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What Are the Penalties for Prostitution or Solicitation in Texas?

 Posted on August 15, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Collin County Prostitution Charges AttorneyIn the state of Texas, engaging in prostitution is a criminal offense, and people who hire prostitutes may also face criminal charges. If you have been arrested for offenses related to prostitution, it is crucial to understand the potential penalties you may face and your options for defense.

The Definition of Prostitution and Solicitation

Under Texas law, prostitution refers to the act of offering or agreeing to engage in sexual conduct with another person for compensation. Solicitation, on the other hand, involves offering or agreeing to pay someone for engaging in sexual conduct. “Sexual conduct” may include sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual contact. While prostitution may be charged as a Class B misdemeanor, solicitation of prostitution may result in state jail felony charges.

Texas law also defines the offense of promotion of prostitution, which may apply when someone is accused of facilitating a transaction in which a person engages in sexual conduct for hire. This can be done by operating an establishment such as a brothel, using online advertisements to facilitate transactions, or otherwise accepting money on behalf of a person who has engaged in prostitution. Promotion of prostitution is generally charged as a third-degree felony.

Possible Penalties for Prostitution or Solicitation

The penalties for prostitution-related offenses can vary depending on various factors, including prior convictions and whether certain aggravating circumstances are present. Punishments may include:

  • A fine: Convicted individuals may face fines ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

  • Jail time: Imprisonment terms can range from a few days up to several years based on the specific charges and whether a person has any prior convictions. The maximum sentence for a Class B misdemeanor is 180 days. A state jail felony may carry a sentence of 180 days to two years. Third degree felonies may result in sentences of two to 10 years.

  • Probation: Instead of jail time, probation may be granted, and conditions may be put in place that must be strictly followed, such as regular check-ins with a probation officer and random drug testing.

  • Mandatory counseling/education programs: Individuals convicted of sexual offenses may be required by law to attend counseling or educational programs that address sexual behaviors.

Aggravating Factors

In some cases, the specific circumstances of a case may lead to additional penalties. Factors that can result in sentence enhancements may include:

  • Prior convictions: A second or third conviction for prostitution may result in Class A misdemeanor charges, and additional offenses may be charged as state jail felonies. A second offense of solicitation will generally be charged as a third-degree felony.

  • Involvement of a minor: Solicitation will result in second-degree felony charges if a person agrees to engage in sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 18.

  • Human trafficking: If there is evidence that an offense involves coercion, threats, or fraud, a person may be charged with compelling prostitution, which is a first-degree felony.

Defenses against Prostitution or Solicitation Charges

If you have been accused of prostitution or solicitation charges in Texas, it is crucial to understand your legal options. An experienced criminal defense attorney can review your case and determine the strategies you may use to avoid a conviction. Some potential defenses might include:

  • Lack of evidence: You may be able to challenge the prosecution's ability to prove their case by casting doubt on the evidence against you.

  • Mistaken identity: You may be able to demonstrate that you have been falsely accused because you were wrongfully identified by witnesses or investigators.

  • Entrapment: Law enforcement officers may attempt to induce someone who would not have otherwise committed a crime to engage in illegal activities. You may be able to show that an undercover officer pressured or coerced you into engaging in sexual conduct for money.

  • Lack of intent: If there is no evidence that you intended to engage in sexual conduct for compensation, this may serve as a viable defense.

  • Violations of constitutional rights: Procedural errors that infringed on your Fourth Amendment rights against unlawful searches and seizures or your Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination may affect the admissibility of evidence in court.

Contact a Collin County Prostitution Charges Attorney

If you have been charged with prostitution or solicitation in Texas, you should not delay in seeking legal advice from an experienced Plano prostitution defense lawyer. The consequences associated with these crimes can be severe, and having effective legal representation can make all the difference in your case. Contact The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. today at 214-544-0061 to schedule a free consultation. Our skilled attorneys will provide you with the guidance and representation needed to protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.


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