Orlando Prostitution Sting Defense Lawyers
Prostitution sting operations are a fairly common subject for many police procedures on television. Everyone has seen how these operations are conducted: police communicate with the “bad guy” about the planned crime, and then make the arrest at the scene. Then, the defendant immediately goes to jail for prostitution or solicitation without any recourse. No matter what you have seen on TV, real prostitution stings bring many complicated issues. If you were arrested for prostitution or solicitation, you may have many viable defenses to these serious charges.
Florida Prostitution Laws
State law defines prostitution as “the giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity for hire but excludes sexual activity between spouses.” The law prohibits anyone from offering, soliciting, or engaging in prostitution. The same law forbids procuring a prostitute. These laws are often used against prostitutes and “johns,” or customers.
More and more often, Florida law enforcement officers use sting operations to catch people breaking these laws. Often, such sting operations will involve an officer posting a fake ad on sites like Craigslist or BackPage. The officer will offer sexual services through the ad, and attempt to meet with people, usually men, who respond. After meeting with the undercover officer, the man is arrested for solicitation. In other scenarios, officers will respond to a real prostitution ad and then arrest the person for offering sexual services.
Criminal Penalties for Prostitution
Regardless of the circumstances of your arrest, any prostitution charge is a serious offense. You could face multiple criminal penalties, which depend on the degree of your charge:
- A first time offense is a 2nd degree misdemeanor; penalties may include up to 60 days in jail, steep fines, probation, and mandatory STD testing.
- A second offense is a 1st degree misdemeanor; penalties may include up to 1 year in jail, steep fines, probation, and mandatory STD testing.
- A third and all subsequent offenses is a 3rd degree felony; penalties may include up to 5 years in prison, $5000 in fines and other penalties.
Upon conviction, you may have to serve time in jail, pay thousands in fines and surcharges, and deal with probation. You should know that a conviction for prostitution, even for a first-time offense, would appear on your criminal record.
Defenses to Prostitution Charges
The defense of police entrapment is not always straightforward. Arguing entrapment requires the knowledge of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Basically, to prove entrapment you must show that law enforcement officers enticed you to commit a crime you would not have committed otherwise. In other words, you had no intention to commit a crime, but police enticed you to such action.
Contact a Reputable Orlando Defense Firm
Facing a prostitution charge is embarrassing, and something you will undoubtedly want resolved discreetly. At Moses & Rooth, we will handle your case with total confidentiality and sensitivity. You do not have to defend yourself alone. Instead, contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys. Both of our lawyers are former prosecutors, and we understand how Florida prosecutors handle prostitutions cases. We are currently accepting new clients in the Orlando area. Contact us now to schedule a free initial consultation.