According to Texas Penal Code Ch 43.02 – Prostitution, an individual commits a prostitution or solicitation offense if they knowingly offer or agree to pay a fee to another person for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with that person or another.
If you have been charged with prostitution or solicitation in Texas, you may face serious consequences. Although many of these charges are misdemeanors, they can still do damage to your reputation, your family, and your career. If you have prior convictions, the charges can become felonies.
- Public indecency or indecent exposure
- Disorderly conduct
- Possession of child pornography
- Lewd conduct
Sexual Exploitation of Children
Soliciting an adult prostitute for the purposes of sex is a misdemeanor in Texas. However, the penalties for sexually exploiting children are much harsher. Trafficking a child under the age of 18 for the purpose of compelling sexual conduct, inducing a child under 14 to engage in sexual conduct, sexually assaulting a child under 14, and compelling a child under 18 to commit prostitution are all charged as felonies. Not knowing the age of the child is not a defense to these charges.
What a Conviction for Prostitution Means
Individuals that are convicted of prostitution may face sentences ranging from a class B misdemeanor for a first-time offender to a second-degree felony if the solicited party is either younger than 18 or is believed to be younger than 18 by the charged party. The fee for the transaction between the prostitute and the solicitor does not have to be a currency.
You can also be charged with soliciting a prostitute even if the sexual act never took place. The offer and the agreement to engage in sexual conduct are enough to get you arrested.
Additional charges can be filed against you if you are working with a prostitute in such a way as to receive compensation for the income generated by prostitution, as a ‘madam’ or ‘pimp’ would be considered.
If you are facing charges for owning, investing, controlling, supervising, or managing a prostitution business with two or more prostitutes, there is a charge under Texas Penal Code 43.04 for ”aggravated promotion of prostitution.” This crime is considered a second-degree felony unless one or more of the prostitutes involved is under the age of 18, in which case it becomes a first-degree felony.
If you knowingly cause an individual to commit prostitution using force, threat, or fraud, you may be charged with a second-degree felony. If that person is under 18 years of age, it becomes a first-degree felony.
Law enforcement officials in Texas have been concerned with profits derived from prostitution that are generated by criminal organizations such as drug cartels and other gangs operating in Texas. Sex trafficking is seen as the third-largest criminal enterprise in the world according to the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Texas Public Safety Threat Overview.
If you are facing charges of prostitution but were a victim of human trafficking or were compelled to engage in prostitution by a criminal organization, madam, or pimp, the charges against you may be dismissed or substantially reduced.
Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at 214-696-9253 to learn more about how we can help you defend against the above charges.
The Consequences of a Prostitution or Solicitation Conviction
The penalties for a conviction for prostitution under Texas Penal Code Ch 43.02 depends on the specific details of your situation.
- Prostitution is a class B misdemeanor and penalties may include a fine of up to $2,000, up to six months in jail, or both.
- If you have been convicted of prostitution once or twice before, it becomes a class A misdemeanor and penalties may include a fine of up to $4,000, up to twelve months in jail, or both.
- Your third prostitution conviction is a felony offense. Penalties may include a fine of up to $10,000, up to 10 years in prison, or both.
- If you are charged with soliciting a minor under the age of 18 but over the age of 14, you are facing a third-degree felony and may face a fine of up to $10,000, at least two to 10 years in prison, or both.
- If you are charged with soliciting a person under the age of 14, it is a second-degree felony, and you may face a fine of up to $10,000 and two to 20 years in prison.
- Pimping or promoting prostitution is a class A misdemeanor, and you could be fined up to $4,000 and sentenced to up to one year in jail.
- Compelling prostitution of a person over the age of 18 is a second-degree felony. Penalties can include a fine up to $10,000 and two to 20 years in prison. If the compelled party is younger than 18, the charge becomes a first-degree felony and is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, up to life imprisonment, or both.
We Can Help
If you have been charged with any of the above crimes or related assaults related to Texas Penal Code Ch 43.02 – Prostitution, contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg at 214-696-9253. Attorney Randall B. Isenberg has over 30 years of experience as a prosecutor and state district judge and is familiar with all sides of the law. We can help you fight these charges and keep your reputation intact.