How Serious Are Solicitation of Prostitution Charges in the State of Florida?
Posted on November 13, 2017 9:00 AM EST
Nearly 300 people were arrested in Central Florida during an undercover sting related to prostitution and human tracking. The majority of those arrested will be charged with Solicitation of Prostitution. The reason for the charge of the solicitation of a prostitute would be for responding to ads either fictitiously posted by law enforcement or by law enforcement responding to advertisements posted by actual prostitutes. The undercover sting, dubbed "Operation No Trick, No Treats", lasted six days and managed to lure 215 individuals from outside Polk County, where law enforcement conducted the investigation. Some of the visitors lived outside of the State of Florida, with one coming all the way from Oregon. The age range of those arrested was 16 years of age to 71.
This case raises a few important questions. How serious are solicitation charges? Is this a common crime in Florida? What should you do if you're arrested for this charge? Our Miami criminal lawyers
explore these issues and more below.
How Serious Is this Charge?
The reality is, the offense of solicitation of a prostitute is merely a first degree misdemeanor in the State of the Florida – it's just not the crime of the century. It very rarely lands a defendant in jail on the first occasion; however, the real-life ramifications of such an arrest can be life altering. Such an arrest can significantly impact professional licenses, marriages, and relationships with friends or family. Whether you are local or visiting from out of town on business or pleasure, it is highly recommended to stay off the back pages of local papers that advertise prostitution. Ads of this nature can also be found on the internet and should be avoided.
What to Do If You're Arrested for Solicitation of Prostitution
If an individual is arrested and charged for the solicitation of a prostitute, he or she will either receive a short probationary term or be enrolled in the pre-trial intervention program (PTI). PTI is the better route if the evidence is strong in a particular case, as the charge will be dismissed in six to twelve months as long as the defendant complies with the conditions of the program. Some of the conditions that may be required to successfully complete the program are community service hours, AIDS testing, and classes, possibly values classes. Of course, some cases can be fought and won depending on the alleged evidence secured by law enforcement.
How Does Human Trafficking Relate to This?
While prostitution is an age-old offense, human trafficking is a fairly new offense being charged both in state and federal courts. Holding individuals against their will who are forced to commit prostitution is a very grave offense, and will subject persons involved in such an offense to years in prison. Forcing someone to commit prostitution while held by threats or actual physical harm is a guaranteed prison sentence for someone convicted or entering a plea to such an offense. The actual length of the prison sentence will be determined by the age of the victim and the manner in which the victim was held against his or her will.
Legislators' Views on Human Trafficking
Legislators hold human trafficking akin to modern day slavery, which will not be tolerated. The likelihood of obtaining a bond for such an offense is minimal, but if a bond is set, the cost of getting released will be astronomical. Bonds set in human trafficking cases are often set at hundreds of thousands up to a couple of million dollars. Whether a person a charged with the relatively minor offense of solicitation or hit by the bombshell of a human trafficking offense, it is wise to seek the advice and representation of an experienced criminal lawyer with years of experience in defending sex offenses like those mentioned above. Contact Donet, McMillan & Trontz at (305) 396-3982 for more information.
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