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What Charges Can a Person Face for Child Prostitution in Texas?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

plano criminal defense lawyerEven though is it commonly known as the “world’s oldest profession,” prostitution is a crime in most of the United States, including the state of Texas. Those who sell sex for money and those who pay others for sexual intercourse or other sexual activities can face criminal charges. While prostitution and solicitation are usually charged as misdemeanors, charges related to prostitution become much more serious if minors are involved. As with other types of crimes against children, prosecutors are likely to “throw the book” at those who have allegedly forced or encouraged minors to engage in prostitution. Defendants who have been charged with these types of crimes will need to secure representation from an attorney who can help them understand how the laws apply to their case and how they can build an effective defense strategy.

Criminal Charges Related to Child Prostitution

Those who engage in prostitution by offering or agreeing to receive payment in exchange for engaging in sexual conduct may be charged with a Class B misdemeanor for a first offense. Those who solicit prostitution by offering or agreeing to pay someone else to engage in sexual conduct may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. However, if a prostitute is under the age of 18, this charge may be increased to a second degree felony, even if the person did not know the prostitute’s actual age at the time of the offense. A conviction for a second degree felony can result in a jail sentence of 2 to 20 years, and all felony charges have a maximum fine of $10,000.

Other offenses that can be charged for those who conduct activities related to child prostitution include:

  • Online solicitation of a minor - Communicating in a sexually explicit manner with a minor under the age of 17 online, including through email or text messages, or sending them sexually explicit material is a third degree felony, and a conviction can result in a jail sentence of 2 to 10 years. Using electronic messaging to ask to meet a minor with the intent of engaging in sexual contact or sexual intercourse is a second degree felony.

  • Compelling prostitution - Causing a child under the age of 18 to commit prostitution, including through force, threats, coercion, or any other means, is a first degree felony, and a conviction can result in a jail sentence of 5 to 99 years.

  • Promotion of prostitution - Someone other than a prostitute who receives money or property as the proceeds of prostitution or encourages a person to engage in sexual conduct in return for compensation may be charged with this offense. If the person who will engage in prostitution is under the age of 18, an alleged offender may be charged with a first degree felony. Online promotion of prostitution by someone who owns or operates a website or other interactive service may be charged as a second degree felony if a person who will engage in prostitution is under the age of 18.

Contact Our Plano Child Prostitution Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with any offense related to child prostitution or other crimes against children, The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. can provide you with a strong defense and help you determine the best ways to avoid a conviction and preserve your personal reputation. Contact our Tarrant County sex crime defense lawyer today at 214-303-9600 to arrange a complimentary consultation.

Sources:

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.43.htm

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.33.htm

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.12.htm

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