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.
Being charged with prostitution or another sex crime can bring significant consequences, both in the short term and for the rest of your life. Sec. 43.01 of the Texas Statutes lists various sex-related crimes punishable by law. These crimes include, but are not limited to:
- Promotion of prostitution
- Possession or promotion of child pornography
Sec. 21.01 of the Texas Statutes details additional sexual offenses, including but not limited to:
- Sexual abuse
- Public lewdness
- Indecent exposure
- Indecency with a child
- Improper relationship between educator and student
- Unlawful disclosure or promotion of intimate visual material
The penalties for these crimes vary, but the majority of them are quite serious. To speak with a lawyer about your defense, call our team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at (214) 696-9253 for a free consultation.
What a Prostitution or Sex Crime Conviction Could Mean?
Prostitution gets its own subchapter in the Texas penal code and can carry significant legal consequences. A charge of prostitution may be levied if:
- You knowingly offer to exchange sexual conduct for a fee or accept such an offer
- You knowingly do the above in exchange for a good of value other than money
This means that a mere verbal agreement or even an opaque “agreement” could result in you facing a charge of prostitution.
Legal Consequences of a Prostitution Conviction
Section 43.02-b of the Texas Penal Code classifies a charge of prostitution as a Class B misdemeanor. Texas’ sentencing guidelines dictate that a conviction for a Class B misdemeanor could result in:
- A jail term of up to 180 days
- A fine of up to $2,000
There may be circumstances that result in a charge of prostitution becoming a Class A misdemeanor. This may occur if you have one or two previous convictions of a prostitution charge.
In the case that you are facing a Class A misdemeanor prostitution charge, a conviction could result in:
- Up to 1 year in jail
- A fine of up to $4,000
Each prostitution conviction increases the odds that you will face more serious legal consequences for future convictions. You could face a state jail felony charge for a prostitution charge if you have three or more previous prostitution charges.
Being convicted of a state jail felony-level prostitution charge could result in:
- Up to two years in prison
- A fine of up to $10,000
Legal Consequences of a Conviction for Other Sex Crimes
Prostitution is far from the only sex crime that you can be charged with in the state of Texas, and it is far from the most serious. Certain sex crimes, such as those involving children, carry significant legal consequences that you might be able to predict. Other sex crimes, such as public lewdness, may carry a punishment that is more serious than you might expect.
You could be charged with public lewdness if you:
- Are caught having sex in public
- Are caught having any kind of sexual contact in public
Crimes such as indecent exposure are somewhat open to the interpretation of the arresting office. In either case, certain sex crimes that you might consider victimless or harmless may result in your facing significant legal—and life-impacting—consequences.
Legal consequences for a sex crime may range anywhere from a Class C misdemeanor to a first-degree felony. Convictions for a Class C misdemeanor include crimes like voyeurism and unlawful transmission of sexually explicit material. Convictions for a first-degree felony include crimes like continuous sexual abuse of a young child or children.
Maximum punishments for a high-level sex crime conviction may result in:
- A $500 fine for a Class C misdemeanor
- 2 to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines for a third-degree felony
- 2 to 20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines for a second-degree felony
- 5 to 99 years or life in prison and up to $10,000 in fines for a first-degree felony
Depending on the specific crime that you are convicted of, you may also be required to register as a sex offender under Art. 62.001 of the Texas Statutes.
The legal consequences listed above may only be the beginning of punishment for a conviction on charges of prostitution or another sex crime. If you are facing a prostitution or sex crime conviction and would like legal advice on how to handle your case, call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg at (214) 696-9253. You can speak with a team member at our office and receive a free case evaluation to learn about your legal options.
How Will a Prostitution or Sex Crime Conviction Affect You?
Aside from the direct legal ramifications of a conviction for prostitution or another sex crime, having a criminal conviction on your record may make your life more difficult in a variety of ways. Though some may be willing to forgive and assume the best of you, a conviction for a sex crime may:
- Result in you being a registered sex offender, which will likely require you to register with local law enforcement every time you move and have your face on a public registry
- Cause you difficulty in obtaining housing
- Make it more difficult for you to obtain desirable employment
- Harm your case in family court matters
It may be in your interest to do all that you can to defend yourself from any sex-related charges that you are facing. Some choose to employ a lawyer who can help them prepare for their upcoming court date.
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.
Consider How a Prostitution and Sex Crime Lawyer in McKinney May Help You
A McKinney prostitution and sex crime attorney may:
- Formulate a strategy for your defense, based on the facts and evidence in your case
- Seek evidence that could be exculpatory
- Represent you in plea negotiations
- If you decide it is best, defend you at trial
- Defend your rights throughout the legal process
You do not have to fight alone. Consult a law firm about your case today.
Call Our Team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg Today
Lead attorney Randall B. Isenberg has more than 30 years of experience as a former state district judge and prosecutor, and now as a defense attorney. Call our team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at (214) 696-9253 for a free consultation.