Recent changes in state law have elevated the punishment for solicitation in Jupiter, making it harsher in comparison to prostitution. For example, there is a mandatory 10-day jail sentence for soliciting another to commit prostitution. In some cases, law enforcement unconstitutionally entraps citizens before charging them with solicitation.
If you are charged with solicitation, you have the right to fight back against this accusation. Call a Jupiter solicitation lawyer from Leifert & Leifert to schedule a consultation. A seasoned criminal defense attorney could work with you to build an appropriate defense for your case.
Purchasing Services of a Prostitute
Florida law differentiates purchasing the services of a prostitute from soliciting a person to commit prostitution. If a prostitute offers services and a person was to accept that offer, they would be guilty of prostitution as opposed to solicitation.
Purchasing the services of a prostitute carries the same sentencing structure as the crime of prostitution. Your first offense would be a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
A second conviction would be a first-degree misdemeanor, which carries a $5,000 fine and up to a year in jail. Subsequent convictions would be considered third-degree felonies.
Solicitation Law in Jupiter
Soliciting a person to commit prostitution is different than purchasing the services of a prostitute according to Florida Statutes §796.07. A person who solicits another to commit prostitution could face a litany of additional consequences if convicted.
It is a first-degree misdemeanor to solicit another person, making it punishable by up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine. Additionally, a court would typically order 100 hours of community service and require that a Defendant complete an education program on the harms of sexual violence and human trafficking.
If a vehicle was used in the solicitation, the court may order the vehicle to be impounded. The court could also impose a mandatory sentence of 10 days in jail.
Forfeiture of Vehicle Following a Solicitation Offense
Law Enforcement can and often will impound an automobile used to commit a solicitation offense. A preliminary hearing on this matter will be held within 15 days of the order.
A Defendant can request at this time that the Court refrain from impounding their vehicle. Such a request may be granted if the Defendant, as the vehicle’s owner, shows that their family has no other private or public means of transportation. A Jupiter solicitation lawyer at Leifert & Leifert could represent you at such a hearing and help make a case for you to keep your vehicle.
Entrapment in Prostitution Solicitation Cases
Law Enforcement often goes out of their way to catch and criminally charge those seeking, which may set up sting operations. Some of these operations are quite sophisticated and involve internet ads and undercover officers.
It is sometimes the case that this behavior constitutes entrapment, which can serve as a defense to a solicitation charge. If applicable, a Jupiter solicitation attorney could make the case that you were a victim of entrapment and should not be found guilty of solicitation.
Buildings, Places, and Reputations
It is a crime in Jupiter to enter, or remain in, a place or building for the purpose of commit the crime of purchasing the services of a prostitute. If a Defendant is charged with this offense, testimony about the reputation of the people found in that place—including the reputation of the Defendant—is admissible in court.
This is a departure from standard rules of evidence, which normally do not allow so-called “character” evidence. Since this sort of testimony is highly subjective, the assistance of determined legal counsel could be particularly useful in mitigating any potentially damaging testimony.
How a Jupiter Solicitation Attorney Could Help
A charge involving solicitation or prostitution can lead to serious consequences. Given the potential repercussions of a conviction, it is almost always worth fighting such a charge.
If you are charged with solicitation or any charge related to prostitution, get in touch with one of our attorneys from Leifert & Leifert today. A Jupiter solicitation lawyer could work with you to fight against the accusations made against you and help you protect your best interests.