Prostitution in Florida

Once relegated to the shadows of seedy sections of Central Florida, prostitution related crimes are increasingly common due to internet sites that provide "Escort" listings, such as CityVibe, CraigsList, and Eros.com to name a few.

Importantly, in Florida, the term Prostitution encompasses a broad category of crimes that can be committed by either the Prostitute, the "John", or the Pimp or Madame.

If accused of a Prostitution related crime, you need to know the:

Definition of Prostitution

Prostitution in Florida is legally defined as the giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity for hire. In simpler terms, it is engaging in sex for money.

Prostitution Related Crimes

Florida criminalizes eight separate acts related to prostitution. These acts can be committed by either the prostitute, the "John", or the pimp or madame. These eight acts are:

  1. Owning or Operating a Building for Purposes of Prostitution
  2. Offering Another Person to Engage in Prostitution
  3. Offering a Place for Prostitution to Occur
  4. Directing or Transporting a Person to a Place of Prostitution
  5. Making an Appointment for Prostitution
  6. Solicitation of Another to Commit Prostitution
  7. Entering or Remaining in a Place for Prostitution
  8. Hiring a Person Engaged in Prostitution

Penalties for Prostitution

The penalties for Prostitution depend whether it is the prostitute or the customer being prosecuted and whether that person has prior prostitution related convictions.

Penalties for the Prostitute

The following penalties apply only to a prostitute charged with Prostitution related crime.

First Prostitution Related Offense

The crime of Prostitution with no prior prostitution convictions is a Second Degree Misdemeanor in Florida.

If convicted of Prostitution with no prior prostitution convictions, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties:

  • Up to sixty (60) days in jail.
  • Up to six (6) months of probation.
  • Up to $500 in criminal fines.

Second Prostitution Related Offense

The crime of Prostitution with a prior prostitution conviction is a First Degree Misdemeanor in Florida.

If convicted of Prostitution with a prior prostitution conviction, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties:

  • Up to one (1) year in jail.
  • Up to one (1) year of probation.
  • Up to $1,000 in criminal fines.

Third Offense Prostitution

The crime of Prostitution with two or more prostitution convictions is a Third Degree Felony and is assigned a Level 1 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code.

If convicted of Prostitution with two or more prostitution convictions, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties:

  • Up to five (5) years in prison.
  • Up to five (5) years of probation.
  • Up to $5,000 in criminal fines.

Penalties for the Customer

The following penalties apply only to the customer (commonly referred to as the “John”) charged with Prostitution.

Every customer convicted of a Prostitution related crime must complete 100 hours of community service, attend a prostitution and human trafficking awareness course, undergo screening for sexually transmissible diseases, [1] and pay a $5,000 civil fine.

In addition to these mandatory penalties that must be imposed in every case, a judge can also impose the following penalties:

First Prostitution Related Offense

The crime of Prostitution with no prior prostitution related convictions is classified as a First Degree Misdemeanor in Florida.

If convicted of Prostitution with no prior prostitution related convictions, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties:

  • Up to one (1) year in jail.
  • Up to one (1) year of probation.
  • Up to $1,000 in criminal fines.

Second Prostitution Related Offense

The crime of Prostitution with a prior prostitution related conviction is classified as a Third Degree Felony and is assigned a Level 1 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code.

If convicted of Prostitution with a prior prostitution related conviction, a judge is required to impose a minimum jail sentence of 10 days in jail and can also impose any combination of the following penalties:

  • Up to five (5) years in prison.
  • Up to five (5) years of probation.
  • Up to $5,000 in criminal fines.
  • Up to sixty (60) day impoundment or immobilization of vehicle.

Third Prostitution Related Offense

The crime of Prostitution with two more prior prostitution related convictions is classified as a Second Degree Felony and is assigned a Level 1 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code.

If convicted of Prostitution with two more prior prostitution related convictions, a judge is required to impose a minimum jail sentence of 10 days in jail and can also impose any combination of the following penalties:

  • Up to fifteen (15) years in prison.
  • Up to fifteen (15) years of probation.
  • Up to $10,000 in criminal fines.
  • Up to sixty (60) day impoundment or immobilization of vehicle.

Defenses to Prostitution

In addition to the general pretrial and trial defenses that can be raised in any criminal case, the primary defense to the crime of Prostitution is to assert that consensual sex without the expectation of compensation occurred.

Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby

If you have been arrested or charged with a Prostitution related crime in Orlando or the Central Florida area, please contact Criminal Defense Lawyer today.

The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.