Seminole County Prostitution Defense Lawyer

arrested for hiring a hooker

The state of Florida considers prostitution a crime. This illegal activity involves compensating someone or participating in the trade of sex for profit. Many counties in the state of Florida have law enforcement programs designed to catch people in the act of prostitution and bring them to justice. Sting operations are frequently carried out by police since advertising on the internet has made it easier for individuals to attract potential customers willing to pay for sex. Once convicted, defendants face stiff penalties that may take away their freedom for decades.

Prostitution Charges in Seminole County

Prostitution is defined as a criminal act according to statute 796.07. Prostitution is more than just trading compensation in exchange for sex but also includes other sex-related acts.

Sexual activity is considered a sexual act of vaginal, anal, and/or oral penetration with any object or sex organ of another person, as well as masturbation. Lewd acts and assignation are also criminalized under this statute. Activities that are determined to be obscene or indecent are considered lewd. Assignation is the scheduling or engagement of prostitution, lewdness, or anything related to trading sexual activity.

Law enforcement has several methods available to charge an individual since state law declares any of the following as criminal acts related to prostitution:

  • Maintaining a business, room, or other location to exchange sex or sex-related services for compensation
  • Aiding or abetting others to exchange sex or other sex-related services for compensation
  • Transporting people to trade sex or other sex-related services for compensation
  • Offering sex in exchange for cash or other forms of compensation
  • Offering money or any other benefit in exchange for sex or other sex-related activities

Acts conducted between married couples, or a legitimate medical procedure that might involve elements of sexual activity, do not violate the statute.

Consequences of Prostitution in Seminole County

Sentencing can vary for these crimes depending on your situation and prior criminal history. According to Florida statute 796.07(4), a convicted offender of prostitution can receive the following punishments:

First time violation – Second-degree misdemeanor

  • May only pay a minimum fine and/or court costs
  • Jail time of up to 60 days in jail
  • Up to 6 months probation which includes STD testing and AIDS awareness programs

Second violation – First-degree misdemeanor

  • May receive only a fine and/or court costs, but unlikely
  • Up to a year in county jail
  • Up to 12 months of probation including STD testing and AIDS awareness programs

Third violation or more – Third-degree felony

  • Possibly up to five years in prison
  • Fines of up to $5,000
  • Up to 5 years probation which includes STD testing and AIDS awareness programs
  • Possible court diversion programs for third-time offenders using court-ordered pretrial or substance abuse treatment programs.

In addition to the above charges, the “John Statute” addresses those who compensate another in exchange for sex (see 796.07(6)). A mandatory $5,000 fine is imposed and accompanies additional penalties like:

  • Mandatory ten days in jail
  • Vehicle impoundment or immobilization
  • Possible revocation of one’s driving privileges

Florida also has specific consequences for those convicted of forcing others into prostitution. This is a violation of statute 796.04 and treated as a third-degree felony. Sentences of up to 5 years in prison can be handed down by the court and apply to each instance of this act. If someone were to force three people to engage in prostitution, it’s possible to receive five years for each person who was forced on top any other related punishments that the court determines is warranted.

Another exception to Florida’s punishments for prostitution involves those guilty of making money from prostitutes working for them, also known as pimping. This charge is a third-degree felony and carries a sentence of up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Hire a Reputable Seminole County Lawyer

If you or a loved one is facing a prostitution-related charge, seek a criminal defense attorney right away. Crimes of this nature can ruin your reputation and be displayed on local law enforcement web pages causing embarrassment to your family and friends and possibly affect your job. It’s crucial that you hire an experienced sex-crimes lawyer who is knowledgeable about Seminole County court procedures.

The Umansky Law Firm understands that prostitution convictions can ruin someone’s life, and we fight to protect the best interests of our clients. As former prosecutors, our firm knows how to protect you in the courtroom. Our over 100 years of combined practice experience in Central Florida helps you get the second chance that you deserve. Contact us today at (407) 228-3838 to let us evaluate your case and get you the best outcome possible for your situation.