Prostitution & Solicitation Lawyer in Miami
Also Serving Fort Lauderdale
Prostitution and solicitation are illegal and can result in criminal charges, as well as stiff penalties if you are convicted. It is important to talk to a reputable Miami prostitution and solicitation attorney about your situation if you have been charged with an offense of this nature, even if it is only a first offense. At the Hoffman Firm, we help our clients develop strong strategies against misdemeanor and felony prostitution charges. The most appropriate defense strategy may be substantive or it may be procedural, and experienced criminal defense counsel can advise you as to the best approach in your case.
Florida Statutes section 796.07(1)(e) provides that it is a crime for someone to offer to commit, commit, or be involved in prostitution, lewdness, or assignation. Under the statute, prostitution occurs when there is giving or receiving of a body for sexual activity for hire, not including spousal sexual activity. Lewdness occurs where there are obscene or indecent acts, with indecent acts involving lustful, wicked, licentious, or unchaste acts as well as those with sensual intention by the person perpetrating the act. Sexual activity spans different kinds of penetration and union, including vaginal, anal, and oral, either with a sexual organ of another or by an object. Assignation involves making an appointment or arrangement for lewdness or prostitution, or an act to further these.
Under section 796.07(f), you can be charged with soliciting for prostitution, lewdness, or assignation if you try to get or procure or entice or induct somebody to perpetrate these crimes. A solicitation is an earnest ask or an attempt to get the solicited individual to do whatever is solicited, whether that’s to prostitute themselves or to behave lewdly or to make an appointment for prostitution.
The sentence you may face for prostitution or solicitation depends on the specific charge, and a skilled criminal defense lawyer can help you seek to minimize the punishment in your case. If you’re charged for the first time with any of the prostitution crimes under section 796.07 except for solicitation, you can face second degree misdemeanor charges. A conviction can result in a maximum of 60 days of imprisonment.
If you’re charged a second time with any crime except for solicitation, it’s a first degree misdemeanor and you can face a maximum of one year of imprisonment. If you are charged a third or subsequent time for any crime except solicitation, you can be charged with a third degree felony. Third degree felonies can result in a sentence of up to 5 years of imprisonment.
Solicitation of a Prostitute
Were you recently arrested in South Florida for allegedly soliciting a prostitute? You should avoid saying anything to authorities until you have legal representation.
Florida Statute § 796.07(2)(f) makes it illegal for a person to “solicit, induce, entice, or procure another to commit prostitution, lewdness, or assignation.” Lewdness is defined as any indecent or obscene act, and assignation means the making of any appointment or engagement for prostitution or lewdness, or any act in furtherance of such appointment or engagement.
A person could be subject to one of the following sentences:
- First offense — first degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of 1 year in jail and/or a maximum fine of $1,000
- Second offense — third degree felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $5,000
- Third or subsequent offense — second degree felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $10,000
Alleged offenders who are convicted of these offenses can also be assessed a civil penalty of $5,000, ordered to perform 100 hours of community service, and pay for and attend an educational program about the negative effects of prostitution and human trafficking, such as a sexual violence prevention education program. If a person is convicted of a second or subsequent offense, he or she will be sentenced to a minimum mandatory period of incarceration of 10 days.
Furthermore, if an alleged offender uses a motor vehicle in the course of the alleged offense, the judge can issue an order for the impoundment or immobilization of the vehicle for a period of up to 60 days. It will be critical to have the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can demand an adverse preliminary hearing to get a vehicle back.
Defending against the Charges
Several offenses related to solicitation are also established under Florida Statute § 796.07.
A person could face criminal charges for any of the following:
- Owning, establishing, maintaining, or operating any place, structure, building, or conveyance for the purpose of lewdness, assignation, or prostitution
- Offering, or offering or agreeing to secure, another for the purpose of prostitution or for any other lewd or indecent act
- Receiving, or offering or agreeing to receive, any person into any place, structure, building, or conveyance for the purpose of prostitution, lewdness, or assignation, or to permit any person to remain there for such purposeDirecting, taking, or transporting, or offering or agreeing to direct, take, or transport, any person to any place, structure, or building, or to any other person, with knowledge or reasonable cause to believe that the purpose of such directing, taking, or transporting is prostitution, lewdness, or assignation
- Offering to commit, or committing, or engaging in, prostitution, lewdness, or assignation
- Residing in, entering, or remaining in, any place, structure, or building, or to enter or remain in any conveyance, for the purpose of prostitution, lewdness, or assignation
- Aiding, abetting, or participating in any of the acts or things listed above
- Purchasing the services of any person engaged in prostitution
Similar to solicitation charges, the possible penalties for being convicted of any of the offenses listed above increase with subsequent violations.
Possible sentences include:
- First offense — second degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail and/or a maximum fine of up to $500
- Second offense — first degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of 1 year in jail and/or a maximum fine of $1,000
- Third or subsequent offense — third degree felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $5,000
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