If you are facing charges for solicitation, prostitution, or another sex crime in Fort Worth, the consequences can be severe — life-changing, in fact — for most people. Even what appears to be a minor offense can be anything but in Texas.
It is critical that you understand the charges filed against you and what the potential consequences of a conviction may be. A prostitution & sex crimes lawyer in Fort Worth can protect your rights under the law and help you understand your options.
Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today to get started: 214-696-9253.
How does Texas law define prostitution and sex crimes?
The Texas Penal Code defines prostitution and sex crimes in Title 9, Chapter 43:
Chapter 43 addresses both prostitution and solicitation. Knowingly engaging in sexual conduct or agreeing to engage in sexual conduct for a fee constitutes both prostitution and solicitation under Texas law. So does offering to engage in sexual conduct for a fee. Money does not have to change hands; an agreement is enough to warrant prostitution or solicitation charges.
It is important to note that the statute does not define “the fee” as currency. You may face charges if you engage in or agree to engage in sexual contact in exchange for any item of value.
Promoting prostitution, commonly referred to as “pimping,” involves sharing in the proceeds of an act of prostitution.
Other sex crimes established in the statutes include the following offenses:
- Indecent exposure
- Public lewdness
- Disorderly conduct
The circumstances of your arrest will determine the severity of your charges. A sex crimes lawyer at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can help you understand the charges pending against you and the potential consequences of each one.
What are the penalties for prostitution and other related sex crimes?
Most prostitution and solicitation crimes qualify as Class B misdemeanors. However, you may face Class A misdemeanor or even felony charges if you have prior convictions or if you solicit a minor (a person younger than 18 years old).
Promoting prostitution is a Class A misdemeanor unless the charges allege the promotion of a minor or of two or more prostitutes (i.e., a “prostitution enterprise”). The promotion of a minor is a state jail felony. The statute defines a prostitution enterprise as a third-degree felony. If any of the prostitutes is a minor, however, this becomes a first-degree felony.
To determine what penalties you might face, consult the list below.
Class B Misdemeanor: $2,000 fine and up to 6 months in jail
Class A Misdemeanor: $4,000 fine and up to 1 year in jail
State Jail Felony: $10,000 fine and 6 months to 2 years in state jail or prison
Third-Degree Felony: $10,000 fine and 2 to 10 years in prison
Second-Degree Felony: $10,000 fine and 2 to 20 years in prison
First-Degree Felony: $10,000 fine and 5 to 99 years or life in prison
Does a conviction mean I must register as a sex offender?
It depends on the offense. In the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Chapter 62 contains the state’s sex offender registry provisions. The Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) maintains a searchable database of the Registry that anyone can access.
The requirements for registering a prostitution or sex crimes conviction are complex, based on three tiers of “threat level.” You must register if your crime was deemed “reportable” in the statutes. The minimum time you must stay active in the sex crimes registry is 10 years. However, many offenses require that you register for life.
Level One Sex Offender
A level one sex offender poses a low level of risk in the community with minimal risk of re-offending.
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Level Two Sex Offender
A moderate risk to the community, moderate risk of re-offending
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Level Three Sex Offender
High level of risk to the community, likely to re-offend
To assess your level of risk, the TxDPS may subject you to a risk assessment. This involves appearing before a seven-person review committee and answering whatever questions they may pose.
Note: Although the Fort Worth Police Department (FWPD) does not maintain its own registry, the Department does publish local registrant information in local newspapers.
What does a prostitution or sex crime conviction mean for my future?
In addition to any applicable monetary fines and jail (or prison) time, you must register with TxDPS (or the governing authority wherever you may later live) as a sex offender in most cases.
This may be true even if you did not have sexual contact with another person, such as an indecent exposure conviction — a crime you may face for doing nothing more than urinating in public.
It is extremely difficult today for registered sex offenders to secure housing or get a job. Sex offenders do not receive protection under federal Fair Housing standards, which allows landlords and property managers to discriminate against them. Likewise, many employers have legal policies in place allowing them to refuse employment based on sex crime convictions.
Socially, you may face uncomfortable questions and embarrassing or humiliating encounters in your own community.
Why should I have a sex crime lawyer assist me?
The only way to avoid dealing with the horrors of a prostitution or sex crimes conviction is to fight the charges.
Many innocent people face sex crimes or prostitution charges — and convictions — because they were too embarrassed to seek help or fight their charges in court. Contacting a prostitution and sex crimes lawyer is often the best way to protect your legal rights and ensure the best possible outcome in your case.
Although you may fear the social stigma that accompanies these charges, pleading guilty may not be in your best interest in the long run.
A Fort Worth prostitution lawyer can offer you a number of viable options. These include:
- Having the charges dropped
- Negotiating for a lesser charge
- Fighting your charges in court
A solicitation and sex crimes attorney from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can help you understand the charges and the potential penalties they carry. This allows you to make an informed choice that will best benefit your future.
We will examine your case and exploit any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. Randall was both a state district judge and a chief felony prosecutor so he knows how the other side thinks, which gives him a leg up over the prosecution.
Where can I find a prostitution and sex crimes attorney in Fort Worth?
To find the right prostitution lawyer for you, look for a law firm that will not shame or pass judgment on you, no matter what your circumstances may be.
In Fort Worth, you can find that all-important support and understanding at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg. We understand the seriousness of these charges and understand how frightening and intimidating this situation can be.
That is why we offer a free consultation and case review for people charged with solicitation, prostitution, and sex crimes. Contact our office today to speak with a prostitution and sex crimes lawyer in Fort Worth: 214-696-9253.