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Within the last few years, the Florida Legislature has significantly increased the penalties for those charged with the crime of soliciting a prostitute under Florida Statute Section 796.07. As a criminal defense attorney, when I get a call from someone faced with this charge, the first thing I do is look to see if they have been charged under Florida Statute Section 796.07(2)(f). If they did, I know that that person is potentially facing serious penalties, even if they are a first time offense.

Florida Statute Section 796.07(2)(f) read s as follows: To solicit, induce, entice, or procure another to commit prostitution, lewdness, or assignation. A first time violation is a first degree misdemeanor, a second violation is a third degree felony, and a third or subsequent violation is a second degree felony.

However, to make matters worse, in addition to the usual penalties imposed in a criminal case such as jail and criminal fines, the Florida legislature has recently added additional conditions to a violation of section 2(f) which are:

1. 100 hours of community service,
2. Pay for and attend an education program about the negative effects of prostitution and human trafficking,
3. A minimum mandatory jail sentence of 10 days for a second or subsequent violation of section 2(f),
4. If an automobile is used during the commission of the crime, the Court may order an impoundment of the vehicle for up to 60 days, and
5. A $5,000.00 civil fine (which is in addition to the criminal court costs). The civil fine shall be imposed for any judicial disposition other than an acquittal or dismissal.

If you are arrested for the crime of soliciting a prostitute, you should consult with an attorney in your area as soon as possible.