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Prostitution Laws in Florida and the Defense of Entrapment

Over the last few years, states nationwide – in particular Florida- have toughened laws against prostitution, in an effort to not only cut down on the illegal practice, but also to curb the practice of sex trafficking which largely goes hand-in-hand with prostitution. The laws are not only going after those who are engaged in the practice, but also those who are profiting from, benefiting from, or otherwise involved in the practice.

Florida Law Targets Those Involved in the Industry: Not Just Prostitutes and “Johns”

Florida law has made its laws stricter with regards to solicitation in an attempt to deter those looking for sex. According to Florida state law, the law attempts to dismantle the whole industry from the ground up. The laws dictate that where a person knows or has reasonable to know that he/she is benefiting or receiving financial support or earnings from another’s prostitution, he or she will be convicted for a felony of the second degree, even where it is his/her first offense.

A person may also be convicted for a misdemeanor if he or she rents out or provides the use of a place, building or other structure knowing or having reason to know that the space will be used for acts of prostitution, lewdness, or assignation (making the appointment for the act of prostitution/lewdness, which is generally the role of a pimp). It is made clear within the law that testimony evidence may be sufficient if it can prove that the place has a reputation for housing prostitution or other lewd acts, or if testimonial evidence against the person involved demonstrates that she/he has a reputation for being involved in or benefiting from prostitution.

Entrapment: An Affirmative Defense

Entrapment is an affirmative defense for those who have been charged under the stricter prostitution laws in Florida. According to an article published in the Atlantic Monthly, police tactics have thrown a wide, broad net to bait men into sexual acts with minors, even though the men have not been the ones to initiate contact for the purpose of communicating with a minor.

How is Entrapment Proven?

Entrapment in Florida is an affirmative defense, meaning that it is up to the criminal defendant to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she was induced to act or behave criminally. Entrapment may be used if the criminal defendant can show that a law enforcement agent or a person who was cooperating with law enforcement, for the purpose of collecting evidence to prove the commission of a crime, encouraged another and as a direct result, that person acted criminally. The police officer must use tactics and methods of persuasion that would significantly induce another to commit a crime.

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Fort Lauderdale

Being involved with prostitution and other sex acts carries significant punishment and can follow you the rest of your life, especially if you must register for the sex offender registry. If you or a loved one has been arrested for prostitution or benefiting from prostitution, it is important to speak with an experienced defense attorney like Kevin J. Kulik who can advocate on your behalf. Contact Kevin J. Kulik today for a free and confidential consultation in the Fort Lauderdale area.

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