A conviction for prostitution or another sex crime can send you to prison, in addition to imposing a significant monetary fine. As serious as those penalties may be, they pale in comparison to having a conviction on your permanent record and having to register as a sex offender.
A prostitution and sex crime lawyer in McKinney can protect your legal rights and mount a robust criminal defense on your behalf. Before you consider giving a statement to the police or accepting a plea deal from the prosecutor, talk to a lawyer to explore your other options.
Attorney Randy Isenberg has more than 30 years of experience in the Texas criminal justice system. Contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at 214-696-9253 to put that critical knowledge and insight to work on your case.
How Will a Prostitution or Sex Crime Conviction Affect You?
The penalties you face for a sex crimes conviction can vary based on the charges you face, any aggravating circumstances involved, and any prior criminal convictions you have.
Under state law, a first-offense solicitation or prostitution charge typically warrants a Class B misdemeanor charge. Any subsequent offenses will carry at least a Class A misdemeanor charge. Solicitation of a minor is an example of aggravating circumstances that can lead to more serious charges.
Promoting prostitution will also qualify you for a Class A misdemeanor. However, if you promote a prostitution enterprise with two or more prostitutes, or if any prostitute is a minor, you will face felony charges.
Under Texas law, a Class B misdemeanor conviction—the least serious of these charges—carries up to $2,000 in fines and up to six months in jail. A Class A misdemeanor conviction means fines up to $4,000 and as much as one year in jail.
A state jail felony carries up to $10,000 in fines and between six months and two years in state jail.
All felony convictions carry a $10,000 monetary fine. In addition:
- A third-degree felony conviction means between two and 10 years in prison;
- A second-degree felony carries between two and 20 years behind bars; and
- A first-degree felony conviction carries a prison sentence of five years to life.
A conviction will become part of your permanent criminal record. You cannot have it expunged or sealed. In most cases, you will also have to register as a sex offender—potentially for life.
Once your name and personal information show up on the sex offender registry, potential employers can use that fact to deny you a job. Landlords can also refuse to rent to you, as the federal Fair Housing laws do not protect convicted sex offenders.
How Does Texas Law Define Sex Crimes, Prostitution, and Solicitation?
The statutes define prostitution and the solicitation of a prostitute as engaging in or agreeing to engage in sexual conduct in exchange for something of value. This means the prosecutor can get a conviction even if no contact occurred and no money changed hands. The agreed-upon fee need not have been money, only something of value. That could include drugs, jewelry, or free rent.
You will face charges for promoting prostitution if you partake in any proceeds obtained through prostitution. Again, the proceeds do not have to be in the form of currency.
Other offenses that fall under the umbrella of sex crimes include indecent exposure, public lewdness, sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault, and possessing child pornography.
The prosecutor will decide which charges to pursue based on the circumstances of your case, and the statutory guidelines related to the offense in question.
Do All Sex Crimes Require Registering as a Sex Offender?
The determination of whether you must register as a sex offender depends not only on the specific offense in question but also the degree of threat you pose to the community.
If you must register as a sex offender, you will remain on the registry for a minimum of 10 years, and potentially for life. This means, wherever you move, you must notify the local authorities and enter your information into a registry. You typically also must turn over all your social media profiles, email addresses, and phone numbers over to the police or the court.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) will post your personal information in its public sex offender database. Your information will also appear on the sex offender registry through the McKinney Police Department.
Under state guidelines, a state committee will assess your risk as a sex offender. This process requires that you go before the committee and answer any questions they ask, no matter how sensitive or embarrassing.
The state breaks sex offenders down into three categories, depending on the threat they pose and their risk of offending again. A Level One classification indicates that you pose minimal threat to the community and that you are not likely to re-offend. A Level Two designation means moderate risk, and Level Three means that you pose a significant risk.
How Will Having a Lawyer Benefit You?
The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg provides compassionate, aggressive criminal defense for clients facing prostitution and sex crime charges in McKinney. We understand how challenging this situation is for you. We will ensure that you receive fair treatment and the due process of law.
Our legal team will be there to protect your rights and represent you in court. We will answer all your questions and explain your options, including what they could mean for your future.
Although the police and prosecutor may urge you to plead guilty to the charges against you, suggesting that is the best way to put it behind you, do not make any statements or agree to a plea bargain until you talk to a lawyer.
We can often identify problems with your case, including violations of your rights and police errors. This information can serve as a powerful negotiating tool, potentially allowing us to convince the prosecutor to reduce or dismiss your charges.
Otherwise, we can build the strongest possible case for trial. The prosecutor must meet their burden of proof to obtain a conviction. Using our vast network of resources, we can present evidence and make a case to help introduce reasonable doubt.
Schedule a No-Cost Consultation With a Prostitution and Sex Crimes Lawyer Today.
To help you make the best possible choices for your future, the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg would like to offer you a no-cost, no-obligation consultation and case review. Contact us today at 214-696-9253 today to learn more.