Arrested in St. Johns County FL for Prostitution and Solicitation

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office and St. Augustine police conducted an undercover prostitution sting last week. “The operation, dubbed ‘Operation Summer Lovin’,’ targeted men and women looking for sex or offering sexual favors in return for money.” As a result, “fourteen people were arrested…. including a detective with the Palatka Police Department, at a motel in St. Johns County.” They were arrested on Florida prostitution charges. Police allege that they “were advertising on a social media site.” As part of the operation, “undercover detectives placed and responded to ads on the site and the suspects responded.” Among those arrested, “Palatka Police detective, Reno Fells, 47, was arrested during the sting. He faces a charge of procure for prostitution. He was arrested Friday and resigned from the Police Department Sunday.” (First Coast News)

It is likely that the majority of these prostitution arrests fall under Section 796.07. This is the Florida prostitution law. It states:

(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.

Offering or soliciting prostitution may be a felony or misdemeanor in Jacksonville FL. If it is a first offense, the charge is a misdemeanor. Many people will plead guilty or no contest to this charge in first appearance court in order to receive a sentence of time-served and court costs. They do not hire a Jacksonville criminal lawyer. They later find out that this prostitution charges appears on a Florida criminal background check. You may be able to clear a prostitution charge from your record. If you were not convicted of the crime, you may be able to seal your criminal record. You may be able to expunge your Florida record if you did not plead guilty or no contest to the crime. Speak with a Jacksonville criminal attorney about your options. Call 20 Miles Law at (904) 564-2525 or send an email to Find a Lawyer.

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