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Solicitation of Prostitution

Sex workers have become a lot more accessible thanks to the internet. Websites such as Craigslist have become a haven for escorts and their customers. However, compensating another person for sexual activity is illegal in Florida. Soliciting a prostitute can result in serious consequences including expensive fines and possible incarceration.

If you or someone you know has been charged with solicitation of prostitution, it’s important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Soliciting a prostitute is a serious crime that could affect your daily life. You could have a criminal record and have difficulty gaining employment.

Attorney for Soliciting Prostitution in Pinellas County, Florida

Have you been charged with soliciting a prostitute? You could face severe penalties including potential prison time. It’s important that you don’t speak a word to law enforcement and contact an experienced attorney. An attorney can assess your case and develop a defense strategy for your charges. 

Contact the attorneys at Morris Law Firm, P.A. to have your case analyzed. We represent numerous clients in sex crimes and can provide you with excellent legal counsel. Our attorneys will collect evidence, file motions, and defend your rights in court. Contact us today at (727) 388-4736 to schedule a free consultation.

Morris Law Firm, P.A. accepts clients throughout the greater Pinellas County area including Clearwater, Bradenton, Tampa and Largo. 

Overview of Solicitation of Prostitution in Florida

Soliciting a Prostitute Under Florida Law

Florida law states it’s illegal to solicit, entice, induce or procure another person into prostitution. The statute also includes acts of lewdness or assignation. An act of lewdness is any indecent or obscene act, and an act of assignation is to make an appointment for prostitution. This means you can be arrested for prostitution without engaging in sexual activity. 

The Florida Jury Instructions Section 23.2 states the elements for solicitation that the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt. These instructions state that: 

  • The alleged offender either offered, offered to secure, or agreed to secure a place; and
  • The officer intended to commit prostitution or a lewd act. 

Penalties for Soliciting a Prostitute in Florida

Compensating or the attempt to pay for a prostitute can result in legal consequences. The penalties for solicitation of prostitution depend on your criminal history. It’s important that you know there are additional mandatory penalties for soliciting a prostitute.

In 2015, Florida passed the new “John” bill. The bill added penalties for those convicted of soliciting a prostitute. The new law requires every person convicted for soliciting a prostitute to also do the following:

  • Pay a $5,000 fine;
  • Complete 100 hours of community service;
  • Attend a human trafficking and prostitution awareness course; and
  • Be screened for any sexually transmissible diseases (STDs).

In addition to the above penalties, a first-time conviction for prostitution is a first-degree misdemeanor. The penalty for a first-degree misdemeanor includes:

  • Up to one year in jail; and
  • A possible fine of up to $1,000. 

Take note that if you solicit a prostitute a second time you may have a mandatory jail sentence of at least 10 days. A second solicitation offense is a third-degree felony, the penalties include:

  • Up to five years in prison;
  • A possible fine of up to $5,000; and
  • Possible vehicle impoundment or immobilization for up to 60 days.

A third solicitation offense also carries a mandatory 10-day jail sentence. Third-time convicted offenders may face a second-degree felony, which is punishable by: 

  • Up to 15 years in prison;
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000;
  • Possible vehicle impoundment or immobilization for up to 60 days.

Statute of Limitations

All crimes have a statute of limitations or a time limit for prosecutors to file criminal charges. The purpose of a statute of limitations is to preserve the integrity of evidence and eyewitnesses. In Florida, the statute of limitations is classified by the degree of offense.

Listed below are the statute of limitations for soliciting a prostitute in Florida. 

  • First Offense – 2 Years
  • Second Offense – 3 Years
  • Third or Subsequent Offense – 3 Years

Additional Resources

Florida Prostitution Laws – Visit the official website for the Florida Senate to access the statutes concerning prostitute. Access the laws to learn more about how prostitution is defined, the penalties for engaging in prostitution and the penalties for running a prostitution house. 

St. Pete Vice & Narcotics Unit – Visit the official website for the St. Petersburg Police Department to learn more about their vice unit. Access the site to learn the investigations unit for prostitution, gambling, narcotics and other street-level crimes.

Lawyer for Soliciting Prostitution in Pinellas County, Florida

Soliciting a prostitute can land you in serious hot water. If convicted, you could be forced to pay large fines and serve possible prison or jail time. Now, thanks to the new “John” law, you will be forced to pay a $5,000 fine and fulfill other conditions for each conviction. 

Thankfully, you have options. Don’t say a word to law enforcement and call the attorneys at Morris Law Firm, P.A.. Our attorneys are skilled at defending those accused of solicitation. We will utilize every resource available to get the best possible results for you. Call us now at (727) 388-4736 to schedule a free consultation. 

Morris Law Firm, P.A. accepts clients throughout the greater St. Petersburg area and surrounding communities including Tampa, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, and Bradenton.

This article was last updated on December 31, 2018.