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Backpage Prostitution Stings in Polk County

What happens in a typical undercover prostitution sting operation in Polk County? The undercover operations (often called the "Prostitution Vice Operation") will target men and women soliciting prostitution online or offering to commit prostitution.

Right now, most of the sting operations are using ads posted in the "dating" section of www.backpage.com that offer sexual favors in exchange for U.S. currency. Many of these sting operations in Polk County specifically target individuals who are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, or transgender.

The crime of "soliciting a lewd act" comes with a $5,000 fine unless you avoid a conviction. Call us to find out more about how we aggressively fight these charges for an outright dismissal when the prosecutor has insufficient evidence or other problems.

Attorney for Prostitution Crimes in Polk County, FL

If you were arrested for a crime involving an allegation of soliciting a prostitute or being a sex worker, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm. We represent clients charged with prostitution-related crimes throughout Polk County after an arrest in Barton, Lakeland, Winter Haven, Davenport, Polk City, Frost Proof, Eagle Lake, Lake Alfred, Lake Wales, Auburndale, Dundee, Fort Meade, Haines City, Highland Park, Hillcrest Heights, Lake Hamilton, and Mulberry, FL.

Call us to discuss your case during a free and confidential consultation. Our first goal is to get the charges completely dismissed or at least reduced to a less serious offense such as disorderly conduct.

Call (813) 250-0500 today.


Polk County Sting Operations Using Backpage.com

The sting operations in Polk County, FL, are conducted by the Polk County Sheriff's Office. During the operation, female detectives will pose as escorts and customers ("Johns") working in an undercover capacity. The female detectives will post fictitious advertisements online posing as "escorts" and the male detectives will reply to online advertisements for men and women offering "escort services."

Many of these prosecution sting operations involve dozens of officers including an analyst involved in each arrest, a Captain, a Lieutenant, various Sergeants, and Detectives. Some detectives will handle technical services, processing, evidence and charging documents. Other detectives handle making the arrest, working as scribes, working perimeter surveillance, handling vehicle impounds, transporting prisoners, and handling book-in procedures.

The arrests will take place inside a residence with audio and video recordings in place. For the sting operations, these houses have been set up throughout Polk County including Lakeland, Bartow, Winter Haven, Polk City, Frostproof, Mulberry, Lake Wales Auburndale, Davenport, Eagle Lake, Fort Meade, Haines City and Lake Alfred.

When the undercover detective responds to an advertisement posted on Backpage.com, for example, the conversation between the undercover detective and the suspect will be recorded. The detective will attempt to get an agreement for a certain place and time with a certain price that is agreed to by the parties.

The detective will then ask the suspect to travel to the undercover location and met with the undercover detective. Once inside the residence, the detective will ask the subject to engage in a sexual act in exchange for a certain amount of mone. The detective will then pay the money to the suspect. At that point, the other officers will rush in to make the arrest during a "take down."

The takedown officers will wear an agency issued badge and a tactical vest with "Sheriff" on the front and back identifying the officer as a member of law enforcement. After the arrest, the officers are trained to read Miranda rights from a Miranda card during a recorded interview after the arrest. Then the officers will interrogate the suspect in an attempt to get a full or partial confession.

The criminal defense attorney in the case is entitled to all of the discovery including any communications between the person accused and the officer involved in the sting, backpage.com advertisements, video and audio of the conversation for sexual services, and the post-Miranda statements.


Find a Lawyer for Prostitution Crimes in Polk County, FL

The courts in Florida have considered whether Section 796.07(6), Florida Statutes, is unconstitutional because the $5,000 fine for soliciting prosecution is excessive or "grossly disproportional" as applied in the case. These fines and the ability to seize vehicles after an arrest have motivated law enforcement officers to set up complicated sting operations to cast a wide net.

If you are charged with solicitation of prostitution or offering sexual favors in exchange for money, then the crime is often charged under Section 796.07(2)(f) or related statutes. After an arrest, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. We represent clients charged with solicitation or prostitution throughout Polk County, FL.

Call 813-250-0500 to discuss your case with an attorney today.


This article was last updated on Friday, May 12, 2017.

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