense and the defendant’s prior convictions. Understanding these definitions and the associated legal consequences is crucial to building an effective legal defense. 

What Are the Best Defenses Against Prostitution Charges?

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There is no one-size-fits-all legal defense against prostitution charges in Florida. The best strategy for you will address the specific details of your case and the unique circumstances of the incident in question. However, there are a few common approaches that our legal team can help you explore, including the following:

  • Insufficient evidence. The prosecution does not have enough proof to establish that the defendant committed the alleged crime beyond a reasonable doubt. We can point to the lack of direct evidence and how it’s circumstantial in nature; we can also question the credibility of the prosecution’s witnesses.
  • Entrapment. Law enforcement officers encouraged or coerced you into committing a crime you would have otherwise never committed, and your charges should be dismissed altogether.
  • Falsely accused. You were falsely accused of engaging in prostitution as a result of a mistaken identity or a false testimony. This can be evidenced by a credible alibi or evidence that you were not at the scene of the crime when it was committed.
  • No willfulness. You did not willingly engage in or agree to engage in prostitution, and because willful engagement is a necessary component of this crime, you cannot be convicted of the offense.

Defending against prostitution charges in Florida requires a strategic approach that focuses on challenging the evidence and legal basis for the criminal charges. All of the strategies described above — along with many others — can be used to clear your name when you partner with a skilled criminal defense lawyer. 

Penalties for Solicitation of Prostitution in Florida

In Florida, solicitation of prostitution is a serious offense that carries various harsh penalties, depending on the circumstances of the alleged incident and the defendant’s criminal history. Possible penalties include fines, jail time, mandatory education programs, and other consequences. Here are the penalties for conviction, separated by offense: 

  • First offense. A first offense is a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in county jail, fines up to $500, hours of community service, and mandatory completion of an educational program on the negative effects of prostitution and human trafficking.
  • Second offense. Second offenses are considered first-degree misdemeanors and are punishable by up to one year in county jail, fines up to $1,000, community service, and continued participation in educational programs.
  • Third and subsequent offenses. Third and subsequent offenses are classified as third-degree felonies, punishable by up to five years in state prison, up to $5,000 in fines, community service, and mandatory continued participation in educational programs.

Additional penalties may include vehicle impoundment (if a vehicle was during the commission of the offense), driver’s license suspension, probation, and mandatory health screenings. Convicted offenders will also have to suffer the consequences of a permanent criminal record, which can negatively impact their ability to secure housing, employment, and educational opportunities.

Are There Related Offenses?

Florida law outlines various related offenses that involve similar, intersecting, or connected criminal behavior. These offenses include human trafficking, procuring, pandering, supervising or aiding a prostitute, indecent exposure, and lewd conduct, each of which carries a distinct set of penalties and legal implications. Here’s a breakdown of each:

  • Human trafficking. Human trafficking refers to the recruitment, transportation, or harboring of persons through force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of exploitation, including forced labor or sexual exploitation. It is a first-degree felony and punishable by up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
  • Pandering. Pandering involves persuading or inducing someone to engage in prostitution or procuring someone for the purpose of prostitution. It is a third-degree felony (or second-degree felony when involving minors) and punishable by up to five years in prison and fines up to $5,000.
  • Supervising or aiding a prostitute. Supervising or aiding a prostitute involves providing assistance, protection, or oversight to a person engaged in prostitution. It is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and fines up to $1,000 for the first offense.
  • Indecent exposure. Indecent exposure involves the deliberate exposure of one’s genitals in a public place or in view of others, particularly in circumstances likely to cause affront or alarm. It is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and fines up to $1,000.
  • Lewd conduct. Lewd conduct involves engaging in sexual behavior or in conduct that is considered offensive or indecent in a public place. It is typically charged as a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and fines up to $1,000.

Florida law addresses a range of offenses related to prostitution and sexual exploitation, many of which carry severe penalties, including lengthy prison sentences and substantial fines. Understanding the specifics of each offense and the associated legal consequences is a key component of building a successful defense. 

Contact Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense for Legal Guidance

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If you have been charged with prostitution, solicitation, or a related criminal offense in Florida, your future — the very ability to maintain relationships, employment, civil rights, reputation, and more — is at stake. Just remember: Being charged with a crime does not mean you are guilty, and it doesn’t have to ruin your life. Contact our law office to start exploring the best legal defense for you case and approach your future with confidence.

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