Like marijuana, a lot of people think that prostitution should be legal. However, despite being one of the oldest occupations in existence, prostitution is still very much illegal, except for a small area in Nevada. Why does the government still prosecute people for prostitution despite its popularity?
For starters, human trafficking is BIG business and as long as there is a demand for prostitutes, young men and women and children will continue being kidnapped for the sake of prostitution. Sexually transmitted diseases are another issue; prostitution encourages the spread of such diseases. Lastly, the government can’t easily collect taxes on prostitution, and that is another reason to ban it.
If you’re presently facing prostitution charges in Miami, read on to learn more about the penalties involved in this offense.
Penalties for Prostitution in Florida
In Florida, prostitution is criminalized under Section 796.07 of the Florida Statutes. Under this section, prostitution is defined as “giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity for hire but excludes sexual activity between spouses.” So, under this section, it is unlawful to do the following:
- Operate a house of prostitution;
- Offer another for the purpose of a sexual act;
- Permit someone to remain in a structure for the purpose of prostitution; or
- Transport someone for the purpose of prostitution.
It’s also illegal for anyone over the age of 18 to:
- Offer a sexual act in exchange for money;
- Engage in sexual activity for hire;
- Solicit or entice another (e.g. a John) to engage in prostitution;
- To live in or enter a building for the purpose of prostitution; or
- To purchase a prostitute’s services.
Prostitution can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of the case and the individual’s criminal history. For example, a first offense is generally charged as a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine not to exceed $500.
A second offense is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 and by up to one year in jail. A third violation is a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to 5 years in prison, and a fine up to $5,000.
Are you facing prostitution charges? If so, I urge you to contact my Miami criminal defense firm to schedule a free consultation with me. As a former prosecutor, I know what it takes to defend you. Contact me today.