Florida Prostitution Law and Definitions

Prostitution is illegal in most states, including Florida.  This includes offering or engaging in prostitution.  It also means that you cannot solicit for prostitution.  The law that makes prostitution a crime is Florida Statute Section 796.07.  It is listed below.  If you are arrested for prostitution in Jacksonville Florida or the surrounding counties, contact a Jacksonville criminal attorney to discuss your case.  Call 20 Miles Law at (904) 564-2525 to speak with a Jacksonville criminal lawyer that may be able to help you.  Prostitution is a crime that will show up on a Florida background check, so speaking with a Jacksonville lawyer with experience is a good idea.

796.07 Prohibiting prostitution and related acts.

(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 $5,000 if the violation results in any judicial disposition other than acquittal or dismissal. Of the proceeds from each penalty assessed under this subsection, the first $500 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. The remainder of the penalty assessed shall be deposited in the Operations and Maintenance Trust Fund of the Department of Children and Family Services for the sole purpose of funding safe houses and short-term safe houses as provided in s. 409.1678.

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