Under the law in Florida, it is illegal to engage in prostitution. This can include having sex in exchange for money but also involves any sexual contact in exchange for anything of value.
However, it is also illegal to be on the other side of this arrangement. In fact, state law punishes the people who solicit another person for sex more harshly than the individuals offering the services. If you are facing charges related to the purchase of sex, an Orlando solicitation lawyer is ready to fight for you. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys work to ensure that you understand the state’s solicitation laws and what the prosecutor needs to prove in order to obtain a conviction. At the same time, they will work to obtain evidence that speaks to your innocence.
In their earlier careers as police legal advisers and prosecutors, Zahra Umansky and William Umansky developed and trained police on sting operations for prostitution rings and escort services. They are well-versed on police techniques used to entrap or entice people into doing something they did not plan to do.
Just as it is illegal to offer sex to another person, it is also illegal to receive it. However, this narrow definition is only one way that state law describes the act of solicitation.
Under Florida Statute § 796.07, prostitution is the giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity for hire. This means that any form of sexual touching falls under this category; sexual intercourse does not need to occur. In addition, the offer to exchange anything of value, not just money, may also violate the law. An Orlando solicitation attorney could assist individuals in better understanding the concepts of prostitution and solicitation that apply to their cases. It is also the first step towards building a defense against these serious accusations.
In the age of the Internet, there has been a proliferation of escort websites and directories. Some of the most common being Eros, CityVibe, Craigslist, and The Erotic Review. Men of all backgrounds and professions frequent these sites and contact escorts for companionship. However, the services an escort can provide sometimes go beyond mere paid companionship, and law enforcement tries to step in to control any prostitution, assignation, solicitation and any other sexual acts conducted for money.
Sometimes, men will come to Orlando on business, to attend a convention or on vacation, and will frequent these or other sites to contact an escort. They will arrange a time to meet and find themselves ensnared in a sting operation where the escort was not an escort at all, but an undercover police officer who could be employed by any number of police agencies in Orlando or central Florida. Law enforcement agencies, such as the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Orlando Police Department, and Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, among others, may conduct these stings in order to control the amount of prostitution that has arisen in recent years as the popularity of the internet keeps exploding.
Our solicitation defense lawyers know how prosecutors prepare solicitation cases and how to challenge evidence when the police conduct a prostitution sting. They will investigate:
The concept of soliciting a prostitute can take on two meanings under the law. First, a person may be the buyer of sexual activity. In this instance, the law treats the buyer in much the same manner as the seller. Second, the statute creates separate penalties for those who solicit, entice, or otherwise convince another person to engage in prostitution. The penalties here are much harsher.
The simple purchasing of sexual activity from someone can be a relatively minor offense in the eyes of the law. A first conviction is a misdemeanor of the second degree where the court may impose a penalty of 60 days in jail, a fine of up to $500, and six months of probation. Second offenses raise the severity level to a felony of the third degree, with the potential for five years in prison or on probation, and at least $5,000 in fines. All offenders will also receive a $5,000 civil penalty.
The harshest penalties under the law apply to those who solicit, coerce, or force another into being a prostitute. Here, special sentencing rules apply. Upon conviction, the court is likely to order a person to spend time in jail. In fact, the law imposes a mandatory minimum jail sentence of ten days upon a second or subsequent conviction. Furthermore, the court must order a defendant to:
Hiring an Orlando solicitation lawyer to take the lead in the case may work as a way to avoid these severe penalties.
Allegations alleging sexual solicitation can take on many forms. In the simplest terms, they involve an arrest after the purchase or attempted purchase of sex from another. In other cases, the law aims to punish those who solicit, convince, or force another into prostitution.
Speak with an Orlando solicitation lawyer now to protect yourself. They are ready to explain the state’s laws, investigate the incident, and advocate for your rights in court. Contact our team now to schedule a consultation.
The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys