Prostitution is an illegal activity that involves one person paying another for sex. This criminal activity has surged in Florida. The increase is attributed to how easily one can advertise themselves as an escort service on the internet to attract potential customers who will pay for sex. In response to this growing issue, law enforcement officials are focusing more of their efforts on arresting and prosecuting acts of prostitution under Florida criminal laws. Our Orange County prostitution lawyers can provide more information.
To understand the laws about prostitution, one should know how the law defines such acts. According to Statute 796.07, using your body for sexual activity for hire is considered prostitution.
Sexual activity is defined as sexual acts involving oral, anal or vaginal penetration, and/or masturbation of the sex organs. Additional behavior that would fall under this statute includes lewdness and assignation. Lewdness is an act that a court determines to be obscene or indecent. Assignation involves scheduling or other engagement for the purpose of prostitution, lewdness, or anything related to sex that is illegal.
There are several ways law enforcement charges individuals with prostitution. State law says that any of the following is considered a crime:
Acts conducted between married couples, or a legitimate medical procedure that might involve elements of sexual activity are not in violation.
Depending on your situation and whether you already have prior convictions, penalties for this crime can vary. Florida statute 796.07(4) punishes offenders as follows:
First time violation – Second-degree misdemeanor
Second violation – First-degree misdemeanor
Third violation or more – Third-degree felony
There is the potential for having your driver’s license revoked if your
Additionally, lawmakers passed the “John Statute” which specifically addresses those who compensate another in exchange for sex (see 796.07(6)). This statute levies a mandatory $5,000 fine against those who are convicted and accompanies additional mandatory penalties like:
The consequences don’t stop there If one is found guilty of forcing others into prostitution, a violation of Statute 796.04, that is considered a third-degree felony. A sentence of up to 5 years in prison is possible, for EACH violation of this type. So, if a defendant is found guilty of forcing three people to engage in prostitution, it’s possible to receive five years for each person who was forced including any other related punishments that the court determines is warranted.
Another exception to Florida’s punishments for prostitution would be for those guilty of making money from prostitutes working for them, also known as pimping. This charge is a third-degree felony and carries a sentence of up to 5 years in prison and a fine of no more than $5,000.
If you were caught in a compromising situation, or a loved one is facing a prostitution-related charge, don’t wait to seek representation. These types of crimes do make it into newspapers or onto local law enforcement web pages. It’s crucial that you hire an Orange County prostitution attorney who is knowledgeable about the criminal court processes.
The Umansky Law Firm understands how a conviction can devastate your future, and we fight to protect our clients. As former prosecutors, our firm knows how the state prosecution will approach your case, and this gives us an advantage when building your defense. We have over 100 years of combined practice in Central Florida that has helped numerous citizens get the second chance they deserve. Contact us today to let us evaluate your case and get you the best outcome possible for your situation.
The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys