Prostitution Defense

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Van Riper Nies relies on hard work, open communications and trust in bringing justice to our clients.

Law enforcement in Palm Beach County has task forces dedicated to the arrest and conviction of those who engage in prostitution or solicitation of prostitution. When one has been arrested and charged with this crime, it is important that you obtain legal representation from a criminal defense attorney to represent you in fighting the offense.  Our attorneys are known for leaving no stone unturned in defending our clients in court and for the personal attention we give to our clients, keeping them informed every step of the way.

Our attorneys know that a conviction for prostitution or soliciting can be devastating. A sex related criminal record can damage a person's career and marriage. If you hire our law firm, from day one we will aggressively defend you and immediately find the weakness in your prosecutor’s case.

For a free consultation, call us at 561-962-3130, complete the contact form below or e-mail us at christian@vanriperandnies.com. We are available day and night and on the weekends.

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796.03  Procuring person under age of 18 for prostitution.

796.035  Selling or buying of minors into sex trafficking or prostitution; penalties.

796.04  Forcing, compelling, or coercing another to become a prostitute.

796.045  Sex trafficking; penalties.

796.05  Deriving support from the proceeds of prostitution.

796.06  Renting space to be used for lewdness, assignation, or prostitution.

796.07  Prohibiting prostitution, etc.; evidence; penalties; definitions.

796.08  Screening for HIV and sexually transmissible diseases; providing penalties.

796.09  Coercion; civil cause of action; evidence; defenses; attorney's fees.

796.03  Procuring person under age of 18 for prostitution.--A person who procures for prostitution, or causes to be prostituted, any person who is under the age of 18 years commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

History.--RS 2617; GS 3537; RGS 5435; CGL 7578; s. 765, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 78-45; s. 1, ch. 93-227.

796.035  Selling or buying of minors into sex trafficking or prostitution; penalties.--Any parent, legal guardian, or other person having custody or control of a minor who sells or otherwise transfers custody or control of such minor, or offers to sell or otherwise transfer custody of such minor, with knowledge that, as a consequence of the sale or transfer, force, fraud, or coercion will be used to cause the minor to engage in prostitution or otherwise participate in the trade of sex trafficking, commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

796.04  Forcing, compelling, or coercing another to become a prostitute.--

(1)  After May 1, 1943, it shall be unlawful for anyone to force, compel, or coerce another to become a prostitute.

(2)  Anyone violating this section shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

796.045  Sex trafficking; penalties.--Any person who knowingly recruits, entices, harbors, transports, provides, or obtains by any means a person, knowing that force, fraud, or coercion will be used to cause that person to engage in prostitution, commits the offense of sex trafficking, a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. A person commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if the offense of sex trafficking is committed against a person who is under the age of 14 or if such offense results in death.

History.--s. 4, ch. 2004-391.

796.05  Deriving support from the proceeds of prostitution.--

(1)  It shall be unlawful for any person with reasonable belief or knowing another person is engaged in prostitution to live or derive support or maintenance in whole or in part from what is believed to be the earnings or proceeds of such person's prostitution.

(2)  Anyone violating this section commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

History.--ss. 1, 2, ch. 21662, 1943; s. 767, ch. 71-136; s. 2, ch. 81-281; s. 1, ch. 87-168; s. 3, ch. 93-227.

796.06  Renting space to be used for lewdness, assignation, or prostitution.--

(1)  It is unlawful to let or rent any place, structure, or part thereof, trailer or other conveyance, with the knowledge that it will be used for the purpose of lewdness, assignation, or prostitution.

(2)  A person who violates 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 or subsequent violation, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

796.07  Prohibiting prostitution, etc.; evidence; penalties; definitions.--

(1)  As used in this section:

(a)  "Prostitution" means the giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity for hire but excludes sexual activity between spouses.

(b)  "Lewdness" means any indecent or obscene act.

(c)  "Assignation" means the making of any appointment or engagement for prostitution or lewdness, or any act in furtherance of such appointment or engagement.

(d)  "Sexual activity" means oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another; anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object; or the handling or fondling of the sexual organ of another for the purpose of masturbation; however, the term does not include acts done for bona fide medical purposes.

(2)  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.

796.08  Screening for HIV and sexually transmissible diseases; providing penalties.--

(1)(a)  For the purposes of this section, "sexually transmissible disease" means a bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic disease, determined by rule of the Department of Health to be sexually transmissible, a threat to the public health and welfare, and a disease for which a legitimate public interest is served by providing for regulation and treatment.

(b)  In considering which diseases are designated as sexually transmissible diseases, the Department of Health shall consider such diseases as chancroid, gonorrhea, granuloma inguinale, lymphogranuloma venereum, genital herpes simplex, chlamydia, nongonococcal urethritis (NGU), pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)/acute salpingitis, syphilis, and human immunodeficiency virus infection for designation and shall consider the recommendations and classifications of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other nationally recognized authorities. Not all diseases that are sexually transmissible need be designated for purposes of this section.

(2)  A person arrested under s. 796.07 may request screening for a sexually transmissible disease under direction of the Department of Health and, if infected, shall submit to appropriate treatment and counseling. A person who requests screening for a sexually transmissible disease under this subsection must pay any costs associated with such screening.

(3)  A person convicted under s. 796.07 of prostitution or procuring another to commit prostitution must undergo screening for a sexually transmissible disease, including, but not limited to, screening to detect exposure to the human immunodeficiency virus, under direction of the Department of Health. If the person is infected, he or she must submit to treatment and counseling prior to release from probation, community control, or incarceration. Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 384.29, the results of tests conducted pursuant to this subsection shall be made available by the Department of Health to the offender, medical personnel, appropriate state agencies, state attorneys, and courts of appropriate jurisdiction in need of such information in order to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

(4)  A person who commits prostitution or procures another for prostitution and who, prior to the commission of such crime, had tested positive for a sexually transmissible disease other than human immunodeficiency virus infection and knew or had been informed that he or she had tested positive for such sexually transmissible disease and could possibly communicate such disease to another person through sexual activity commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. A person may be convicted and sentenced separately for a violation of this subsection and for the underlying crime of prostitution or procurement of prostitution.

(5)  A person who:

(a)  Commits or offers to commit prostitution; or

(b)  Procures another for prostitution by engaging in sexual activity in a manner likely to transmit the human immunodeficiency virus,

and who, prior to the commission of such crime, had tested positive for human immunodeficiency virus and knew or had been informed that he or she had tested positive for human immunodeficiency virus and could possibly communicate such disease to another person through sexual activity commits criminal transmission of HIV, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, s. 775.084, or s. 775.0877(7). A person may be convicted and sentenced separately for a violation of this subsection and for the underlying crime of prostitution or procurement of prostitution.

796.09  Coercion; civil cause of action; evidence; defenses; attorney's fees.--

(1)  A person has a cause of action for compensatory and punitive damages against:

(a)  A person who coerced that person into prostitution;

(b)  A person who coerces that person to remain in prostitution; or

(c)  A person who uses coercion to collect or receive any part of that person's earnings derived from prostitution.

(2)  As used in this section, the term "prostitution" has the same meaning as in s. 796.07.

(3)  As used in this section, the term "coercion" means any practice of domination, restraint, or inducement for the purpose of or with the reasonably foreseeable effect of causing another person to engage in or remain in prostitution or to relinquish earnings derived from prostitution, and includes, but is not limited to:

(a)  Physical force or threats of physical force.

(b)  Physical or mental torture.

(c)  Kidnapping.

(d)  Blackmail.

(e)  Extortion or claims of indebtedness.

(f)  Threat of legal complaint or report of delinquency.

(g)  Threat to interfere with parental rights or responsibilities, whether by judicial or administrative action or otherwise.

(h)  Promise of legal benefit.

(i)  Promise of greater financial rewards.

(j)  Promise of marriage.

(k)  Restraint of speech or communication with others.

(l)  Exploitation of a condition of developmental disability, cognitive limitation, affective disorder, or substance dependency.

(m)  Exploitation of victimization by sexual abuse.

(n)  Exploitation of pornographic performance.

(o)  Exploitation of human needs for food, shelter, safety, or affection.

(4)  In the course of litigation under this section, any transaction about which a plaintiff testifies or produces evidence does not subject such plaintiff to criminal prosecution or any penalty or forfeiture. Further, any testimony or evidence, documentary or otherwise, or information directly or indirectly derived from such testimony or evidence which is given or produced by a plaintiff or a witness for a plaintiff shall not be used against these persons in any other investigation or proceeding. Such testimony or evidence, however, may be used against a plaintiff or a witness for a plaintiff upon any criminal investigation or proceeding for perjury committed while giving such testimony or producing such evidence.

(5)  It does not constitute a defense to a complaint under this section that:

(a)  The plaintiff was paid or otherwise compensated for acts of prostitution;

(b)  The plaintiff engaged in acts of prostitution prior to any involvement with the defendant; or

(c)  The plaintiff made no attempt to escape, flee, or otherwise terminate contact with the defendant.

(6)  Evidence of convictions for prostitution or prostitution-related offenses are inadmissible in a proceeding brought under this section for purposes of attacking the plaintiff's credibility.

(7)  In any action brought under this section, the court, in its discretion, may award prevailing plaintiffs reasonable attorney's fees and costs.