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The Crime of Prostitution in the State of Florida

Often referred to as “The world’s oldest profession”, prostitution has indeed been around since the beginning of civilization. Today in most places in America including Florida, prostitution is illegal but is still not too uncommon.

How Is Prostitution Defined?

Under Florida law, the offense of “prostitution” can be committed in several different ways. The most commonly charged offenses are: (1) Offering to Commit, Committing, or Engaging in Prostitution, Lewdness, or Assignation, and (2) Soliciting for Prostitution, Lewdness, or Assignation.

(1) Offering, Committing, or Engaging in Prostitution- Under Section 796.07(1)(e), Florida Statutes, it is a criminal act for a person “to offer to commit, or to commit, or to engage in, prostitution, lewdness, or assignation.” “Prostitution” is defined under the statute as the giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity for hire. The term does not include sexual activity between spouses.

“Lewdness” is defined as any indecent or obscene act. Indecent connotes “wicked, lustful, unchaste, licentious, or sensual intention on part of the person doing the act.

“Sexual activity” means oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another, anal or vaginal penetration of another by an object, or the handling or fondling of a sexual organ of another for purposes of masturbation. The term does not include acts done for bona fide medical purposes.

“Assignation” is defined as the making of any appointment or engagement for prostitution or lewdness, or any act in furtherance of such appointment or engagement.

In addition to the actual act of prostitution, a prostitute can also be charged with criminal solicitation for merely asking someone to engage in a sex act in exchange for money even if no sex act is ever committed.

(2)   Soliciting for Prostitution, Lewdness, or Assignation- Under Section 796.07(f), it is a criminal act for a person to “solicit, induce, entice, or procure another to commit prostitution, lewdness, or assignation.” Under the statute, the term “solicit” means to ask earnestly or to try to induce a person who is solicited to do the solicited thing.

The penalties for prostitution can be mild to severe depending on the number of previous offenses.  As cited below, the penalties greatly increase with each conviction:

  • A first-time offense for Prostitution or Criminal Solicitationis a Second Degree misdemeanor, and is punishable by up to Sixty (60) days in prison.
  • A second offense is a First Degree Misdemeanor and is punishable by up One (1) year in prison.
  • A third or any subsequent offense(s) is a Third Degree Felony and is punishable by up to five (5) years in prison.

All convictions for solicitation carry a fine of up to $500.00 in addition to any court costs.

If you are facing charges of prostitution and or criminal solicitation, whether it is your first offense or whether you are a repeat offender, you still have rights and the right to a fair trial.  The only way to ensure those rights is to obtain the services of a Miami criminal defense attorney who has experience in dealing with sex crimes.

Even Hoffman can review your case and help you mount a strong defense based on the facts and any mitigating circumstances which may be brought to light. As a former prosecutor, Mr. Hoffman knows both sides of the criminal justice system, and he knows how to make it work for you.

Give The Hoffman Firm a call today at (305) 928-1669 and let them schedule a free consultation for you.

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