Law enforcement agencies in Florida carry out multiple functions in order to apprehend people who violate the law. This includes special undercover operations that target persons involved in prostitution or solicitation. Crimes of this nature are considered especially serious and placed right alongside with indecent exposure and other sex crimes. As such, even the accusation of prostitution, solicitation, or a closely related charge can have a massive impact on your personal and professional life. Having a history of prostitution or solicitation can also cause problems if you apply for a job or higher education and can come back to haunt you years later. With all of this in mind, it is highly advisable to contact a Broward criminal lawyer immediately if you or someone you know is arrested for prostitution, solicitation, indecent exposure, or other sex crime.
Prostitution and Florida Statutes
Under Florida state law, prostitution is any act that involves giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity in exchange for money or other materials that excludes relations between spouses. It is important to point out that for prostitution to occur, money doesn’t have to change hands. Any other materials including material possessions or even drugs given or received in exchange for sex can be construed as a violation of this statute. Prostitution related charges can be brought up against the following acts as well:
- Owning, establishing, or maintaining a building or conveyance for lewdness or prostitution
- Offering, agreeing, or securing another person for a lewd or indecent act
- Offering conveyance or transportation to any person with reason to believe that it may lead to prostitution
- Offering to commit prostitution or lewd acts
- Soliciting another person to commit indecent acts or lewdness
- Purchasing the services of any person engaged in prostitution
Penalties for Prostitution
Depending on previous history, the penalties for prostitution widely vary.
- If convicted of a second degree misdemeanor for prostitution for the first time, you could face:
A fine of up to $500
Up to 60 days in a county jail
Probation of up to six months
Mandatory STD (sexually transmitted disease) screenings
AIDS awareness training
- For a first degree misdemeanor, the punishment may include up to 1 year in prison and a fine of up to $1000.
- On the third violation, the charges may be classified as a felony. For a third degree felony, the sentence may be up to 5 years in prison and a $5000 fine.
- If found guilty of a second degree felony, you could face up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Why You Should Hire an Attorney to Fight on Your Behalf
The US justice system is revered around the world as one of the best, and the right to have an attorney represent you is perhaps the most basic part of it. Our founding fathers had good reason to include this clause as one of the basic rights for anyone accused of a crime. Regardless of the charges you are facing, having a Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney on your side to fight on your behalf has huge benefits. Hiring a criminal defense attorney can make the entire legal process simpler and keep you fully prepared to handle any type of situation. This is especially vital if you or someone you know has been charged with a crime and is facing serious consequences including possible jail time.
Here are some of the benefits that hiring a Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer will have on your case:
- Experienced Representation Takes the Cake Every Time
The biggest benefit of hiring a Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney is that you have access to the service of a professional who has a wealth of experience. In matters such as prostitution and solicitation, you are already on thin ice. Representing yourself in such a situation, especially if you do not have prior legal training is not a good idea. Understanding legal terms, what they mean, the type of evidence against you, and going through stacks of paperwork is a tedious task where even the slightest error can cause a major problem, even years down the road. An experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer is better placed to handle all of the aspects of your case in a professional manner.
- Access to Resources
While some attorneys do work on their own, most are partners or associates at law firms. This means they have the support of a full team of staff including paralegals, secretaries, and researchers who will fight tooth and nail to get the charges against you thrown out or reduced. This also takes off some of the burden of paperwork from your attorney and allows them to focus more on winning your case.
- Independent Investigation
One of the biggest advantages of hiring a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer is the element of independent investigation. This means that the attorney you hire will look into the details of your case to ensure against false accusations. Your attorney will start by examining the initial contact with law enforcement and the subsequent arrest. He or she may also examine the evidence brought up against you including any recordings or undercover operations. Beyond that, your attorney may decide to hire an independent investigator to verify the details of your case, interview witnesses, collaborate testimony, and review security footage from around the vicinity. This could help uncover new facts and have a positive impact on your case.
Having a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney on your side also means that you will have an effective defense strategy that could result in a favorable outcome for your case. An experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney may be able to get the charges dismissed or reduced and have your penalty removed. Call our office now for a free consultation, (954) 256-1464.