Florida state law can be tough on prostitution related crimes. If someone is engaged in the solicitation of prostitution, they could face criminal charges. Conviction for solicitation of prostitution carries potentially serious penalties, depending on a number of circumstances. Recently, in Indian River County (Vero Beach, Sebastian), and Martin County (Stuart, Hobe Sound, Palm City), law enforcement agencies have cracked down on this alleged activity and are trying to “send a message” about it. Of course, these kinds of transactions are completely legal and accepted by many communities all over the world, including the state of Nevada, Germany, Holland and many other countries. Unfortunately, the towns of Vero Beach and Stuart are not on the same page. It really is vital to retain a criminal defense lawyer to help you navigate through these kinds of situations, as an overzealous prosecutor could seek jail time in these matters. An experienced criminal defense lawyer should conduct a meticulous investigation into your case and may be able to raise any number of defenses that can result in charges being dismissed.
One defense to solicitation of prostitution charges is arguing there was never an agreement to exchange money for sexual services. If both parties did not actually agree to the exchange of money for sexual acts then prostitution laws should not apply. Perhaps the agreement was for a legitimate massage only and the person giving the massage took it a step further without the consent of the client, then that would not constitute solicitation of prostitution under Florida Law. Or perhaps the money exchanged was for a legal massage and the sex act that took place after the massage was simply a consensual sexual encounter because the two people liked and were attracted to each other.
A second strategy to defend solicitation of prostitution charges might be to use the entrapment defense. Entrapment happens when an agent of law enforcement has urged or persuaded a person to take part in a sexual act. This is often a useful defense when the agent aggressively encourages the person to participate in the prostitution activity. This may be through a prostitution sting operation, using online contact and repeatedly insisting on exchanging money for sexual services. The defendant can be induced into a crime when the person indirectly behaves in such a way as to suggest they are implicit in the crime. A legal defense may argue that the defendant would not have engaged in such conduct had the agent not been so aggressive.
Other defenses to solicitation of prostitution charges might include a lack of evidence, mistaken identity, or an illegal warrant for a camera. Just because a Judge issues a warrant giving the police permission to put cameras in a private massage room does not mean that warrant was authorized by Florida Law. Judges do make mistakes — all the time. So if the warrant signed by the Judge is not supported by Probable Cause, then a board certified criminal trial lawyer will raise those issue in the form of a motion to suppress the evidence. If that motion were successful, then the State’s case would fall apart and they would be forced to dismiss all charges. This is more common than most folks realize and must be researched and handled the right way.
So if you are facing these kinds of charges, call Brian Mallonee (772) 464-1991 a board certified criminal trial lawyer who practices in Indian River (Vero Beach, Sebastian) and Martin (Stuart, Hobe Sound, Palm City) counties. You won’t want to be in front of an Indian River or Martin County Judge on these kinds of charges without a good criminal defense lawyer who is an expert and specialist in criminal trial law. At the Law Office of Brian H. Mallonee, we have already begun preparing some legitimate and worthwhile defenses to these prostitution stings.
Brian Mallonee (772) 464-1991
Brian Mallonee is a Criminal Defense Lawyer Serving St Lucie, Indian River, Martin, and Okeechobee Counties