Prostitution Crimes in Pinellas County
The most commonly prosecuted crimes for prostitution prosecuted in Pinellas County, FL, are listed in Sections 796.07(2)(a)-(e) and (g)-(i), F.S., including prohibitions on:
- purchasing the services of any person engaged in prostitution;
- aiding, abetting, or participating in any of the acts or things listed above;
- residing in, entering, or remaining in, any place, structure, or building, or to enter or remain in any conveyance, for the purpose of prostitution, lewdness, or assignation;
- for a person 18 years of age or older, offering to commit, or committing, or engaging in, prostitution, lewdness, or assignation;
- directing, taking or transporting or agreeing to direct, take, or transport, any person to any place, structure, or building, or to any other person, with the knowledge or reasonable cause to believe that the purpose of such directing, taking, or transporting is prostitution, lewdness, or assignation;
- receiving or agreeing 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;
- offering or agreeing to secure another for the purpose of prostitution or for any other lewd or indecent act; or
- owning, establishing, maintaining, or operating any place, structure, building, or conveyance for the purpose of lewdness, assignation, or prostitution.
After an arrest, these crimes are prosecuted at the Criminal Justice Center (CJC) Courthouse in Clearwater, FL. Prosecutors and investigators receive special training on prosecuting these cases.
You also need an attorney focused on prosecution crimes to fight for a dismissal of the charges or the best possible outcome when resolving the case.
Attorney for Prostitution Crimes in Clearwater, FL
The five attorneys at Sammis Law Firm represent clients on a variety of felony and misdemeanor offenses involving prostitution. Our office is located at 14010 Roosevelt Blvd Suite 701, Clearwater, FL 33762-3820, near the CJC Courthouse.
Contact us to learn more about why prostitution and soliciting a prostitute is a crime under Florida law. During the consultation, we can discuss the penalties and punishments and the best way to fight the charges.
Don’t face the judge alone. Contact our experienced criminal defense lawyers in Pinellas County, FL.
Penalties for Crimes of Prostitution in Pinellas County, FL
A first offense of offering to commit prostitution is punishable as a second-degree misdemeanor. A second offense is punishable as a first-degree misdemeanor. A third or subsequent offense is punishable as a third-degree felony.
Under Section 796.07(2)(f), F.S., Florida law prohibits soliciting, inducing, or procuring another person to commit prostitution, lewdness, or assignation.
The crime is punishable as a first-degree misdemeanor for a first violation, a third-degree felony for a second violation, and a second-degree felony for a third or subsequent violation.
Definition for Crimes Related to Prostitution in Florida
Section 796.07(1)(a), F.S., defines the term “prostitution” to mean the giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity for hire but excludes sexual activity between spouses.
Section 796.07(1)(c), F.S., defines “assignation” to mean the making of any appointment or engagement for prostitution or lewdness or any act in furtherance of an appointment or engagement.
The term “lewdness” is defined in s. 796.07(1)(b), F.S., to mean any indecent or obscene act.
Human Trafficking Resources for Victims in Pinellas County – Visit the Pinellas County website to learn about efforts to stop Human Trafficking in the Tampa Bay area. The article explains why the Florida legislature enacted Section 787.29 Fla. Stat. in June of 2015. The new legislation requires businesses to display public awareness signage informing the public about resources assisting victims of human trafficking. Additionally, a county-level ordinance authorizes the authorities in Pinellas County to enforce the signage requirements beginning on March 1, 2016. In Pinellas County, the signage must be displayed at specialty salons performing nail services and adult entertainment establishments offering massage or bodywork services for compensation not owned by a health care professional regulated pursuant to Chapter 456, Fla. Stat.
Pinellas Park Police Department – Officers in the Vice and Narcotic Section of the Pinellas Park Police Department investigate crimes related to prostitution, as well as drug offenses, gambling, and racketeering. These officers also participate in elaborate sting operations targeting men soliciting prostitutes and those that facilitate sex crimes throughout the city of Pinellas Park.
This article was updated on Wednesday, October 19, 2022.