As a Tampa sex crimes attorney, one of the most frustrating issues regularly faced is the fine amount on prostitution charges. Recently, the Florida Legislature added subsection (6) to Florida Statute 796.07, which added a $5,000 civil penalty to any sanction for a violation of the above-referenced Statute. Interestingly enough, the first $500 of the civil penalty goes towards supporting drug court programs. The rest of the penalty is intended to assist the Department of Children and Families in developing safe houses for former prostitutes. This is somewhat unique since the Legislature rarely provides such specific directions as to fines and penalties in the criminal justice system.
Unfortunately, the fine amount is somewhat unrealistic given that most transactions in prostitution cases involve very small transactions, like $50 or $20 for unlawful acts. As you can imagine, this $5,000 fine is a heavy burden to shoulder in these situations. It is also worth noting that many times our Tampa sex crimes attorneys can assist in getting these charges reduced or dropped depending on the caliber and quality of investigation performed by the arresting officers. Many times, there are significant issues with the hidden cameras and microphones utilized by law enforcement in these matters.
As we have discussed elsewhere on our Tampa sex crimes attorney blog, many misdemeanors after three convictions in five years can become a felony charge – prostitution falls in this category. Another interesting portion of the above-reference Statute is that it permits someone charged for the third time with prostitution to be admitted into a pretrial intervention program or drug treatment. Again, this is someone unique for the Legislature to include, but it is clear they are aware of the relationship between prostitution and drug use.
If you or someone you know has been charged with prostitution, contact the Tampa sex crimes attorney of Hackworth Law for a free case consultation. We have handled thousands of cases throughout the Tampa Bay area and have the experience necessary to protect your rights. If you would like to contact one of our Tampa sex crimes attorneys immediately, please use the “contact us now” tab in the upper right hand corner of our website. We appreciate you taking the time to check out our Tampa sex crimes attorney blog and look forward to working with you.