Florida toughens penalties for soliciting prostitutes on October 1, 2015

It’s a continuous trend taking place all across America and the world. Penalties for prostitution on all sides continuously get harsher. This time it is the entire state of Florida.

In April 2015, bill HB 465 was introduced by Florida state legislator Ross Spano to toughen penalties for soliciting prostitution. It overwhelmingly passed in the Florida state legislature and Florida governor Rick Scott signed it. HB 465 takes effect on October 1, 2015. Here are the enhanced penalties of soliciting prostitutes in Florida.

Before HB 465 took effect (before October 1, 2015)
First offense: 2nd degree misdemeanor
Second offense: 1st degree misdemeanor
Third offense: 3rd degree felony

After HB 465 took effect (October 1, 2015 or after)
First offense: 1st degree misdemeanor (plus mandatory community service, vehicle can be seized)
Second offense: 3rd degree felony (up to 5 years in prison, 10 days in jail minumum)
Third offense: 2nd degree felony (up to 15 years in prison)

Florida has long been a multiple misdemeanor prostitution charge leading to a felony, but instead of three strikes, it’s just two strikes to a felony. And penalties are toughened at every level, even the first offense.

Sources:
Governor OKs tougher human trafficking protections
New Soliciting Prostitution Law in Florida

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