Offering to engage a person for prostitution is a misdemeanor crime in Florida. It is not the most serious crime, but it is one that people do not generally want to see on their record. It can be charged as a felony crime for a third violation. However, to be convicted of offering for prostitution in Florida, the state does not have to prove that the defendant actually had sex with the person or even paid any money. It is sufficient if the state can prove the defendant agreed to engage the other person in prostitution.
In a recent prostitution case near jacksonville, Florida, undercover detectives were dressed as prostitutes and trying to entice people to solicit them. This is how most prostitution arrests are made. The defendant approached one of the undercover detectives, and they negotiated a price and the terms of the transaction. Before any money changed hands, the defendant said he needed to go to the bank to get the money to pay the undercover detective. The defendant was then arrested for offering for prostitution at that time. Basically, the defendant was arrested based on a conversation alone.
The criminal defense lawyer argued that the defendant could not be charged and convicted of offering for prostitution because the crime could not be completed if the defendant had no money and did not have the ability to pay as of the time of his arrest. However, the law in Florida makes it illegal to offer to engage in prostitution. The state does not necessarily have to prove the defendant actually actually completed the sexual act or even paid for it. If the state can prove that the defendant intended to enter into an agreement to engage in prostitution, then the defendant can be convicted of offering for prostitution in Florida. On the other hand, the defendant could argue that he did not have any money and never really intended to follow through with the apparent prostitute. In any case, the judge would not throw the case out, and it would be up to a jury to determine if the state could prove the defendant actually intended to engage the undercover detective for prostitution based on the facts of the case.