Prostitution is illegal in every state in the country, and Florida is no exception. Like other states, Florida law prohibits anyone from soliciting sex from individuals. The theory behind these laws is that if individuals soliciting sex from people are punished, it will help to eliminate the industry. Whether or not that is the case, it is crucial that anyone facing solicitation charges speaks to a criminal defense lawyer that can prepare the necessary defense. A conviction for solicitation carries very serious penalties.
What Is Solicitation in Florida?
The Florida Statutes are very clear when it comes to solicitation. The law defines this offense as hiring anyone engaging in prostitution. The law also states that inducing, enticing, procuring, or soliciting another person to engage in prostitution is illegal. It is important that everyone in Florida understands that even if they do not have sex with a prostitute, they can still face charges. Solicitation is an offense of intent, so a person found speaking to a well-known prostitute can be in trouble with the law if it is found that money was exchanged.
Individuals convicted on a solicitation charge will face harsh consequences. The penalties vary depending on whether the defendant has a history of solicitation. A first offense is considered a first-degree misdemeanor that carries a potential sentence of up to one year in jail, one year of probation and a maximum $1,000 fine. Second and subsequent offenses are considered felonies and as such, carry much harsher sentences.
In addition to the above penalties, individuals convicted of solicitation must also attend a course on prostitution and human trafficking, complete 100 hours of community service, and submit to STD tests.
Solicitation of a Minor
Any offense involving a minor is always taken very seriously in Florida. When the offense is a sex crime, prosecutors and law enforcement pursue the case very aggressively, even when the person is innocent. It is also a very serious offense to use the internet to induce a minor into any form of sexual behavior. It is important to understand that a person may face charges of solicitation of a minor even if the child does not agree, or if the individual is not a minor, such as when law enforcement goes undercover.
Solicitation of a minor is a much more serious offense than solicitation involving two adults. The punishment for those convicted include a maximum 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, and a maximum $10,000 fine. Also, if multiple devices are used to solicit minors, a person may face a separate charge for each.
Our Florida Criminal Defense Lawyers can Help with Your Charges
Unfortunately, individuals charged with sex crimes are often treated as though they are guilty until proven innocent. At O’Mara Law Group, our Orlando criminal defense lawyers know that is not the case and we will always ensure your rights are upheld. We know the defenses to these charges and will use them to give you the best chance of beating them. Call us today at (407) 634-6604 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys.