Florida Prostitution Lawyer

When you are charged with prostitution, you may be wondering what comes next. Under Florida Statutes § 796, prostitution is the giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity in exchange for money. Unlike some states, Florida permits the police to charge both the sex worker and the client with prostitution. In addition to prostitution charges, the law contains related offenses, such as compelling others to engage in prostitution, deriving support from the proceeds of prostitution, and renting a space for prostitution.

Your potential penalties depend on the exact nature of your charges, ranging from misdemeanors to first-degree felonies. Consulting with a Florida prostitution lawyer is vital. A proactive criminal defense attorney could explain the charges against you and discuss various resolution options.

Variations of Prostitution

The primary crime of prostitution involves trading sex for money. However, prostitution is rarely such a simple transaction. Instead, many sex workers are involuntary workers, compelled to engage in the trade by others. For that reason, the state’s prostitution laws evolved to reflect the reality of prostitution as a large-scale criminal enterprise.

Previously, prostitution laws focused primarily on the sex worker, criminalizing their behavior while largely ignoring the role of their clients. However, the relationship between human trafficking and prostitution has led the state to focus on other contributors. Current prostitution laws target people who make their money through prostitution in addition to sex workers and their clients.

Furthermore, the state has followed the nationwide trend of recognizing child sex workers as the victims of sexual assault instead of criminals. Generally, the prostitution laws do not apply to sexual acts with children, and the state sexual assault laws apply instead. However, the prostitution laws do specifically target buying, selling, or securing children to force them into prosecution.

These variations mean that the law views people in different ways. Sex workers accused of prostitution may be able to use compulsion as a defense. Pimps, madams, drivers, clients, and hotel operators may face significant consequences. A Florida attorney who handles prostitution charges could explain charges and potential defenses.

Penalties for Prostitution

The penalties for prostitution vary. A defendant could face a maximum sentence of up to 60 days in jail for minor offenses and up to 15 years in prison for more serious crimes. There may also be additional charges, such as drug offenses, child sex offenses, and even human trafficking offenses. It is essential to understand how these offenses interact and could impact your potential sentence.

One of the main factors the court considers is whether it is a first or repeated offense. For sex workers and clients, the maximum penalty is 60 days in jail. The law is much stricter for those engaged in a pattern of criminal behavior. Additional offenses increase potential criminal penalties.

However, for many people, the actual penalties of a prostitution conviction are social, not legal, as people tend to judge sex workers and their clients. A prostitution conviction could also impact someone’s ability to work and have a driver’s license, and it could affect divorce and child custody proceedings. A Florida prostitution attorney could help you understand those potential penalties as well as develop options based on your circumstances.

Speak With a Prostitution Attorney in Florida

A prostitution charge is often stressful and unnerving. When you are a sex worker, these charges could impact your ability to support yourself. And when you are a client, you could fear legal consequences and the social implications of people discovering your activities.

A Florida prostitution lawyer at our firm could help you objectively view your charges and create a defense. It could also be difficult to prove some prostitution charges, which means that not-guilty pleas are often an option. When the proof is overwhelming, a trusted legal professional may still be able to help. Schedule a consultation with us today to find out more.