Florida Prostitution, The Buyer And Florida Statutes

The Argument

Florida prostitution laws prohibit many different forms of prostitution related conduct.  See Florida Statute Section 796.07.  The most severe penalties for prostitution are directed at the buyer.  The argument for punishing the buyer more severely than the seller is that if you can eliminate the buyer of sex then the seller of sex will not be able to sell what is no longer wanted, sex.  That is just ridiculous.  Prostitution has been referred as “the world’s oldest profession” for a reason.  Trying to stop prostitution is like trying to stop the wind from blowing it is just not going to happen.  It just leads to another endless war on sin.  Unfortunately, the war against prostitution continues with no end in sight.

The Law

Florida Statute Section 796.07 is the most common statute to arrest and prosecute prostitution offenses in Florida.  Specifically, Florida Statute Section 796.07(2)(f) is the most common statute used to arrest and prosecute sex buyers in Florida.  Florida Statute Section 796.07(2)(f) states “it is unlawful to solicit, induce, entice, or procure another to commit prostitution, lewdness, or assignation”.

Florida Statute Section 796.07(1) states:

Prostitution means the giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity for hire but excludes sexual activity between spouses.

Lewdness means any indecent or obscene act.

Assignation means the making of an appointment or engagement for prostitution or lewdness, or any act in furtherance of such appointment or exchange.

Sexual Activity means oral, anal, or female genital penetration by, or union with , the sexual organ of another; anal or female genital penetration of another by any other object; or the handling or fondling of the sexual organ of another for the purpose of masturbation; however, the term does not include acts done for a bona fide medical purpose.

The Punishment

Florida Statute Section 796.07(2)(f) states that a first offense is a first degree misdemeanor, a second offense is a third degree felony and a third or subsequent offense is a second degree felony.

A first degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail, up to one year on probation and up to a $1,000 fine.

A third degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison, up to five years on probation and up to a $5,000 fine.

A second degree felony is punishable by up to fifteen years in prison, up to fifteen years on probation and up to a $10,000 fine.

Mandatory Minimums For Florida Statute Section 796.07(2)(f)

According to Florida Statute Section 796.07(2)(f) in addition to any other penalty imposed, the court shall order a person convicted of a violation of Florida Statute Section 796.07(2)(f) to:

  • Perform 100 hours of community service; and
  • Pay for and attend an educational program about the negative effects of prostitution and human trafficking, such as a sexual violence prevention program, including such programs offered by faith-based providers, if such programs exist in the judicial circuit in which the offender is sentenced; and
  • In addition to any other penalty imposed, the court shall sentence a person convicted of a second or subsequent violation to a minimum mandatory period of incarceration of ten days; and
  • If a person uses a vehicle in the course of the violation, the judge, upon the person’s conviction, may issue an order of impoundment or immobilization of the vehicle for a period of up to sixty days; and
  • The Soliciting for Prostitution Public Database must include the criminal history record of a person who is found guilty as a result of a trial or who enters a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld and there is evidence that such person provided a form of payment or arranged for the payment of such services. Upon conviction, the clerk of the court shall forward the criminal history record of the person to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for inclusion in the database; and

The Lawyer

Call 407-740-8300 for a free consultation with a 20+ year experienced former prostitution prosecutor to find out what can be done to get your charge dropped.

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