You have been arrested for soliciting a prostitute, or solicitation of prostitution. What happens now?
This charge carries some emotional trauma to the accused’s reputation and to his or her family. The handling or mishandling of such a case will have long-lasting consequences. Hence, make sure you retain a Brevard County criminal defense attorney experienced in dealing with such accusations. Most importantly, if you are falsely accused (and it happens often), do not believe you can handle this alone. The justice system is more about the system than it is about fairness. So get an experienced defense lawyer who knows how the system works.
You need an aggressive defense.
Call or e-mail Morgan & Barbary’s experienced criminal defense attorney, Darrell Sedgwick, for a FREE telephone consultation: 321-951-3400. See our Arrest Tips and answers to other Frequently Asked Questions if you’ve been taken into custody.
Understanding the Law
In Florida, the term “prostitution” encompasses a broad category of crimes which can be committed from either side of the contractual arrangement. If you are accused or have been arrested for a crime related to solicitation of prostitution, be sure to read the following:
Prostitution is addressed in Fla. Stat. § 796.07 (2011).
- “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.
- “Sexual activity” means oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another; anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object; or the handling or fondling of the sexual organ of another for the purpose of masturbation; however, the term does not include acts done for bona fide medical purposes.
It is unlawful:
- To own, establish, maintain, or operate any place, structure, building, or conveyance for the purpose of lewdness, assignation, or prostitution.
- To offer, or to offer or agree to secure, another for the purpose of prostitution or for any other lewd or indecent act.
- To receive, or to offer or agree 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 purpose.
- To direct, take, or transport, or to offer or agree 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.
- To offer to commit, or to commit, or to engage in, prostitution, lewdness, or assignation.
- To solicit, induce, entice, or procure another to commit prostitution, lewdness, or assignation.
- To reside in, enter, or remain in, any place, structure, or building, or to enter or remain in any conveyance, for the purpose of prostitution, lewdness, or assignation.
- To aid, abet, or participate in any of the acts or things enumerated in this subsection.
- To purchase the services of any person engaged in prostitution.
In the trial of a person charged with a violation of this section, testimony concerning the reputation of any place, structure, building, or conveyance involved in the charge, testimony concerning the reputation of any person residing in, operating, or frequenting such place, structure, building, or conveyance, and testimony concerning the reputation of the defendant is admissible in evidence in support of the charge.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a police officer may testify as an offended party in an action regarding charges filed pursuant to this section.
The Risks of Exposure to Jail or Prison
- For a first violation, a person who violates any provision of this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree — up to 60 days in jail, 6 months of probation and $500.00 plus court costs and other STD screening costs.
- For a second violation, a person who violates any provision of this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree — up to one year in jail/probation and $1,000.00 plus court costs and other STD screening costs.
- For a third or subsequent violation, a person who violates any provision of this section commits a third degree felony — up to five years in prison/probation, and $5,000.00 plus court costs and other STD screening costs.
Defenses to Prostitution Charges
If you are arrested in Brevard County, it may bring you unsought notoriety as it is not unusual for the local paper to publish your mug shot with your name the next day.
If you are arrested for such a crime, the effects upon your reputation, your career, and your marriage may be long lasting, even if the State fails to prove its case.
Do not defend these charges alone!
As in any criminal cases, the facts in your case can justify the filing of some pre-trial motions.
Further, prostitution cases are fact-specific and the State case will be usually hinging upon some testimony from one or both parties (remember your 5th Amendment right to remain silent!).
Prostitution cases often come down to the disparity between the parties’ accounts of the sexual encounter (future or passed).
Don’t waste any time, retain a defense attorney!
The sooner you retain a criminal defense attorney experienced in dealing with sex crimes, the more likely you are to get the best resolution for your case. If you retain a knowledgeable defense attorney, he may succeed in getting the State to not file the charges or file less traumatizing charges, to get the case dropped altogether, to get the jury to find that you are not guilty, or to get you acquitted by negotiating a resolution not involving jail or supervision.