What You Need to Know About Texas Solicitation Law
Solicitation refers to the sale of sexual intercourse between one individual and another in an act of prostitution. In the state of Texas, criminal charges can be brought against an individual for committing, promoting, compelling, or soliciting prostitution. These charges may be leveled against someone even if a sex act was not actually committed. An individual engages in prostitution if they knowingly participate in a sexual act or offer to engage in a sexual act for a monetary sum.
At The Crowder Law Firm, P.C., we have years of experience representing individuals charged with sex crimes. With the necessary skills and resources to defend a number of solicitation-related offenses, our Plano sex crime attorney can craft a specific defense for your legal needs. We also offer free and confidential consultations, so you know we are serious about winning your case.
Understanding Solicitation Charges
Whether solicitation is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the details of the offense. While a first-time solicitation charge will usually be tried as a misdemeanor, individuals with increasing offenses risk being charged with a felony.
In the state of Texas, solicitation charges break down as:
- Class B Misdemeanor: This charge is applied in cases of solicitation or prostitution where no aggravating factors were present. It may carry up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine up to $2,000.
- Class A Misdemeanor: This charge is applied in cases where the perpetrator has 1-2 prior convictions for prostitution or solicitation, or for pimping (promoting solicitation) where no aggregating factors were present. It may carry up to a year in jail and/or a fine up to $4,000.
- State Jail Felony: This charge is applied in cases where the perpetrator has at least 3 prior convictions for prostitution or solicitation or multiple charges of pimping. It may carry anywhere between 6 months and 2 years in a state jail and a fine up to $10,000.
- Third Degree Felony: This charge is applied for running a prostitution business. It may carry up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
- Second Degree Felony: This charge is applied in cases where the person solicited was younger than 18 years of age, regardless of whether or not the perpetrator was aware; or if the perpetrator believed the person was younger than 18; or for pimping someone younger than 18; or for attempting to force a person under 18 to engage in prostitution. It may carry anywhere between 2-20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
- First Degree Felony: This charge is applied for running a prostitution business with over 2 sex workers, wherein one or more of those sex workers is under 18. In cases where the perpetrator attempts to force someone under 18 to commit a sex act, this offense may carry an additional felony charge. It may carry a sentence of 5 years to life in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Defending Solicitation Offenses
A solicitation charge is not inarguable. A skilled attorney will be able to find multiple defenses to prove their client was innocent and unaware of the circumstances at the time of arrest.
Possible defenses against solicitation charges include:
- Lack of knowledge
- No monetary exchange
- Proposal was not serious
Remember, the state has the burden of proof. Unless they can definitively determine that an individual engaged in prostitution with their full judgment and consent, a sensible court will overturn a solicitation charge.
Contact Our Plano Sex Crime Lawyer Today
At The Crowder Law firm, P.C., our attorney is dedicated to defending sex crimes and will make sure every client gets a fair trial, no matter what the details of the case may be. Don’t let a charge of solicitation put you behind bars. We can assess your case and construct a defense that is comprehensive and unwavering. We even have experience representing clients charged with internet sex crimes, which can also involve solicitation. With over 200 acquittals and 3 decades of experience, The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. is your choice for criminal defense in Texas.
Call (214) 981-1441 to begin your solicitation defense now, or contact us online for a free consultation.