What Robert Kraft Could Face for Recent Arrest on Solicitation Charges in Florida
A Martin County, FL judge recently unsealed video evidence in a high-profile criminal case, representing the latest in the sordid saga that led to solicitation charges for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. According to a March 15, 2019 South Florida Sun-Sentinel article, the evidence had been seized by police in connection with their massage parlor sting. Though the investigation into human trafficking and prostitution charges against the spas continues, Kraft turned himself in on two counts of solicitation.
Beyond the tabloid value of the case, it’s important to understand the seriousness of the allegations. A Florida prostitution and solicitation defense lawyer can explain, but an overview may be helpful.
Description of Solicitation Crimes: Florida’s law on solicitation is focused on the individuals who hire others to engage in sexual conduct – as opposed to the people who accept money or items of value to perform sex acts. The definition of the crime is inducing, enticing, or procuring someone as a prostitute, or otherwise hiring that individual for lewd purposes.
Penalties for a Solicitation Conviction: If you’re convicted on solicitation charges, you must complete 100 hours of community service, attend an educational course on prostitution, and pay a fine up to $5,000. In addition to these mandatory sanctions, there may be additional penalties depending on whether you have a criminal history involving solicitation and/or prostitution. For instance:
- A first-time offense is a First Degree Misdemeanor, for which you could be sentenced to a year in prison, a year on probation, and a maximum fine of $1,000.
- A second conviction raises the crime to a Third Degree Felony, so a judge could issue a sentence of up to five years in prison, probation, and a maximum fine of $5,000. Plus, the court could also impound your vehicle for up to 60 days.
- If you’re convicted of solicitation a third time, the offense is a Second Degree Felony. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 days in jail, but the judge could extend your period of incarceration to 15 years. Your maximum fine could reach $10,000, and the court may order your vehicle to be impounded for up to 60 days.
Potential Defenses to Fight the Charges: As with any criminal case, you may have defenses related to violations of your constitutional rights against unlawful search and seizure. Plus, you may argue for solicitation charges to be dropped on the grounds that the prosecutor didn’t prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. One defense that is specific to solicitation and prostitution is consent, where you could present evidence showing that the person you allegedly solicited engaged in consensual sexual activity.
Consult with a Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer About Prostitution and Solicitation
If you’re facing solicitation, prostitution, or similar charges, it’s important to retain experienced legal counsel to represent your interests – especially if you have a history of related criminal activity. There could be a felony conviction on your record, and the prison time is extensive. To schedule a consultation, please contact the Fort Lauderdale office of criminal defense attorney Kevin J. Kulik right away.