Florida Prostitution and Solicitation Lawyer

In Florida, prostitution is illegal. As a result, an accusation of solicitation or other prostitution-related offenses can lead to severe criminal charges. So, if you have been recently arrested for one of these crimes, you should contact a Florida prostitution and solicitation lawyer.

Florida does not take these offenses lightly, so even though they may not seem as serious as violent offenses, a conviction for soliciting or prostitution can lead to jail time, fines, community service, and civil penalties, among others punishments.

If you are facing a prostitution or solicitation charge, the hard-working criminal defense attorneys at Goldman Wetzel can help you build your defense. Call us today to learn how we can help you.

Prostitution & Solicitation Definitions in Florida

Florida Uniform Crime Reports define prostitution as engaging or promoting sexual activities for profit. So, although usually people think that these charges are only associated with the sale and purchase of sexual activities, there are different actions that fall into these offenses.

Based on Florida Statute § 796, the following unlawful activities can lead to a criminal charge:

  • Owning, establishing or operating a place where prostitution is performed
  • Offering another person for the purpose of prostitution
  • Convincing or forcing a person to become a prostitute
  • Offering to commit or engage in prostitution
  • Receiving a person in a place for the purpose of prostitution
  • Soliciting, enticing or procuring a person to commit prostitution
  • Knowingly transporting or taking someone to a place to prostitute
  • Hiring a prostitute
  • Entering or residing in a place designated for prostitution
  • Renting a place to be used for prostitution
  • Knowingly live or derive support from a person engaged in prostitution
  • Aiding and abetting a person to commit any of the previous offenses

When it comes to these crimes, the prosecution must be able to prove that you had the intent to engage in prostitution by either purchasing or offering the services for a profit. So even making an appointment or any action that encourages these activities can result in a prostitution or solicitation charge. If you have questions regarding these situations, speak with an attorney in Florida.

Charges & Penalties

In Florida, a charge for a prostitution or solicitation crime ranges from a second-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree felony. Since subsequent offenses increase the punishment by one degree, these charges depend on the defendant’s prior convictions as well as the type of offense.

Below is a chart with the potential punishments for a first prostitution offense:

Crime Charge Maximum imprisonment Maximum Fine
Owning or operating a place designed for prostitution 2nd-degree misdemeanor 60 days $500
Offering another person for prostitution 2nd-degree misdemeanor 60 days $500
Purchasing a prostitute’s service 2nd-degree misdemeanor 60 days $500
Offering to commit or engage in prostitution 2nd-degree misdemeanor 60 days $500
Receiving a person in a place for the purpose of prostitution 2nd-degree misdemeanor 60 days $500
Entering or residing a place designed for prostitution 2nd-degree misdemeanor 60 days $500
Knowingly transporting or taking someone to a place to prostitute 2nd-degree misdemeanor 60 days $500
Transporting someone for the purpose of prostitution 2nd-degree misdemeanor 60 days $500
Renting a place for prostitution 1st-degree misdemeanor 1 year $1,000
Convincing or forcing a person to become a prostitute 3rd-degree felony 5 years $5,000
Deriving support from a person engaged in prostitution 2nd-degree felony 15 years $15,000

As mentioned before, subsequent offenses will increase the charges by one degree. So for example, people who are arrested and charged for the first time for engaging in prostitution will face a second-degree misdemeanor.

But, if they are arrested a second time, the charge will increase to a first-degree misdemeanor and to a third-degree felony for third and subsequent offenses. If you want to know more about your prostitution charges and the penalties associated with them, speak to a lawyer in Florida.

Penalty for Soliciting and Prostitution in Florida

According to Florida Statute § 796.07 (2)(5)(a), solicitation for prostitution is a misdemeanor of the first degree. As a first offense, a conviction for this crime can lead to up to 1 year of jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.

However, a second violation is classified as a third-degree felony and if you are convicted of this crime, you could face up to 5 years of prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Subsequent solicitation for prostitution offenses are considered second-degree felonies which carry up to 15 years of jail and up to a $10,000 fine.

In Florida, a conviction for a solicitation charge will also result in the following penalties:

  • 100 hours of community service
  • Pay a $5,000 civil penalty
  • Mandatory minimum imprisonment of 10 days (only for second and subsequent offenses)
  • Attend an educational program about the negative effects of prostitution and human trafficking
  • 60 days of vehicle impoundment (if the vehicle was used during the commission of the offense)
  • Register to the Soliciting for Prostitution Public Database

Florida does not take solicitation charges lightly since engaging with these activities increases the demand for commercial sex and fuels human trafficking. As Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister explained after a human trafficking sting operation, law enforcement’s goal is to reduce demand.

Since Florida is trying to reduce the demand for sex workers and, therefore, end human trafficking, a conviction for solicitation leads to more severe punishments than a conviction for prostitution.

During this human trafficking operation sting, 125 arrests were made. Some of them were related to soliciting another to commit prostitution. As part of their commitment to fighting human trafficking, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office explained that undercover police are working to target people that engage in prostitution or prey on children.

If you were arrested as a result of a sting operation, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to explore the potential defenses for your case.

Defenses to Prostitution and Solicitation Charges

When it comes to fighting prostitution and solicitation charges, there are different defenses that a criminal lawyer can use. Although the potential strategies for your case are based on the nature of your charges and the circumstances of the offense, here are some of the defenses that the criminal lawyers at  may be able to use in a prostitution and solicitation case:

  • The sexual activity occurred, but there was no agreement to actually exchange money
  • Law enforcement entrapped the defendant, causing them to commit this offense
  • There was no request or agreement about prostitution
  • Law enforcement does not have enough evidence to prove that the defendant engaged in prostitution

Contact a Florida Attorney About Solicitation and Prostitution Today

Florida does not take prostitution lightly. As a result, if you have been accused of engaging in these types of activities, you may want to speak to a criminal defense attorney that can help you explore your legal options.

Goldman Wetzel is a criminal defense law firm that represents clients facing charges for misdemeanor and felony sex offenses. Call us to book a free consultation to speak to a Florida solicitation and prostitution lawyer about your charges.