Given that most everyone has a keen interest in preserving their reputation, community standing, and good family name, conviction on a charge of prostitution is something to be avoided at all costs. The resulting shame, embarrassment and social stigma combined with potentially onerous financial penalties and incarceration make an aggressive legal defense a true necessity any time allegations of this nature are lodged.
The courts in this state take offenses in this category very seriously, and as such, have the ability to impose stringent punishments that can damage families for years. A Ft. Lauderdale prostitution lawyer could be an accused individual’s staunchest ally and greatest hope of achieving the positive legal outcome they seek. A skilled defense attorney can help build a person’s case today.
What is Prostitution?
At the heart of the state’s statutory definition of prostitution is the concept that offenses in this realm involve the giving or receiving of the human body for sexual activity in exchange for money or another form of compensation. Fla. Stat. §796.07(2) articulates a series of distinct acts connected to prostitution which are forbidden by law and which may be undertaken either by the prostitute themselves, the purchaser of the services or by the “pimp” or “madame” who promotes and facilitates such crimes. Specifically, it is illegal to:
- Offer another individual to engage in the act of prostitution
- Own or operate an identifiable premises for prostitution-related acts
- Offer a location for acts of prostitution to take place
- Transport or direct an individual toward a site of prostitution
- Solicit another person to engage in prostitution
- Arrange for a prostitution appointment
- Visit or remain in a location used for prostitution
- Hire a person who is engaged in providing prostitution services
Therefore, anyone accused of any prostitution-related offenses should consult with a Ft. Lauderdale attorney immediately to begin building a defense.
Third-Party Prostitution Crimes
There are various actors who could be charged with some prostitution-related crime. As such it is illegal to force or compel someone to commit this crime, own or offer a location for prostitution-related activities, and procure a prostitute for another person. It is a third-degree felony offense to force or compel someone to commit this crime and it is a first-degree misdemeanor to provide someone with a location to carry out an illegal sexual transaction. It is also important to note that someone who knowingly receives financial support from the proceeds of prostitution could also be charged with a criminal offense. Additionally, any of the penalties associated with these crimes could be enhanced if the crime involves a minor. Because there are various ways in which an individual could be charged with a prostitution offense, it is important to contact a skilled Ft. Lauderdale attorney if you are associated with anyone who exchanges sex for money.
What are the Potential Penalties of Prostitution?
In terms of the punishments available to be imposed upon those convicted of prostitution in Broward County, a great deal depending on whether the accused party is the purchaser or the provider of illicit sexual services, the actual age of the service provider and whether the defendant has been found guilty of related offenses in the past. An individual accused of providing sexual services in exchange for money can face a host of penalties, and first-time offenders may be found guilty of a Second Degree Misdemeanor.
Applicable punishments encompass sentences of up to 60 days in jail, upwards of six months’ probationary supervision and fines reaching $500. Multiple offenses can bring longer terms of up to five years’ incarceration, five years of probation, and costly fines of up to $5,000.
Those found guilty of purchasing sexual services from a prostitute will be subject different set of sanctions in addition to typical financial penalties, jail time and probation, including substantial community service requirements, mandatory testing for sexually transmitted diseases as provided by Fla. Stat. § 796.08, ancillary civil fines and compulsory attendance at a human trafficking, sexual violence and/or prostitution awareness program. Third-time and subsequent offenders are classified as Second Degree Felons and as such can receive sentences of up to 15 years’ imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines. Regardless of whether someone is in a first offense or a multiple-offense situation, there is no substitute for the help of an experienced, knowledgeable Ft. Lauderdale prostitution attorney.
Charges alone are not the same as a conviction and that every person charged with a crime is entitled to a strong legal defense. In fact, there are often a number of possible exculpatory strategies a skilled attorney in Ft. Lauderdale could use in a prostitution case.
These may relate to a demonstrable lack of money actually being exchanged, entrapment techniques used by law enforcement, the existence of physical or other duress during the time of alleged offense and more. The sooner these angles can be explored by a seasoned lawyer, however, the better the chance successful arguments can be crafted.
Talk to a Prostitution Attorney Today
The consequences of a prostitution conviction are often profound and may produce detrimental ripple effects on employment prospects, personal relationships and social standing for years to come.
Therefore, if you are facing charges of this type, the time is now to contact a Ft. Lauderdale prostitution lawyer and begin the process of safeguarding your future.