While some may consider prostitution or solicitation of the same to be essentially victimless crimes, the Florida legislature, courts and law enforcement officials clearly believe otherwise, treating such offenses with great seriousness.
Anyone convicted of soliciting the services of a prostitute can expect severe consequences far beyond the sense of embarrassment and social stigma that may follow.
Jail time, fines, professional repercussions, sex registry requirements and other ramifications can create difficulties that last for years after the act itself. As a result, the help of a Ft. Lauderdale solicitation lawyer is essential whenever charges of this type are lodged. A skilled defense attorney could create a defense for a positive outcome in your case. En Español.
What are the Solicitation Laws?
An important consideration in the law of prostitution in Florida is the fact that the mere act of requesting another individual to engage in sexual services for money is a criminal offense. According to Fla. Stat. § 796.07(1)(f), the act of prostitution itself need not be committed for a conviction on solicitation charges to be sought.
The offer of funds in exchange for sex is sufficient, making the landscape rather dangerous for anyone who finds themselves in situations where such activity is known to occur. As such, anyone accused of solicitation should seek the counsel of a Ft Lauderdale lawyer.
What is the Difference Between Prostitution and Solicitation?
The main difference between solicitation and prostitution is the point of time when an illegal sexual transaction may occur. Typically, solicitation occurs before the sexual act has taken place. This is because it is not required for any act to have taken place for Law Enforcement to arrest someone on these charges. Solicitation charges may be brought against someone who has either requested or demanded sex in exchange for money, yet there must be additional proof that this person intended to go through with this transaction. Therefore, to be convicted of this crime, the Prosecutor must demonstrate a furtherance of the act, such as exchanging money, withdrawing money from an ATM, meeting at a specified location, or communicating with a prostitute to schedule the sexual transaction.
What are the Possible Penalties?
The sanctions to which those found guilty of solicitation are vulnerable can be quite serious in nature and are nothing to be taken lightly. Jail time of considerable length is a real possibility, particularly for those with multiple past convictions for the same offense.
Substantial monetary fines and civil penalties can also be imposed, with the most onerous of those reaching well into the thousands of dollars. In addition, those convicted of solicitation of prostitution can face:
- Mandatory screening for sexually transmitted diseases
- Suspension of driver’s license, if motor vehicle was used in connection with the offense
- Seizure and possible forfeiture of any vehicle used in commission of the offense
- Mandatory community service obligations
- Required participation in prostitution/human trafficking/sexual violence prevention programming
An attorney in Ft. Lauderdale could help someone charged with solicitation minimize or avoid the penalties associated with this offense.
Though the immediate aftermath of an arrest on solicitation charges can prompt feelings of panic and hopelessness, accused individuals need to keep in mind that allegations do not equate to a conviction. Effective defense strategies often do exist in such solicitation cases, and it is vital that the assistance of an experienced Broward County solicitation attorney be secured as soon as possible to help explore them.
Specifically, many solicitation defendants benefit from a defense based on a theory of police entrapment, as described by Fla. Stat. § 771.201, which argues that police conduct effectively lured them into committing the offense when they were not otherwise disposed to do so or that the arrest techniques used constituted a gross violation of their due process rights. A seasoned Ft Lauderdale lawyer could review the facts and determine the type of arguments most likely to achieve a dismissal of pending solicitation charges or, at least, mitigation of the penalties to be imposed.
How a Ft. Lauderdale Solicitation Attorney Can Help
The shame, potential professional consequences, and damage to personal relationships a solicitation charge, let alone a conviction, can bring about make a strong legal defense an absolute necessity.
If you are among these facing allegations, now is the time to seek the guidance of a Ft. Lauderdale solicitation lawyer who can work hard to protect your rights and freedom. For more information about how Leifert & Leifert could help you, call today.