Officers patrolled a parking lot known as a hot spot for male prostitution. Deputies witnessed the suspect quickly exiting the vehicle of another male and beginning to walk toward his own vehicle. After conversations between the police and the suspect, an officer mentioned the burs on the suspect’s socks. The defendant claimed the burs came from urinating in the woods; the same woods known to authorities for male prostitution. Officers arrested the defendant for loitering and prowling.
Loitering and Prowling
Under Florida statutes 856.021, it is illegal for anyone to loiter or prowl in a place or manner that is not usual for law-abiding citizens. This activity is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor with penalties of up to 60 days in jail and a fine of $500.
The prosecution will need to provide proof that the defendant was loitering or prowling in a manner that is not usual for citizens. They will also need to prove that the offender’s behavior was not justifiable or was an immediate concern for the safety of persons or property in the vicinity.
There are many defenses that can be used for loitering and prowling. These include:
- Mere idleness, vagrancy, or suspicious presence
- No imminent threat/breach of peace
- Police not present
- After-the-fact justifications
- No opportunity to explain
In order to be charged for loitering and prowling, a law enforcement officer must have more than just a suspicion. They cannot charge a person with this just because they are in a place at an unusual time for most citizens, such as in a dark alley after midnight or in the woods known for prostitution. A person can also not be charged with prostitution if they are not an imminent threat, as this would be considered an unlawful arrest.
Notice of No Information
A notice of no information is filed by the prosecution when they believe they do not have sufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Once this has been filed, the prosecution will not be able to prosecute the case.
If you have been charged with male prostitution or loitering and prowling, you need legal representation for your case. These charges can be very damaging to your reputation and your way of life. Finding a skilled attorney to handle the case for you will ensure that someone is fighting in your corner who has the experience and skills needed to help reduce or dismiss the charges against you. At Musca Law, our top priority is to make sure that your case is fought in your best interest. We will build a strong legal defense based on the specifics of your case, and we will negotiate aggressively with the prosecution so that your legal rights are maintained. We have well over 150-years of combined experience between our team of attorneys, with offices conveniently located across the state of Florida for our clients’ convenience. We offer a free, no-obligation initial case consultation to determine how our legal services may best support you and your case. Don’t hesitate to call us today!
RESULT: The defense immediately entered into negotiations with the State over the fate of the client. The attorney convinced the prosecution that their case lacked enough evidence to secure a conviction. The defense prevailed with the State filed a notice of no information and DROPPED all charges against the client!