prostitution offenses floridaAfter a significant push to enhance the penalties associated with sexual offenses in Florida, State legislators recently passed Bill SB 526, which was signed into law by Governor Rick Scott on April 1, 2014 and is scheduled to take effect on October 1, 2014.

This law significantly increases punishments for those convicted of sex crimes, imposing lengthy mandatory-minimum sentences, increasing maximum penalties for a number of crimes, and disallowing the issuance of gain-time to incarcerated sex offenders.*

Additionally, SB 526 requires all sex offenders who do not receive the maximum prison sentence to be monitored under life-long community supervision. Clearly, Florida looks harshly upon those convicted of sex crimes, making it even more critical for individuals charged with these offenses to hire a formidable defense attorney. Arnesen Law is a group of talented legal professionals who frequently appear on behalf of clients facing any number of charges for sex crimes in South Florida, ranging from prostitution-related offenses to video voyeurism and unlawful sexual activity with minors.

With notoriously hard-working and passionate leader Jay Arnesen at the firm’s helm and a practice devoted solely to clients charged with criminal and DUI offenses, the lawyers at Arnesen Law have the skills and experience required to successfully represent their clients, as they formulate calculated defenses based on each individual’s case. Notably, the firm’s founding partner and former police officer, Jay Arnesen, utilizes his professional background to provide unique insight into the formulation of the State’s case, anticipating and targeting potential weaknesses.

With offices conveniently located in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale, Arnesen and his attorneys assist clients facing charges throughout South Florida, including Wellington, Tequesta, and West Palm Beach. Contact the offices of Arnersen Law anytime at 561-419-9630 for a free consultation about your case.

As a former police officer, I used to help prosecute these charges for the State. Now, let me use my training and experience to combat these charges for you in court.” Jay Arnesen, Esq.

*Gain time: deductions from sentences designed to encourage satisfactory prisoner behavior, to provide incentive for prisoners to participate in productive activities, and to reward prisoners who perform outstanding deeds or services.

Prostitution-Related Offenses – Florida Statutes Section 796.07

Chapter 796 of the Florida Criminal Code provides a host of information regarding the prosecution of cases involving prostitution. Section 07 of this chapter enumerates the various prostitution-related offenses, which include providing, soliciting, or purchasing prostitution services, as well as crimes for operating a prostitution enterprise.

All violations of this section are classified as second degree misdemeanors for a first offense, while second offenses are elevated to first degree misdemeanors, and third or subsequent offenses further increase in terms of severity to third degree felony charges. However, a knowledge defense attorney can often facilitate their client’s enrollment in one of Florida’s diversionary or substance abuse treatment programs to avoid a conviction.

Section 796.07 states:

(1)  It is unlawful:

(a)  To own, establish, maintain, or operate any place, structure, building, or conveyance for the purpose of lewdness, assignation, or prostitution.

(b)  To offer, or to offer or agree to secure, another for the purpose of prostitution or for any other lewd or indecent act.

(c)  To receive, or to offer or agree to receive, any person into any place, structure, building, or conveyance for the purpose of prostitution, lewdness, or assignation, or to permit any person to remain there for such purpose.

(d)  To direct, take, or transport, or to offer or agree to direct, take, or transport, any person to any place, structure, or building, or to any other person, with knowledge or reasonable cause to believe that the purpose of such directing, taking, or transporting is prostitution, lewdness, or assignation.

(e)  To offer to commit, or to commit, or to engage in, prostitution, lewdness, or assignation.

(f)  To solicit, induce, entice, or procure another to commit prostitution, lewdness, or assignation.

(g)  To reside in, enter, or remain in, any place, structure, or building, or to enter or remain in any conveyance, for the purpose of prostitution, lewdness, or assignation.

(h)  To aid, abet, or participate in any of the acts or things enumerated in this subsection.

(i)  To purchase the services of any person engaged in prostitution.

(3)   (a)  In the trial of a person charged with a violation of this section, testimony concerning the reputation of any place, structure, building, or conveyance involved in the charge, testimony concerning the reputation of any person residing in, operating, or frequenting such place, structure, building, or conveyance, and testimony concerning the reputation of the defendant is admissible in evidence in support of the charge.

(b)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a police officer may testify as an offended party in an action regarding charges filed pursuant to this section.

(4)  A person who violates any provision of this section commits:

(a)  A misdemeanor of the second degree for a first violation, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(b)  A misdemeanor of the first degree for a second violation, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(c)  A felony of the third degree for a third or subsequent violation, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(5)  A person who is charged with a third or subsequent violation of this section shall be offered admission to a pretrial intervention program or a substance-abuse treatment program as provided in s. 948.08.

(6)  A person who violates paragraph (2)(f) shall be assessed a civil penalty of $500 if the violation results in any judicial disposition other than acquittal or dismissal. The proceeds from penalties assessed under this subsection shall be paid to the circuit court administrator for the sole purpose of paying the administrative costs of treatment-based drug court programs provided under s. 397.334.

Prostitution-Related Offenses – Potential Penalties

Second Degree Misdemeanor Prostitution Offense: maximum term of 60 days in the county jail, up to 6 months of probation, and fines not to exceed $500

First Degree Misdemeanor Prostitution Offense: maximum term of 1 year in the county jail and fines not to exceed $1,000

Third Degree Felony Prostitution Offense: maximum sentence of 5 years in prison, up to 5 years of probation, and fines not to exceed $5,000

Prostitution-Related Offenses – Diversionary Programs

If you are facing first or second degree misdemeanor charges for a prostitution-related offense, you may be eligible for Florida’s Misdemeanor Pretrial Diversion Program. On the other hand, if you have been charged with a third degree felony prostitution offense, a Pretrial Intervention or substance abuse program may be an option for you. These diversionary programs offer viable alternatives to prosecution for defendants who meet specific criteria. Fortunately, individuals who are accepted into a program and successfully complete program requirements during the court-imposed probationary period can achieve the dismissal of the original charge, avoiding a charge on their criminal record.

Contact Our Palm Beach County Prostitution Defense Lawyers for a Free Consultation

Jay Arnesen knows that a criminal case involving prostitution can have a damaging effect on your life and reputation, which is why he and his attorneys work so hard to prevent these negative consequences for their clients. Contact the offices of Arnesen Law anytime for a free consultation with one of the firm’s lawyers if you or someone you love has been accused of a prostitution offense in South Florida. They are available day or night at 561-419-9630.

Tell Us About Your Case

Jay Arnesen is a retired police officer turned criminal defense attorney who now defends clients charged with criminal and traffic (DUI) offenses in South Florida. With offices conveniently located in Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton, Mr. Arnesen appears in courts throughout South Florida on a regular basis. Protect your rights, contact experienced criminal defense lawyer Jay Arnesen anytime for a free initial consultation at 866-347-6296.

Arnesen Law, P.A.

Areas We Serve

Palm Beach County, Atlantis, Belle Glade, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Briny Breezes, Cloud Lake, Delray Beach. Glen Ridge, Greenacres, Gulf Stream, Haverhill, Highland Beach, Juno Beach, Jupiter, Lake Park, Lake Worth, Manalapan, North Palm Beach, Ocean Ridge, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Springs, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, West Palm Beach


Boca Raton

1825 NW Corporate Blvd. Suite 110

Boca Raton, FL 33431

  (201) 556-1570  

Fort Lauderdale

633 South Andrews Avenue

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

  (866) 317-5164