St. Petersburg Solicitation for Prostitution Attorney
Defending Solicitation Charges in Pinellas County, Hillsborough County and Surrounding Counties
In Florida, it is illegal to solicit a person for sexual acts. Solicitation is the encouraging, bribing, requesting or commanding a person to commit a crime. In the case of solicitation for prostitution, it is quite literally asking that one commit prostitution. This crime often is a misdemeanor, but the consequences can be harsh.
Being convicted of soliciting a prostitute can have a serious impact on your personal and professional life. In addition, you could face jail time, fines or both. If you are charged with soliciting a person for a sexual act, contacting an experienced attorney is critical.
If you have been arrested for solicitation for prostitution, contact a skilled St. Petersburg solicitation defense attorney at Morris Law Firm, P.A.. Solicitation is a misdemeanor, but it can have a severe impact on your life. The criminal record and the societal stigma could impact you long after the court-issued penalties.
Melinda Morris of Morris Law Firm, P.A. is a former assistant state attorney who understands both sides of the law. She has more than 15 years of experience in the legal field and she knows what it takes to get a favorable outcome in a case. She can help you protect your future and your criminal record.
Have you been charged for soliciting a prostitute? Our solicitation for prostitution attorney in St. Petersburg is ready to assist you. Call Morris Law Firm, P.A. today at (727) 592-5885 or contact us online to get started!
What is Soliciting Prostitution?
A person could be charged with solicitation if he or she encourages, bribes, requests or commands a person to engage in sexual acts, according to Florida Statutes Annotated § 796.07. The person who is being bribed does not have to be considered a prostitute for the charge to apply. The offense generally is considered a misdemeanor.
It is not necessary for money to exchange hands, only the offer of money needs to be made. As well, it is not necessary that a sexual act is committed, or that the person solicited actually be willing or able to commit the crime of prostitution.
For instance, if a person solicits an undercover police officer, he or she still could be charged with solicitation. Law enforcement agencies throughout the country often charge people in these scenarios.
Is Soliciting a Prostitute a Misdemeanor or Felony in Florida?
Solicitation of a prostitute is a second-degree misdemeanor for a first violation, which could mean up to 60 days in jail, a fine of up to $500 or both. A second offense is considered a first-degree misdemeanor, which could include up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.
A third or subsequent violation would be considered felony of the third degree. This could include up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000 or both. A person who is charged with a third or subsequent violation could be offered admission to a pretrial intervention program or a substance-abuse treatment program.
If the sex worker, or the person being solicited, is a minor the charges could be more severe. It would be increased by one degree. For example, if a person originally would be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor, but a minor was involved, it could be a third-degree felony.
What are the Civil Penalties for Solicitating a Prostitue in Florida?
A recent change to Florida’s Statute on Prostitution (Florida Statute § 796.07) imposes a civil penalty in addition to the above criminal penalties for Solicitation of Prostitution. Any person who would, “…solicit, induce, entice, or procure another to commit prostitution, lewdness, or assignation” is subject to a $5000.00 civil penalty under Florida Statute § 796.07(6) if the violation results in any disposition by the court other than an acquittal or dismissal of the charges. This means that even the normally beneficial result of a Withhold of Adjudication will not avoid the $5000.00 civil penalty.
To avoid the civil penalty an alleged offender would have to have the charges dismissed, or go to a jury trial and be found not guilty (acquittal). Most alleged Solicitation of Prostitution offenders are not aware of the significant potential financial penalty involved in the crime. It is critically important in these cases to deal successfully with the criminal charge so that the civil financial penalty may also be avoided.
Other consequences could include:
- Publicity of the crime via local media including TV and newspaper
- Booking photo and information being available online
- Mandatory health test
- Impounding of vehicle if used in the commission of the crime
- Issues with employment
Defense Against Solicitation of Prostitution Charges
Building a strong defense, in any case, is important. In solicitation cases, an attorney at Morris Law Firm, P.A. can begin discussing the facts of your case with you early on to determine what defense might be available to you. Some possible defenses could include:
- Entrapment – If you were enticed to commit a crime you otherwise would not have done
- Investigative Mistakes by Law Enforcement
- Mistaken Identity
- Miranda Rights – If you were not properly read your Miranda Rights, incriminating statements you may have made to law enforcement may not be admissible in court.
We will strive to file any necessary motions to dismiss or motions to attempt to exclude evidence in an effort to maximize your opportunity for a positive outcome. As your criminal defense lawyer, we will represent you at any necessary pre-trial hearings, pre-trial motions and at trial. We will work to ensure your rights are represented.
Contact us Today to Start Your Defense
If you have been arrested and charged with solicitation for prostitution, contact a St. Petersburg lawyer to discuss possible defenses and specific strategies that may exist in your case. Your reputation is important, and Morris Law Firm, P.A. can help you protect it.
Contact Morris Law Firm, P.A. today to schedule a consultation!
Melinda Morris is a former prosecutor and has handled thousands of criminal cases from investigation through sentencing enabling us to identify weaknesses in the State’s case against you.
We never settle for the easiest outcome or the typical result. We know how to negotiate with the State Attorney and we will work to get you the best possible outcome.
Melinda Morris has practiced criminal law for over 20 years. Our clients trust advice that comes from experience in nearly every type of criminal case.
We will know every client’s story because we will take the time to listen and understand. You will work with your attorney one-on-one at every stage of the process.
You will have the cell phone number of your attorney. Your attorney will directly return your call, email, or text to answer your pressing questions.
The government is wasting no time in trying to prove your guilt, a proactive defense is imperative. Prompt and decisive action from your defense attorney is of critical importance.
At Morris Law Firm, P.A., your satisfaction is our priority! See for yourself what our clients have to say about working with us.
Seth Shapiro is the most professional, courteous, caring attorneys I’ve dealt with in all of my 70 years. He did a fabulous job representing me defending me and getting charges dropped. I couldn’t have dreamed of better counsel.- Stephen on AVVO
100% satisfied with Morris law group. Melinda was able to resolve my legal issues with no additional expenses other than my original retainer. I highly recommend this firm for professional and competent representation.- Peter R. on Yelp
If you want the best legal representation, look no further than Morris law firm. Melinda reassured me from the very first time we spoke over the phone. She is very professional and keeps you updated on the progress of your case. I really liked that I didn’t have to reach out to her Everything was smooth, straightforward and she put my mind at ease. You’ll be in good hands with her. Thank you Melinda- Hassan on Google
Mr.Shapiro helped my case by looking at the police body cam diligently which supported my testimony . He presented evidence to the prosecutor .I hired Seth Shapiro to defend me after a domestic battery charge in which I was wrongfully accused and arrested. My case was dismissed thankfully. .Couldn't have asked for a better outcome. This was an extreme difficult time for me. Seth Shapiro was knowledgeable and compassionate in my case. He followed up with my concerns. I would highly recommend this firm.- Melody Z.
Melinda has represented me on numerous cases and the outcome has always been great. Melinda goes above and beyond to defend your rights and get you the best possible outcome. I highly recommend hiring her.- Shasta on Google
Morris Law Firm is a very professional and responsive. They closed my case in a very short terms, for what I'm very grateful. Strongly recommend them especially Seth Shapiro. He decreased my case from felony to misdemeanor in short terms and during 6 months my case was totally closed.- Elina P. on Google