Prostitution and sex crimes carry severe penalties that can potentially ruin your life. Even seemingly minor offenses may require you to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life.
To protect your legal rights and ensure you understand the serious implications of the charges you face, you need a lawyer who understands the laws surrounding sex crimes.
What Constitutes Prostitution and Sex Crimes in Garland?
Title 9, Chapter 43 of the Texas Penal Code defines prostitution and sex crimes as follows.
Texas law considers engaging in sexual conduct for a fee to be both prostitution and solicitation. Likewise, so is agreeing or offering to engage in sexual conduct for a fee.
The prosecutor can charge you with either prostitution or solicitation, even if no money changed hands, and even if no physical contact took place.
The fee need not be currency either. Agreeing to sexual conduct in exchange for anything of value constitutes prostitution or solicitation.
Promoting prostitution, sometimes called pimping, occurs when an individual shares in the proceeds resulting from prostitution or solicitation.
You may also face sex crimes charges for any of the following offenses:
- Public lewdness
- Indecent exposure
- Disorderly conduct
- Child pornography
- Sexual assault
- Aggravated sexual assault
The specific charges you face depend on the nature of the offense and the circumstances of your arrest.
Engaging the services of a prostitution and sex crimes lawyer in Garland can help protect your legal rights and determine the best option to take.
What Penalties Will You Face for Prostitution or Sex Crimes in Garland?
Most prostitution and solicitation crimes in Texas bring class B misdemeanor charges. However, the state might elevate your charge to a class A misdemeanor or felony depending on any prior convictions.
If you attempt to solicit someone younger than 18, you will also face more severe charges.
For example, promoting prostitution carries a class A misdemeanor charge. However, if the prosecutor asserts that you promoted two or more prostitutes, an offense known as a “prostitution enterprise,” you may face third-degree felony charges.
And, if one of alleged prostitutes is under 18, you will face first-degree felony charges.
Below is a breakdown of the penalties associated with each level of prostitution sex crime charges:
Class B Misdemeanor
- $2,000 fine
- Up to 6 months in jail
Class A Misdemeanor
- $4,000 fine
- Up to a 1-year sentence
State Jail Felony
- $10,000 fine
- Between 6 months and 2 years in jail or state prison
- $10,000 fine
- Between 2 and 10 years in prison
- $10,000 fine
- Between 2 and 20 years in prison
- $10,000 fine
- Between 5 and 99 years, or life, in prison
Does Conviction Require Registration as a Sex Offender?
If the court convicts you of prostitution or sex crimes in Garland, you must register as a sex offender, as long as your crime qualifies as a reportable offense in the Texas statutes.
Chapter 62 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure (TCCP) details all sex offender registry provisions. Your information will go into a variety of electronic databases accessible to the public.
The first location your info will appear is in the Texas Department of Public Safety’s (TxDPS) online sex offender database. The Garland Police Department also maintains a registry of its own and provides a link to the TxDPS registry on the department’s website.
Determining whether your crime is reportable under the state statutes requires evaluating the level of threat represented. Many violations require lifetime sex offender registration.
The categories of sex offender threat are as outlined below.
Level One Sex Offender
This level poses a low risk to the community and minimal risk of recidivism.
Level Two Sex Offender
This level poses a moderate risk to the community and moderate risk of recidivism.
Level Three Sex Offender
This level poses a high risk to the community and a likely risk of recidivism.
To determine your level of risk, you may have to undergo an assessment from the TxDPS. If so, you must meet with a seven-member committee who can ask virtually anything it chooses — which you must answer.
How Will a Prostitution Sex Crime Conviction Affect Your Future?
If the state convicts you for a prostitution or sex crime charge in Garland, you must pay your fine, serve your time in jail or prison, and register as a sex offender. This applies even if no sexual conduct occurred or no fee exchanged hands.
As a registered sex offender, you will struggle significantly to get a job or find a home or apartment to rent. Federal Fair Housing standards do not protect sex offenders from discrimination by landlords. Federal laws also allow employers to discriminate against individuals convicted of sex crimes in many cases.
How Can a Prostitution or Sex Crime Lawyer Help You?
You may feel embarrassed to admit what you are going through but that is not a good reason for accepting this fate. Unless you are willing to plead guilty to your prostitution or sex crimes charges and suffer the potentially life-altering consequences, you should get a lawyer and fight for your future.
A solicitation and sex crime attorney can ensure that you understand your options and how they may affect your life.
Prosecutors often assume that individuals facing this type of charge will not fight back. Your lawyer will evaluate all the facts of your case and negotiate with the prosecutor to have your charges dropped or reduced. And, if necessary, we can build an aggressive defense and take your case to court.
Make Your Appointment with a Garland Sex Crime Lawyer Today
You need an attorney who will fight on your behalf, all the way to the courtroom if necessary.
To find the right sex crime or prostitution lawyer, look for a law firm that recognizes how difficult your circumstances are and who understands that, sometimes, bad things happen to good people.
In Garland, attorney Randall Isenberg of the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg does understand. With more than three decades of experience — including working as a felony prosecutor and judge — Randall knows how the other side operates and will put this insider knowledge to work for your case.
Schedule your free consultation today: 214-696-9253.