Florida law prohibits solicitation or hiring someone to engage in prostitution. A solicitation charge carries severe penalties even if it is the person’s first offense. Additionally, a solicitation conviction could tarnish an individual’s reputation.
Although a solicitation charge does not always end in a jail sentence or fine, it is still important to work with a defense Attorney a Leifert & Leifert for help with avoiding criminal penalties. An accomplished Tequesta solicitation Lawyer could aid an individual charged with solicitation by reviewing their case and advocating on their behalf.
Differences Between Prostitution and Escort Services
Escort services are legal in Florida. Accordingly, hiring an escort is not illegal while hiring a prostitute is. Patrons of escort services buy an escort’s time and companionship. On the other hand, patrons of prostitutes, or “johns”, purchase a prostitute’s sexual services.
In some cases, law enforcement will put together a sting operation using a fake escort service and arrest customers who think they are hiring an escort. An individual arrested during a sting operation could be charged with solicitation despite not having an intent to purchase sexual favors.
Criminal Penalties for Solicitation Charges
In Florida, a person could be charged with solicitation even if a sexual act does not occur. Solicitation laws criminalize buying or attempting to obtain sexual favors from another person.
A first offense solicitation conviction is typically considered a second-degree misdemeanor. A person convicted of solicitation could face severe penalties, such as:
- 60 days in jail
- Up to $5,000 in fines
- Possible driver’s license revocation if they used their car to commit the crime
- Mandatory enrollment in a sexual violence prevention education program
- Compulsory HIV/STD screening
Additional offenses could be classified as more severe misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the facts. A qualified solicitation defense Attorney could protect the interests of a person charged with solicitation.
Civil Penalties for Solicitation Charges
Aside from criminal penalties, an individual could face a civil penalty of $5,000 if their charge results in any court disposition other than an acquittal or dismissal of charges. In other words, it is crucial that an accused offender successfully averts criminal charges so that they may also avoid the civil penalty.
Many individuals accused of solicitation are unaware of the financial penalty that comes with a solicitation conviction. A well-informed Tequesta solicitation Attorney could identify potential defenses that may be available to an accused offender.
Penalties for Soliciting a Minor in Tequesta
Both Florida and federal law recognizes minors engaged in prostitution as human trafficking victims. As a consequence, someone who solicits a minor for sexual services may face human trafficking charges. Human trafficking charges could still apply even if the minor seemed to be voluntarily engaging in prostitution.
A person convicted of human trafficking could face severe penalties, such as:
- A mandatory minimum prison sentence of about 66 months
- A maximum of life in prison
- Fines up to $10,000
The categorization of a case as either a misdemeanor solicitation charge or a felony human trafficking charge depends on the facts of an individual’s case. An adept Tequesta solicitation Attorney could review the specific circumstances of someone’s case and begin developing a defense immediately.
Contact a Tequesta Solicitation Attorney Today
A solicitation conviction could have severe consequences on an individual’s personal and professional life. It is helpful to have an Attorney advise you of your legal rights in a solicitation case.
A qualified Tequesta solicitation Lawyer could advocate on your behalf to help have your charges reduced or dismissed. Call today to discuss your case with one of our knowledgeable Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert.