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What is Prostitution?

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What is Prostitution?

Hi. This is attorney Kevin Hayslett and the question is “what is prostitution?” When we think of prostitution, we generally think of a streetwalker on the corner offering to perform sexual acts for money. And that would be true—but in most jurisdictions, prostitution law is broken down by several key elements. Number one, there is either an offer or an agreement to perform sexual acts either on a person or by that person for something of value—a lot of people say it has to be for money, it doesn’t have to be. In most jurisdictions, if there is an agreement or offer of a sexual act for something of value—a watch, ring, livestock, or U.S. currency—then that constitutes illegal prostitution. 

Now, remember this. Like the crime of conspiracy, in many jurisdictions, a person can be prosecuted for the crime of illegal prostitution on words alone; hence, solicitation for prostitution. So, if a person solicits—agrees to have a sexual act performed on them or to perform a sexual act on someone else for something of value—the words alone may constitute the act of solicitation of prostitution. 

So, prostitution would be an agreement to perform a sexual act for something of value and, in some jurisdictions, the agreement alone, without doing anything else, can also be a violation of prostitution law. Check with a lawyer who practices criminal and prostitution law in your area to determine whether or not the laws in your jurisdiction apply to mere words alone or acts.


The criminal defense attorneys at Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. are fighting for our clients rights in criminal defense cases in ClearwaterTampaBradentonSpring Hill, Pinellas, Pasco, New Port Richey, Manatee, Hillsborough and Hernando Counties in Florida.

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J. Kevin Hayslett

Kevin Hayslett, Esq.

J. Kevin Hayslettis an attorney practicing in the areas of Criminal Defense and DUI Defense from the Clearwater office and Hillsborough office. Kevin is an avid tennis player and is currently nationally rated in singles and doubles. You can follow Kevin onGoogle+, oron Radio IO on his show, "Kevin's Law". Kevin can also be heard on the Sirius Satellite Radio show during the "Ask the Lawyer" segment, which can be heard the first Thursday of every month.