Jacksonville Massage Offense Lawyer (Unlicensed Massage, Failure to Provide Documents, Etc.)

helps people defend against
Unlicensed Massage Offenses
To practice massage in the State of Florida, you must be a licensed massage therapist.  To operate a massage establishment, it must be licensed.  The laws relating to massage therapy can be found in Florida Statute Chapter 480. 

Because law enforcement often conduct stings on massage establishments to determine whether acts of prostitution are occurring, massage offenses are often brought against people, whether there are any prostitution allegations or not, if there are unlicensed or if the establishment is unlicensed.  Give the experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer of LGL a call to discuss your particular case.

What is "Unlicensed Massage?"

Qualifications and licensing requirements can be found in Florida Statute Chapter 480.  The criminal violations and penalties for violating those laws are found in Florida Statute Section 480.047. 

It is unlawful to do any of the following:
  • hold yourself out as a massage therapist or to practice massage unless duly licensed under Chapter 480 or unless otherwise specifically exempted from licensure under that chapter
  • operate any massage establishment unless it has been duly licensed as provided in Chapter 480
  • permit an employed person to practice massage unless duly licensed as provided herein
  • present as your own the license of another
  • allow the use of you license by an unlicensed person
  • give false or forged evidence to the department in obtaining any license provided for herein
  • falsely impersonate any other license holder of like or different name
  • use or attempt to use a license that has been revoked
  • otherwise violate any of the provisions of Chapter 480

What is the potential sentence for violating any of the above provisions?

A violation of this statute is punishable by up to 1 year in jail. 

What are the laws relating to operating a massage establishment?

Under Florida Statute Section 480.0475, you may not operate a massage establishment between the hours of midnight and 5:00 AM, unless:
  • located on a healthcare facility, health care clinic, hotel, motel, bed and breakfast inn, timeshare, public airport, or pari-mutuel facility, as defined by law, or
  • the massage is performed under the prescription of a licensed physician or physician assistant, osteopathic physician or physician assistant, chiropractic physician, podiatric physician, advanced registered nurse practitioner, or dentist, or
  • during a special event in the county or municipality in which the establishment operates has approved such operation during the special event.

The massage establishment cannot be used as a primary domicile unless it is zoned for residential use. 

Violation of this statute is punishable by up to 1 year for a first offense and up to 5 years in prison for a second or subsequent offense.

Do I have to turn over documents to the police if they raid the massage establishment?

Yes.  Whether you are an employee or an owner, the law requires you to immediately turn over the following documentation.

Florida Statute Section 480.0535 sets out the documentation requirements. 

Employee Requirements

A person employed by a massage establishment and any person performing massage therein must immediately present, upon the request of an investigator of the department or a law enforcement officer, valid government identification while in the establishment. 

A valid government identification includes:
  • a valid, unexpired driver license
  • a valid, unexpired identification card
  • a valid unexpired United State Passport
  • a Certificate of Naturalization
  • a valid unexpired Green Card (LPR card)
  • a valid unexpired Employment Authorization Card

Owner/Operator Requirements

A person operating a massage establishment must immediately present, upon request of an investigator of the department or a law enforcement officer,

  • valid government identification while in the establishment and  a copy of documentation for each employee and persons performing massage and
  • must ensure that each employee and person performing massage is able to immediately present valid identification.

Violations under Florida Statute Section 480.0535

First Offense
Up to 60 days in jail

Second Offense
Up to 1 year in jail

Third or Subsequent Offense

Up to 5 years in prison

If you or a loved one has been arrested for or accused of
Unlicensed Massage,

Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney

904-642-3332 (Jacksonville)

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