People facing charges for soliciting sexual face the possibility of jail and a fine. Unless the person is a repeat offender or soliciting sex from minors, solicitation is a misdemeanor offense. Whether the State has a strong case or not, the stakes are often too high to risk going without legal representation. A skilled criminal attorney could help you create a strong defense before court. Contact a Boca Raton solicitation lawyer who may be able to help you with your defense.
Defining Solicitation Law
Solicitation under Florida law consists of attempting to ask or asking someone to agree to have sexual contact in return for compensation of some sort, such as cash or drugs. It is not necessary that the sex act actually happen to commit solicitation. Solicitation is a misdemeanor offense in the second degree. Misdemeanors have two classes, with the first degree being the most serious.
What Are the Associated Penalties?
Someone facing solicitation charges could face 60 days in county jail, a $500 fine, and six months of supervised probation. If a misdemeanor charge does not specify a degree, it is by law a second-degree misdemeanor.
Soliciting a minor, or an adult posing as a minor, is a far more serious felony offense. A conviction could mean a permanent criminal record that will follow the person in job applications and personal relationships, as well as other certain sanctions.
Understanding Law Enforcement’s Role in a Solicitation Case
Authorities often want to question someone they suspect of solicitation, but it is usually best to decline to answer any questions at or before an arrest. The police will use any statement someone makes as evidence against them. It is imperative that a suspect have competent legal counsel present during questioning and every other part or process of their case.
It should be noted that it is not illegal for police to lie to a suspect during an investigation, even when they are trying to obtain information. It is important for the accused to consult with a Boca Raton solicitation lawyer before having any contact with any investigating agency.
Common Defenses for Solicitation Crimes
Defenses hinge on the particular circumstances of the alleged event. Common defenses are that the defendant did not ask for or attempt to receive sexual favors or that no one offered the promise of compensation.
Entrapment can also be the source of a potential defense. This occurs when law enforcement encourages a person to commit solicitation that they would not have without the interference of law enforcement. However, when law enforcement conducts sting operations, this defense is not available.
A Boca Raton solicitation lawyer could listen to your side of the alleged offense and review the police report if available. They could also explain the legal procedures involved as well as a strategy to get the case resolved in your favor.