As a Jacksonville criminal lawyer, I have represented many people that were arrested for prostitution-related crimes. In my experience, I believe that there is not one type of person that fits this mold. I have represented men with very different careers and backgrounds that have been arrested for soliciting prostitution in Jacksonville. I have represented people with extensive criminal histories that have been arrested for prostitution. I have represented individuals that have never been arrested before. When approaching a prostitution case, every case is different and there are different defenses or mitigating circumstances that apply.
A prostitution arrest could damage a person’s career. Today, I read an article on the Washington Times website. The article was about a Florida police chief that was arrested as part of a prostitution sting. The article stated:
“Miami Gardens Police Chief Stephen Johnson was fired after being arrested Friday for soliciting a prostitute, officials said Deputies were conducting an undercover prostitution sting at a hotel in Dania Beach, Florida, when Mr. Johnson, 53, was arrested, according to a Broward Sheriff’s Office arrest report, a local NBC affiliate reported. Police had placed an ad for escort services on backpage.com, and two detectives were posing as prostitutes at the hotel, the affidavit said. Police say Mr. Johnson called the number in the ad and arranged to pay $100 for two prostitutes, or the ‘two-girl special,’ the report said. Mr. Johnson was arrested after he arrived at the hotel room and handed over the $100, police said. He allegedly had two condoms in his pocket when he was arrested, the report said.”
Johnson was released on bond. He made a statement to the media. “He blamed his arrest on the pressures of his job, telling reporters, ‘The stress overwhelmed me and I made a very bad decision,’ the Miami Herald reported.” In criminal cases, Jacksonville attorneys will often tell their clients not to speak to the media until the matter is resolved. In Johnson’s prostitution case, he did not plead guilty or no contest to the crime. He is out on bond awaiting arraignment. If he chooses to plead not guilty, his statement could be used against him. It is always best to speak to your Jacksonville criminal lawyer before making a statement.
While Johnson may not be able to erase the bad publicity surrounding his arrest, he may be eligible for a record seal or expunction. As with any arrest, a prostitution arrest will likely show up on a Florida background check, but you may be able to seal or expunge the Florida record. Your ability to seal or expunge your Florida criminal record will depend on the way you dispose of the case, among other factors. Read Seal or Expunge Florida Prostitution Charge on Your Criminal Background for more information.