If you have been accused of prostitution or solicitation of a prostitute, you are in a very upsetting situation. You could be embarrassed, angry and even scared about the potential consequences you could be facing, so it can be essential for you to understand your legal options and rights.
First and foremost, if you are in this situation, you must remember that you have the right to speak with an attorney and defend yourself against criminal charges. Too many people make the mistake of simply pleading guilty or choosing to not fight the allegations, but this will typically lead to some very harsh penalties. In order to appreciate how important it can be to speak with an attorney and defend yourself against these charges, we will look at the penalties that can be ordered when a person is convicted of prostitution in Florida.
According to prostitution laws in Florida, if a person is convicted of a first-time offense, they can still face a fine of $500 and up to 60 in jail. Probation may also be ordered, and while this is preferable to jail time, a violation of the probation can exacerbate the situation.
The penalties get worse for a person who has already been convicted of at least one prostitution offense. A second conviction can result in increased fines and the potential for a one-year jail sentence. If a person is convicted a third time, the charges will go from misdemeanors to felonies in many cases. In this situation, a person could be sentenced to up to five years in jail and have to pay $5,000 in fines.
The harshest penalties for solicitation can be handed down to people convicted of procurement of someone under the age of 18. This too is a felony and a person could be ordered to 15 years imprisonment and $10,000 in fines.
Any criminal conviction and period of imprisonment can prove to be ruinous, whether a person is looking at spending a month or a decade in jail. In order to avoid or minimize the penalties to which you may be exposed, it can be crucial to work with an attorney to defend yourself against allegations involving prostitution.