Solicitation for Prostitution
The Federal and state governments of the United States of America have a long and storied history of punishing people for crimes that cause no harm to another person. Nonviolent drug crimes are the types of offenses that have most recently dominated our news cycle. For decades, people suffering from addiction have been punished for drug possession and similar offenses with lengthy jail and prison sentences. Thankfully, our lawmakers have begun to see the error of their ways and have moved to reverse many of the harmful policies relating to such drug crimes.
Our governments also severely punish sexual offenses. While sexual predators and those convicted of serious sexual offenses might certainly deserve to be punished, it is important to realize that some sex-related crimes are victimless and non-violent. For example, in Florida, a law exists prohibiting “unnatural and lascivious acts,” which courts have broadly interpreted to mean consensual homosexual or heterosexual oral sex. Statutory rape, or the consensual sex of people certain ages apart, has also come under intense scrutiny. If you’ve been charged with any sex-related offense, the prosecution will take special interest in your case, so do not hesitate to retain a skilled Clearwater criminal lawyer to begin to build your defense.
By far the most common nonviolent sex-related criminal offense is prostitution. Prostitution is often described as the world’s oldest profession. And while prosecutors have more recently begun to back off of prosecution of sex workers, law enforcement is still waging a full on war against “Johns,” those who are alleged to have paid for sexual services. Soliciting another for prostitution carries severe penalties and police often go out of their way to catch people in the act.Solicitation of Prostitution Elements
Under Florida Statute 796.07 subsection F, it is unlawful and a misdemeanor of the first degree to solicit, induce, or entice another person to engage in the act of prostitution. This means that you can be convicted and sentenced to up to one year in county jail if the prosecution proves that you either induced a person to engage in sex in exchange for money, or otherwise came to an agreement with that person involving money in exchange for sexual services. The additional mandatory penalties for a solicitation conviction are extremely harsh and make it all the more necessary that you retain a skilled Clearwater criminal defense attorney.
Under the statute, along with potential jail time, a conviction for solicitation will also net the offender an insane $5,000 fine. Along with the fine, the court is required to sentence a defendant to complete at least 100 community service hours, and must require him or her to attend a course that teaches about the dangers of human trafficking. The fine alone can be debilitatingly expensive and can leave those convicted in significant debt. While a first offense for solicitation of prostitution is a misdemeanor offense, subsequent offenses can lead to increased charges. A second offense of solicitation can be charged as a third degree felony. A conviction for a third degree felony can result in up to five years in prison. Even worse, a third or subsequent conviction can be charged as a second degree felony punishable by up to fifteen years in prison! All for non-violent offenses. If you find yourself charged with solicitation, don’t let the prosecution take advantage of you. Retain an experienced Clearwater criminal defense attorney to aid in your defense.
Police will often target people by conducting undercover operations and having a police officer pose as a sex worker. The undercover officer will often be the one who overtly solicits the sexual services, sets a price and drives the conversation. A skilled lawyer can call into question these overly aggressive tactics and help you obtain the best results for your case.Speak to Our Lawyers Today
The lawyers at Hanlon Law have decades of experience fighting for the rights of Clearwater residents. If you’d like a consultation, don’t hesitate to call us at 727.897.5413.