- January 10, 2023
- Sex Crimes Blog
Human trafficking is nothing more than slavery, forced prostitution, and I applaud the law enforcement agencies that daily rescue the victims of that atrocious activity.
That said, Prostitution as defined in Florida Statute 796.07 and 796.08, is often an activity between consenting adults, and is only considered a “sex crime” because of puritanical statutes from before World War II that are still on the books.
In their zeal for righteously interdicting human trafficking, the State’s proper outrage often bleeds over into “prostitution sweeps,” where overly zealous officers cast their nets too widely, or cut too many procedural corners, collecting the guilty and the innocent. The State uses the numbers of those caught up in the net of sting operations, with undercover plainclothes officers acting their parts, as scapegoats to their politically correct media campaign to show “something is being done.”
An arrest on a prostitution-related charge, under the guise of a very politically correct “human trafficking interdiction,” whether for soliciting an act for money, offering an act for money, or offering to procure either gender for sex for cash, opens multiple avenues for an adverse impact on your life and wallet.
The State will seek the most severe felony charges with the greatest penalties, regularly “over-charging” defendants for the media hype and as a deterrence to others. Equally, this is done to scare defendants into a terrible plea bargain. This is done despite many of the alleged actions’ being chargeable as misdemeanors.
The State, the officers, and prosecutors involved, will view your actions through the lens of the strongest possible charges that can be brought, with no regard for the possible innocence of the defendant, the alternative misdemeanor charges that could be filed, or the problems with the case.
The 2022 Super Bowl sweep is an effort that comes to mind, where the sting operations resulted in multiple dozens of arrests after thousands of man-hours were expended. That man-hour investment, and the tax dollars it cost, simply must show a return. This pressure from above for results pushes the well-meaning by-the-book professional officers into the “corner cutting” and the “too-widely-cast-net” scenarios to get the statistics up, to justify the monies spent.
Under such pressure, often the “cuff ‘em and stuff ‘em, let the courts sort it out” mindset comes into play for line supervisors controlling the action. Figuring the courts will, in fact, resolve the situation, the involved officers give no consideration to the personal and financial consequences that accrue to a human trafficking/prostitution arrestee.
Another problem is that prosecutors are also receiving pressure from their bosses and the media and the public to finalize cases. Throw in an over-worked and under-staffed Public Defenders Office, where the attorneys are equally pressured to move cases along and resolve them, and you have a recipe for a personal disaster from which a person may never recover. A bad plea agreement can have many of the lasting detrimental repercussions of a conviction on the original over-blown charges.
A felony conviction for a “sex crime” can result in truly outrageous fines of up to $15,000 . Forfeiture of items used in the commission of the crime (such as your car!) is possible Then there is possible jail or prison time. With these penalties come the probable loss of any professional licenses, possible restrictions on your socializing with juvenile family members, and possible mandatory registration as a “sex offender.”
As prostitution is a “specific intent” crime, there must be an “oral contract,” a completed negotiation for an action done for an agreed compensation. Circumstantial evidence, as well as the undercover officer’s recording of the entire conversation, must be carefully scrutinized. Incomplete negotiations, or “joking around,” do not show the intent to make a contract, a “meeting of the minds,” and do not justify an arrest. Entrapment may be a viable defense justifying dismissal or a reasonable reduction in the charges.
Why Choose Us
Taracks and Associates is here to help, to call the State to task, and properly protect the rights of our clients. The procedures used by the city police officers and county deputies are sometimes questionable and will need to be looked at by someone with the training and experience to see the flaws, someone like the former prosecutor that is Barry Taracks. Feel free to call at (813) 990-0599 to set up a free consultation to discuss your case.
Can your attorney see administrative errors where the cops improperly delegated authority in the course of the investigation? Can your attorney see the illegal use of proxies to violate your rights? Can your attorney see booking errors that could provide loopholes beneficial to your case? Can he talk knowledgeably about the availability of pre-trial diversion options, the availability of a “withhold” and “expungement”?
If an attorney tells you he has to “look it up” or “do some research,” he often does not know the law in that area, and his inexperience will often result in a less than optimal outcome. Additionally, the penalties increase with subsequent additional charges, so even a misdemeanor charge needs to be looked at closely, and dealt with properly, to prevent future problems.
When you contact our legal team at Taracks & Associates for help with your prostitution case, you can feel confident that you will be treated with respect and dignity. Every professional courtesy will be extended to each client we represent, and our office offers a professional and comfortable atmosphere. Whether you need legal services for yourself or for a loved one who has been wrongfully accused, our attorneys at Taracks & Associates are ready to help.
As a top criminal defense law firm in the Tampa area, you can count on us to review the minute details of the charges against you. Our goal is to create an effective defense strategy to help you win your case. If the case the prosecution has built against you is weak, we will work to have the charges reduced or dismissed. If the case against you is more persuasive and a conviction is likely, you can count on us to work hard to have the charge reduced and the penalties minimized. We can also request alternative sentencing for your situation, to preclude the stigma of such a conviction.
Let Our Tampa Prostitution Defense Attorneys Help You with Your Case
If you are facing prostitution charges, our attorneys at Taracks & Associates are ready to help. We have years of experience handling cases just like yours. Our goal is to help each of our clients achieve the best possible outcome for their case.
There’s no question that a prostitution conviction can impact your life in many ways. We are here to help minimize this impact while ensuring you get the quality legal representation you need and deserve.
If you have questions or concerns, you do not have to be a client to contact our legal team by calling (813) 990-0599. With our help, you can have the best possible defense for your situation, and the best all-around outcome.