Though most people know it is illegal to engage in prostitution, paying for these services is also against the law. In some cases, solicitation charges can carry more severe penalties than prostitution. When facing these allegations in Fort Lauderdale, you should prepare to offer a strong defense.
A South Florida solicitation lawyer is here for you. The expert sex crimes attorneys at Rossen Law Firm can explain the state’s laws, evaluate the facts that led to your arrest, and develop a defense aiming to help you avoid harsh penalties.
State law combines all allegations related to prostitution, including solicitation, into a single statute. Florida Statute § 796.07 defines prostitution as the giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity for hire. Solicitation includes purchasing a sexual act as well as enticing or persuading someone to engage in prostitution.
Sexual intercourse does not need to occur under this definition of sexual activity. In addition, the offer to exchange anything of value, not just money, may violate the law. Speaking with a knowledgeable attorney can provide clarification on the laws regulating the solicitation of prostitution in South Florida.
State solicitation laws establish enhanced penalties for those who receive multiple convictions. A first conviction is a misdemeanor of the first degree that can result in a jail sentence of as long as one year. Second convictions are felonies of the third degree, while all subsequent convictions are felonies of the second degree. All second convictions carry a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 10 days.
In addition to these criminal penalties, judges in these cases must order 100 hours of community service and a required educational program about the dangers of prostitution.
Prosecutors in solicitation cases bear the burden of proving their case beyond a reasonable doubt. A South Florida solicitation lawyer can create a strong defense by scrutinizing evidence and maintaining this doubt.
Police must have a warrant to search a person’s home or electronic device. They must also advise suspects of their rights after an arrest to remain silent or have an attorney present during questioning. When an attorney demonstrates that law enforcement violated the suspect’s rights while gathering evidence, a judge may discard the evidence before trial.
It may also be possible to challenge a prosecutor’s classification of an encounter and reduce charges. For example, there may be little evidence of an agreed-upon exchange of money for sex. Other situations may include cases of mistaken identity or an unclear reason for an encounter. An experienced attorney can evaluate the best defense plan for anyone in South Florida facing solicitation charges.
The alleged solicitation of a prostitute is always a serious matter. Even first convictions are criminal cases that will stay on your record and could result in jail time. To protect your rights and minimize these impacts on your life, you should contest these charges at every opportunity.
Having the best South Florida solicitation lawyer on your side can improve your chances of receiving a positive outcome. The award-winning team at Rossen Law Firm can explain how the state’s solicitation laws apply to your charges and develop a defense that fits your case and needs. Schedule your free strategy session today to get started.
Rossen Law Firm’s legal team understands what’s at stake when you’re charged with a crime in South Florida. We’re committed to defending you and protecting your rights. Our legal team is ready to create a customized strategy for your case to fight for the best possible outcome. We handle Criminal, DUI, Federal, Domestic Violence, Marchman Act & Baker Act cases, and more.
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