Prostitution, including street prostitution, brothels and prostitution through escort services, is illegal in every state in the country with the exception of Nevada. In Florida, prostitution is made illegal under chapter 796 of the Florida Statutes (2012). Every aspect of prostitution is a crime in this state, with specific statutes prohibiting procuring a person under the age of 18 for prostitution, coercing another to become a prostitute, deriving support from the proceeds of prostitution, renting space for prostitution, soliciting prostitution and the act of prostitution itself.
State law defines prostitution as "the giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity for hire," with the exclusion of sexual activity between spouses. It includes acts of lewd conduct, as well as any type of sexual activity. The penalty for engaging in prostitution depends on whether or not the offender has a prior criminal record. A first offense is punishable as a misdemeanor of the second degree, with a $500 fine and 60 days in jail, while a second offense is a first-degree misdemeanor with $1,000 in fines and a year in jail. Any subsequent offense is charged as a felony of the third degree, penalized by a $5,000 fine and up to five years in state prison. If this is the third time that you have been charged with engaging in prostitution, state law offers you the option of being admitted to a pretrial intervention program or a substance abuse treatment program as a form of alternative sentencing.
Call or visit the Law Offices of Richard Tendler as early as possible if you are facing criminal charges for prostitution and want to learn about your options for fighting the case. I have 15 years' experience defending the rights of the accused, and my team is ready to take immediate action to resolve the charges and help you find your way out of the criminal justice system. This may be a highly stressful situation, but we are on your side and want to help you avoid the serious consequences you face.