The state of Florida considers prostitution a crime. This illegal activity involves compensating someone or participating in the trade of sex for profit. Many counties in the state of Florida have law enforcement programs designed to catch people in the act of prostitution and bring them to justice. Sting operations are frequently carried out by police since advertising on the internet has made it easier for individuals to attract potential customers willing to pay for sex. Once convicted, defendants face stiff penalties that may take away their freedom for decades. It is vital to speak with a Seminole County prostitution lawyer.
Prostitution is defined as a criminal act according to statute 796.07. Prostitution is more than just trading compensation in exchange for sex but also includes other sex-related acts.
Sexual activity is considered a sexual act of vaginal, anal, and/or oral penetration with any object or sex organ of another person, as well as masturbation. Lewd acts and assignation are also criminalized under this statute. Activities that are determined to be obscene or indecent are considered lewd. Assignation is the scheduling or engagement of prostitution, lewdness, or anything related to trading sexual activity.
Law enforcement has several methods available to charge an individual since state law declares any of the following as criminal acts related to prostitution:
Acts conducted between married couples, or a legitimate medical procedure that might involve elements of sexual activity, do not violate the statute.
Sentencing can vary for these crimes depending on your situation and prior criminal history. According to Florida statute 796.07(4), a convicted offender of prostitution can receive the following punishments:
First time violation – Second-degree misdemeanor
Second violation – First-degree misdemeanor
Third violation or more – Third-degree felony
In addition to the above charges, the “John Statute” addresses those who compensate another in exchange for sex (see 796.07(6)). A mandatory $5,000 fine is imposed and accompanies additional penalties like:
Florida also has specific consequences for those convicted of forcing others into prostitution. This is a violation of statute 796.04 and treated as a third-degree felony. Sentences of up to 5 years in prison can be handed down by the court and apply to each instance of this act. If someone were to force three people to engage in prostitution, it’s possible to receive five years for each person who was forced on top any other related punishments that the court determines is warranted.
Another exception to Florida’s punishments for prostitution involves 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 $5,000 fine.
If you or a loved one is facing a prostitution-related charge, seek a criminal defense attorney right away. Crimes of this nature can ruin your reputation and be displayed on local law enforcement web pages causing embarrassment to your family and friends and possibly affect your job. It’s crucial that you hire an experienced sex-crimes lawyer who is knowledgeable about Seminole County court procedures.
The Umansky Law Firm understands that prostitution convictions can ruin someone’s life, and we fight to protect the best interests of our clients. As former prosecutors, our firm knows how to protect you in the courtroom. Our over 100 years of combined practice experience in Central Florida helps you get the second chance that you deserve. Contact us today to let us evaluate your case and get you the best outcome possible for your situation.
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