What Are the Penalties for Soliciting Prostitution in Florida?
By Jonathan Blecher on July 1, 2019
Prostitution truly is one of the oldest professions, and either you don’t have a problem with it or you’re against it. Some people say, “If it’s consensual sex between two adults, why is it illegal?” Some even go on to say that prostitution is not all that different than dating – only with a date, it involves dinner and possibly a nice bottle of wine as opposed to exchanging money. Is there really a big difference?
Prostitution is illegal for several reasons and more than likely, it will remain that way. Why? For one, prostitution has a lot to do with human trafficking, which involves children, teenagers, and young men and women who are forced against their will to sell their bodies for sex. Second, prostitution encourages the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, and third, the government can’t collect taxes on it. So, for those three reasons, it remains illegal.
What is Solicitation?
A lot of people know quite well that if they walk up to a prostitute (especially an undercover cop) and try to arrange a “business transaction,” they can get busted for soliciting a prostitute. But, people can find themselves facing this charge in other scenarios as well, which I want to discuss in further detail.
Merriam-Webster defines “solicit” as, “to the proposition (someone) especially as or in the character of a prostitute.” So, while driving your car up to a prostitute on a street corner and asking her if she wants a date would definitely suffice, it doesn’t have to be a prostitute. A man can approach a beautiful woman at one of Miami’s hotspots and offer her $300 for sex, and even if she’s a normal girl, he can be charged with solicitation.
Solicitation is covered under Section 796.07 of the Florida Statutes. This Section essentially covers various prohibited acts related to prostitution, including solicitation, and even transporting someone for the purposes of prostitution. If you solicit prostitution (even if the person solicited is not a prostitute by profession), you face the following penalties for a first offense:
- Misdemeanor of the second degree
- Up to 60 days in jail
- A maximum fine of $500
The above are the penalties for a first offense; each subsequent charge for solicitation incurs enhanced charges and penalties. If you are facing criminal charges for solicitation, I invite you to contact my Miami criminal defense firm for help. As a former prosecutor, I understand how the system works and can provide you with a hard-hitting legal defense.