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. The following chart provides an overview of the Florida prostitution laws:

Code Sections Florida Statutes Sections 796.001-796.09
Elements

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
  • 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

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.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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