Prostitution in Florida is more widespread than ever. Police officers often pose as a “Johns” to lure prostitutes into agreeing to perform a sexual act for money, and police actively target prostitutes who post ads. Not only are prostitution and soliciting prostitution illegal, but so are numerous other prostitution related offenses. Not surprisingly, an arrest, charge or conviction for prostitution can be very damaging to a person's life. It is imperative to avoid a conviction for any prostitution offense or prostitution related offense.
Prostitution in Delray Beach
Florida criminalizes all prostitution related offenses in Florida Statute 796.07. The most common prostitution offenses are prostitution and soliciting prostitution.
According to Florida state law, “It is unlawful to offer to commit, or to commit, or to engage in, prostitution, lewdness or assignation.” Prostitution means, “the giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity for hire but excludes sexual activity between spouses.” Lewdness means, “any indecent or obscene act.” Assignation means, “the making of any appointment or engagement for prostitution or lewdness, or any act in furtherance of such appointment or engagement.”
The penalties for prostitution in South Florida can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the number of prior convictions.
- A first conviction for prostitution is a second degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months of probation, 60 days in jail as a condition of probation, and a $500 fine.
- A second conviction for prostitution is a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year of probation, one year in jail as a condition of probation, and a $1,000 fine.
- A third or subsequent conviction for prostitution is a third degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years of probation, 5 years in prison as a condition of probation, and a $5,000 fine.
Prostitution Related Offenses in Delray Beach
The state of Florida also criminalizes the following related offenses:
- Owning, establishing, maintaining or operating a building for the purpose of prostitution (brothel)
- Offering another person to engage in prostitution (pimp or madam)
- To agree to receive a person into a place for the purpose of prostitution
- To take or transport a person to a place or to another person for prostitution
- To enter or remain in any place for the purpose of prostitution
- To aid or abet any of the above
- To purchase the services of any person engaged in prostitution
Delray Beach Police Sting Operations
The police commonly conduct sting operations to arrest prostitutes and set up men looking for escorts. Police will create fake online ads to entice prostitutes, infiltrate massage parlors and other areas known for prostitution. The police are usually equipped with audio recording devices, and the audio recordings are then turned over to the state attorney's office after an arrest.
Many times the police will create an advertisement through Craigslist or other websites and attempt to set up men looking for escorts. The man then encounters the escort, who is actually an undercover police officer. The police officer offers a sexual service for money. When the man agrees, he is arrested.
Do I need a Criminal Defense Lawyer for Prostitution or Solicitation?
Yes. If you've been charged with prostitution or solicitation, you should speak to a Delray Beach criminal lawyer immediately to learn more about your rights, possible defenses, and the complicated legal system. An experienced Delray Beach prostitution lawyer may find weaknesses in the prosecutor's case due to the following reasons:
- Miranda violations
- 4th Amendment violations
- Insufficiency of Evidence
- Mistaken Identity
Don't make the mistake of representing yourself and don't give up too early – there may be a defense to your case that is being overlooked. When our criminal defense team represents you, you'll benefit from advice and assistance in the following steps of your legal case:
- We'll investigate and determine if your legal rights were violated at any point in your arrest.
- We'll gather critical evidence and facts, such as 911 reports, witness statements, video evidence, social media research, and more.
- After assessing all possible scenarios and outcomes, we'll walk you through the options and give our honest recommendations so that you can make the best decision for you and your situation.
- If your case goes to trial, we will stand up for you and fight for your rights at every turn throughout the court and legal process.
Contact a Delray Beach Prostitution Lawyer at Bottari & Doyle
If you have been charged with any prostitution-related offense in Palm Beach, Broward, or Martin County, call the Delray Beach criminal defense attorneys at Bottari & Doyle at (561) 588-2711 for a free case evaluation.