Prostitution charges in St. PetersburgFacing prostitution charges in St. Petersburg can be daunting, especially for repeat offenders. Prostitution, defined by Florida Statutes §796.07(1)(a) simply as “the giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity for hire,” encompasses a number of offenses.

Jail time and large fines are a real possibility for those convicted of prostitution. Additionally, conviction of a sex crime can affect child custody and your job, and may tarnish your record and reputation. If you have recently been arrested for prostitution, our defense attorneys at Goldman Wetzel can help you build a case to defend yourself. Call us at 727-828-3900 to see how we can help you.

What constitutes prostitution?

There are a lot of actions that can merit prostitution charges. Here are some of them:

  • Owning or operating a place designated for prostitution (owning a brothel). Fla. Stat. §796.07(2)(a)
  • Offering another person for the purpose of prostitution (pimping). Fla. Stat. §796.07(2)(b)
  • Receiving a person into a place for the purpose of prostitution. Fla. Stat. §796.07(2)(c)
  • Transporting someone to a place for the purposes of prostitution. Fla. Stat. §796.07(2)(d)
  • Offering to commit, to commit, or engaging in prostitution. Fla. Stat. §796.07(2)(e)
  • Soliciting, inducing, or enticing another to commit prostitution. Fla. Stat. §796.07(2)(f)
  • Entering into a place designated for prostitution (going to a brothel). Fla. Stat. §796.07(2)(g)
  • Aiding and abetting prostitution. Fla. Stat. §796.07(2)(h)
  • Purchasing a prostitute’s services. Fla. Stat. §796.07(2)(i)

What are the penalties for prostitution?

The penalties for prostitution depend upon how many prior offenses you have on your record as well as the type of charge you are facing.

Per Fla. Stat. §796.07(4), below are the penalties for any of the offenses listed above, except for soliciting, inducing or enticing another to commit prostitution.

  • First offense – Second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
  • Second offense – First-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
  • Third and subsequent offenses – Third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Per Fla. Stat. §796.07(5), soliciting, inducing, or enticing another to commit prostitution (Fla. Stat. §796.07(2)(f)), is punishable as follows.

  • First offense – First-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail.
  • Second offense – Third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. Those convicted face at least 10 days in jail.
  • Third and subsequent offenses – Second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Those convicted face at least 10 days in jail.

The state also requires that those convicted of this offense must pay a civil penalty of $5,000. Penalties may also include performance of 100 hours of community service, attending a class about the negative effects of prostitution, and, if the defendant used a vehicle to commit the offense, vehicle impoundment for up to 60 days.

Finally, anybody convicted of any prostitution charges must undergo screening for sexually transmissible diseases and must submit to treatment and counseling if infected.

What are some viable defenses to prostitution?

There are a number of defenses that we will explore to fight prostitution charges. For example, if the prosecutor does not have sufficient evidence to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, we can request the prosecutor drop the charges or the judge dismiss your case. You can also use defenses such as the following.

  • You were only charged because of entrapment, e.g., you were lured into a situation to engage in prostitution.
  • There was no clear and definite agreement about prostitution, merely a vague conversation.
  • Sexual activity occurred, but there was no agreement to actually exchange currency.

Where can I get legal help for my prostitution charges in St. Petersburg?

If you were charged with prostitution or a related sex crime, Goldman Wetzel can help. We will investigate your case discreetly, represent you in hearings, and build a defense to fight for a more favorable outcome, be it a dismissal or reduced penalties. Contact us today at 727-828-3900 to speak to an attorney.

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