Did you know that you could face criminal charges for asking a person to participate in prostitution, even if that person is not a prostitute? Florida holds some of the strictest solicitation and prostitution laws. Both prostitution and solicitation are criminal offenses in this state, which is why if you face charges for soliciting a prostitute or for prostitution in West Palm Beach, you need to speak with a criminal defense attorney.
Prostitution Charges in West Palm Beach
Florida Statute §796.07 defines prostitution as the giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity for hire. This statute excludes sexual activity between spouses. It also makes engagement in the prostitution business illegal, such as someone who runs a brothel or a person who acts as an agent for prostitutes (as a pimp or madam).
“Sexual activity” refers to any type of sexual activity involving vaginal, oral, or anal penetration or fondling that falls outside of a bona fide medical purpose. Offering prostitution as a sex worker can lead to misdemeanor or felony charges, even if the services are not provided. The punishment for each Floride prostitution charge can escalate with each subsequent offense. At times, sex workers may be targeted in sting operations in which law enforcement officers pose as solicitors of prostitutes, or “johns.” It is important that you discuss the details of your case with your attorney.
Solicitation Charges in West Palm Beach
Soliciting prostitution is also a criminal offense. People who solicit prostitutes are often colloquially known as “johns.” It is illegal to ask someone to engage in prostitution regardless of whether or not that person is a sex worker, and whether or not the services were rendered. Police in Palm Beach County will sometimes set up sting operations to pose as sex workers in order to arrest those who agree to pay for services.
Like prostitution, solicitation is a second degree misdemeanor charge that escalates after each subsequent charge. This means that a second offense would result in first degree misdemeanor charges; however, if a minor was involved, the charges are elevated to the next level. For example, if it is discovered that you solicited a minor working as a prostitute the first time you were charged with solicitation, what would usually be charged as a second degree misdemeanor offense becomes a first degree misdemeanor offense.
In addition, you may be charged with misdemeanor or felony charges for other prostitution and sex trafficking crimes.
Other Prostitution Charges
You could be charged with a prostitution crime for participating in the prostitution business. If you are accused of offering another person for prostitution, soliciting people to act as prostitutes, owning or operating an establishment for prostitution to take place, or other participation in the business of sex work, you could face the same charges as one who solicits prostitution starting with second degree misdemeanor charges and working your way up for every subsequent offense.
Sex trafficking is a serious felony crime. Compelling or coercing a person to become a prostitute is a third degree felony. Selling minors into prostitution, or buying a minor for the purpose of offering him or her as a prostitute is a first degree felony. Additionally, procuring minors for sex work is a second degree felony offense.
You could also face serious criminal charges for renting a space knowing that it would be used for prostitution and for accepting money that knowingly came from prostitution.
Talk with an experienced sex crimes defense attorney today who has handled cases of prostitution and solicitation in West Palm Beach. For over 25 years, attorney Brian Gabriel has defended the criminally accused throughout South Florida, becoming an expert in Florida prostitution law. He can help you develop a strong criminal defense by leaving no stone unturned. With dedicated personalized attention and a passion for upholding your Constitutional rights, he can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your unique case. Call 561-622-5575 or contact The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel online for a free and confidential consultation.