Despite its reputation, many people do not understand how severe a charge for prostitution can be. Beyond legal penalties, a conviction may also carry a serious social stigma, and those convicted of prostitution may have difficulty reintegrating into society even after they serve their sentence.
If you were charged with prostitution, you may benefit from speaking with a Lake Worth prostitution lawyer. With the aid of our dedicated criminal defense attorneys from Leifert & Leifert, you may be able to build a defense that allows you to protect your best interests and achieve a positive outcome to your case.
How Does the Law Define Prostitution?
Many people believe individuals can only be charged with prostitution if they offer to perform sexual acts in exchange for money. However, this is not strictly true by the letter of the law.
In actuality, prostitution is the act of exchanging or promising sexual favors for money or any other form of payment. For example, a person could be charged with prostitution if they:
- Suggest or imply they are willing to offer sexual favors in return for money or other forms of payment
- Accept payment in return for sexual favors
- Be present in a vehicle or establishment while another person engages in prostitution
- Transport a person who intends to engage in prostitution to a specific location
It is important to note that a person with the intention to commit prostitution can still be charged even if they have yet to act upon this intention. Either way, a charge of prostitution could be very serious, and anyone convicted would have to deal with a criminal record, along with potentially severe legal and social penalties.
What are the First-Time Prostitution Penalties in Lake Worth?
As mentioned above, prostitution charges are taken very seriously by Florida Courts, and it could be important for anyone who is facing charges to contact a hardworking Lake Worth prostitution lawyer for counsel. For instance, a first-time prostitution conviction can result in a fine of up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail.
Beyond these penalties, having a criminal record can also make it difficult to secure housing and employment or pass even basic background checks. Due to the variety of social, financial, and legal pressures you could face in Lake Worth, you may benefit from speaking with an attorney at Leifert & Leifert about your situation even if you are not sure you will be formally charged with a crime.
Felony-Level Prostitution Charges
Anyone with a prior conviction for prostitution may face extremely harsh legal penalties for a repeat offense. This could mean an automatic elevation of the charge to a Felony, which increases the potential fine to $5,000 and the possible jail term to a maximum of five years. Other potential penalties might include post-release supervision, probation, and community service, as outlined in Florida Statutes §796.07.
Charges may also be elevated if a person is accused of offering sexual services to a minor in exchange for money. If convicted in such a case, you could face a fine of up to $10,000 and a jail sentence of up to 15 years.
How a Lake Worth Prostitution Attorney Could Help
If you were charged with prostitution, it is normal to feel scared and confused. The penalties you face may be severe, and you may be pressured to act quickly without taking the time to consider your actions. However, before you make any big decisions about your defense, you may benefit from seeking the advice of a seasoned Lake Worth prostitution lawyer.
A persistent member of our Leifert & Leifert legal team could help you weigh your legal options and proceed in a proactive way. Call us today for a free consultation and case review.