Solicitation of Prostitution
In Florida, criminal offenses are typically split into two broad categories. First, there are crimes that society accepts as morally wrong or reprehensible. Crimes like murder, burglary, robbery, and sexual assault fall into this category. Even with modern movements to reform and liberalize the criminal justice system, even the most vervent activists can accept that crimes like these should be prohibited and punished by our criminal justice system. These types of offenses often involve victims who are harmed personally or lose out on money or valuable property as a result of the actions of the defendant. Anyone charged with offenses like these is likely facing a committed prosecution and potentially harsh penalties, and should not hesitate to contact a skilled Sarasota Criminal Defense lawyer.
On the other side of the spectrum, there are offenses that are not morally reprehensible on their face. Offenses like these are often created by the state in order to further the interests of the government, special interests, or to generate money. Driving with a suspended license is a common example. There is nothing inherently criminal about driving a motor vehicle. However, the State has made it a criminal offense to drive while your license is suspended, whether it be for a DUI conviction or unpaid traffic tickets. Driving with a suspended license is a criminal offense designed to force people to pay their fees and fines and to generate money. Simple possession of drugs is another offense where there is no victim, yet our government still chooses to prosecute people, and to sometimes impose serious prison sentences, to those convicted of nonviolent drug offenses.Solicitation of Prostitution
Prostitution is a polarizing subject. There is growing sentiment in this country that the sex industry should be legitimized and legalized. The prevailing sense is that consensual sexual acts, whether money is exchanged or not, should no longer be criminalized. Unfortunately, our legislature is far slower to adopt progressive ideas than the general public is. In fact, it is common for our legislature to lean in the exact opposite direction! In Florida, solicitation of prostitution is punished severely even though it is a nonviolent victimless offense. If you or someone you know has been charged with solicitation of prostitution, don’t hesitate to retain a skilled Sarasota Criminal defense lawyer to aid in your defense.
Solicitation of prostitution is a criminal offense that is designed to punish “Johns,” or the men and women who seek out sex workers for their services. While the sex workers themselves can be charged with the offense of prostitution, solicitation of prostitution is a far more serious criminal offense because of the associated penalties. Pursuant to Florida Statute 796.07, it is a misdemeanor offense to solicit, procure, or entice another person to engage in the act of prostitution. This vaguely worded law essentially prohibits a “John” from agreeing to a paid sex act with a prostitute.
The penalties associated with solicitation of prostitution border on the ridiculous. An initial offense is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. However, if you are convicted a second time, it becomes a third degree felony punishable by five years of prison. Even crazier, a third offense is a second degree felony punishable by up to fifteen years! The potential incarceration is only the tip of the iceberg though. A person convicted of solicitation will be ordered to complete 100 community service hours and to pay a hefty $5000 fine. In addition, if a car was used during the commission of the offense, the court can order the immobilization of the defendants car for up to 60 days. If you are facing these charges, it should be clear how important it is to retain a dedicated Sarasota criminal defense lawyer to help you out.Speak to our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law are here to build the best defense possible for your case. Don’t hesitate to call us today at 727-897-5413.