Prostitution is sometimes called the world's oldest profession. However, if you are convicted of a prostitution-related offense, particularly an offense involving a minor, you may face some very serious consequences. You should contact a St. Petersburg prostitution defense lawyer as soon as possible if you have been arrested for prostitution or a prostitution-related offense. At Hanlon Law, we are dedicated to fiercely protecting your rights if you have been accused.Prostitution
Prostitution is forbidden under Florida Statutes section 796.07. It is defined as providing or receiving a body for hired sexual activity, other than sex involving spouses. The sexual activity involved can include any type of sexual penetration as well as masturbating by fondling or handling another person's private parts.
Although most people associate prostitutes who provide sexual services with this crime, the statute penalizes multiple types of acts related to prostitution, including being a customer of a prostitute. If you are charged with prostituting yourself, you face misdemeanor charges and a potential sentence that includes a $500 fine and 60 days in jail. For a second of these offenses, you may face a maximum of a $1,000 fine and one year in jail. Moreover, if you are charged with a third offense, you face up to five years of imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.
If you are charged with prostitution because you are a customer, you can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. The potential penalties include a $1,000 fine, one year of probation, and one year in prison. The potential penalties for a second charge are a mandatory 10 days in jail and possibly a $5,000 fine, five years of probation, and five years of imprisonment. A third charge is a second-degree felony, which makes it especially critical to retain a prostitution defense attorney in St. Petersburg. You may face at most 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, and $10,000 in fines. Additionally, the judge is required to sentence you to a class on human trafficking, a civil fine, and 100 hours of community service.
Other acts related to prostitution are also penalized, such as aiding or abetting prostitution, pimping, allowing somebody to stay in a building in order to commit prostitution, walking into a place of prostitution, operating a brothel, transporting someone for the purpose of prostitution, soliciting prostitution, or buying sexual acts from another person.
Police officers are permitted to testify when prostitution or prostitution-related acts are being tried. The prosecution must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, but evidence about the place where the alleged prostitution took place is permitted, as is evidence about the reputation of anybody living or operating there.
If you are a minor who has been arrested for prostitution, your St. Petersburg prostitution defense attorney can raise your age as a defense. In Florida, minors are considered victims of human trafficking if they are prostitutes. When somebody is involved in offering a minor for prostitution or another prostitution-related crime, they can be charged with other sex crimes involving a minor, which may require registration as a sex offender.
Adults may be able to defend on procedural, constitutional, or substantive grounds. For example, if certain evidence was obtained in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights, you may be able to get the evidence suppressed.Consult a Knowledgeable Prostitution Defense Lawyer in St. Petersburg
While prostitution is not unknown in St. Petersburg, and it does not carry as great a social stigma as certain other sex crimes, it is important to remember that it is illegal and can result in a prison sentence and a criminal record. Prostitution charges should be defended with the help of an experienced St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney. Our founder, Will Hanlon, has been providing criminal defense representation since 1994 and may be able to help during the investigation of your case. You can call Hanlon Law at 727.897.5413 or use our online form to set up your appointment.