Six men were recently arrested in a West Palm Beach prostitution sting. They were all charged with prostitution by the West Palm Beach police. This follows another sting recently in Lake Worth that garnered 45 arrests for prostitution, drugs, and other charges. The Palm Beach Post reports that there have been several recent stings by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office targeting prostitution and other related crimes. If you are arrested for prostitution or another crime you should contact a knowledgeable misdemeanor attorney to defend you against the charges.
Florida’s Prostitution and Related Laws
Florida has several laws that relate to prostitution and similar offenses. The law applies to both people who sell sex and pay for sex. The statute outlaws non-married people from selling, buying, soliciting, offering, or agreeing to engage in sexual favors for money. It is also a crime for both prostitutes and the people who solicit them to engage in or offer to engage in prostitution if they know they have a HIV or another sexually transmitted infection (STI).
“Pimping” and “pandering” are also prohibited by law. Pimping involves making money from someone else’s prostitution while pandering involves promoting or facilitating prostitution. This law attempts to penalize people encouraging and benefiting from the prostitution of others. More specifically, the law makes it a crime in Florida to be supported or live off money that was earned from prostitution. It is also a crime to coerce, entice, compel, or force someone else to engage in prostitution. Criminal charges are also possible for people who knowingly rent property to people engaging in prostitution or to knowingly own or operate a place where people engage in prostitution.
Unlike most of the other charges related to prostitution, under Florida law causing or procuring someone under 18 to engage in prostitution is a felony. It is also a felony for the parents of a child to sell them into prostitution. Child prostitution is a much more serious crime than prostitution involving adults.
Different penalties will apply depending on the section of the prostitution statutes that are violated. A first offense for prostitution is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. However, subsequent offenses are punished more harshly including prison time of up to five years and a fine of up to $5,000. Knowingly renting property where there is prostitution on the premises is punished by a fine of up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail. If you engage in prostitution while knowingly being HIV positive you can be imprisoned for up five years and be ordered to pay a fine of up to $5,000. If it is a different STI then the fine is $1,000 and up to one year in prison.
Call, Chat, or Email West Palm Beach Misdemeanor Attorneys Today
Convictions for misdemeanors can have serious and lifelong consequences. If you are charged with a misdemeanor you should contact a skilled misdemeanor attorney as soon as possible. Our experienced West Palm Beach misdemeanor attorneys at The Skier Law Firm, P.A., will zealously defend you in court.