Florida has 27 new laws ranging from tougher penalties for people who solicit prostitutes to making revenge porn a crime.
The bills passed by the Legislature during the annual session that ended May 1 and signed by Gov. Scott took effect Thursday, October 1.
‘Johns’ better watch out. The penalty for a first conviction of soliciting a prostitute will increase from a second-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree misdemeanor.
“This is further proof of the idiocy of the Florida legislature,” said Howard Finkelstein, the public defender of Broward County. “When your approach has not worked, and not helped doubling down on it is just stupidity.”
A second offense would be a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, and a third offense would be a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
First offenders would also have to take a course on the dangers of prostitution and perform 100 hours of community service.
And judges will be forced to sentence repeat offenders to at least 10 days in jail. Also, if a vehicle is used while soliciting prostitution, a judge can issue an order impounding the vehicle for up to 60 days.
At least one city, St. Petersburg, will attempt to vigorously enforce the new statute. Its police department did a press release warning the public that “prostitution encourages drug addiction, human trafficking and related crimes which affect the quality of life of law abiding citizens and the prosperity of local businesses.”
Another sex-related law deals with newly-created revenge porn statutes.
It will also be illegal to post sexually explicit photos and videos of exes on websites without their consent.
That's known as 'revenge porn' and involves photos and videos couples meant to remain private.