Florida Prostitution Laws
Overview of Florida Prostitution Laws
Florida laws define prostitution as the "giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity for hire." The state describes "sexual activity" as a wide range of sexual activities.
Florida sets criminal charges for a number of offenses related to prostitution. It is unlawful to participate in prostitution itself. The state also prohibits assignations, which are meetings or appointments arranged for the purpose of prostitution. State law also forbids solicitation -- acts to persuade or convince another person to participate in prostitution -- and the purchase of prostitution services.
State law also criminalizes the operation of a service offering prostitution and the availability of a building or other premises for prostitution. In addition, Florida prohibits procurement, also known as pandering and more commonly known as "pimping," during which an individual persuades or hires another person to engage in prostitution, or offers prostitution services performed by another person.
Defenses to Prostitution Charges
- Sexual activity was not conducted for hire
- Entrapment by undercover police
Note: In a case of procurement involving a person under 18 years of age, the defendant's lack of knowledge regarding the person's age is not a defense.
Penalties and Sentences
Florida state laws increase the penalties for prostitution offenses when the defendant has prior convictions for prostitution. A first offense may be charged as a second degree misdemeanor, which can result in a term of imprisonment for up to 60 days, a fine in an amount up to $500, or both. The state charges a second offense as a first degree misdemeanor, which can result in a term of imprisonment for up to one year, a fine in an amount up to $1,000, or both.
A third offense or any following offense can result in a third degree felony charge. Under Florida law, the potential term of imprisonment may go up to five years and the fine may increase to $5,000. State law also allows the option of pre-trial admission to a substance abuse treatment or intervention program.
If the offense involves the procurement of a person who is under 18 years of age, the charge increases to a second degree felony, which can result in up to 15 years of imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
Florida Prostitution Statute
Florida Statutes Sections 796.03-796.09
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- please contact an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.