Texas has multiple laws related to prostitution. Having a working knowledge of these laws may help you better understand the nuances of each criminal offense and how you might defend yourself against any charges you face. If you were charged with prostitution, consider calling an Allen prostitution lawyer for help creating a credible defense.
A prostitution conviction can hinder your ability to seek better employment, find secure housing, and further your education. Fortunately, legal assistance may enable you to avoid some of these unwanted consequences. With guidance from a criminal defense attorney, you could fight back against prostitution charges to preserve your reputation at home, at work, and in the community.
Under Texas Penal Code § 43.02, prostitution is a Class B misdemeanor offense. The definition of prostitution includes traditional elements of both prostitution and solicitation. As a result, individuals may commit prostitution when they:
- Offer to, agree to, or participate in sexual acts in exchange for money or something of value
- Offer to, agree to, or engage in paying or giving something of value to another party in exchange for sexual acts
As the definition of prostitution is broad, no physical contact is necessary to constitute a violation of the law. The question is not whether the individuals actually carried out the sexual acts, but only if they offered or entered into an agreement to participate in them.
A conviction for a Class B misdemeanor can result in a jail sentence of up to 180 days and a fine of up to $2,000. For individuals with a prior conviction, the charges and penalties may increase. Those with three or more previous convictions can face state jail felony charges, which carry the possibility for significant jail time in some cases. As a prostitution lawyer in Allen may advise, even a single misdemeanor conviction can be damaging to future employment and educational prospects.
Promotion of Prostitution
Another closely related offense is promotion of prostitution, as provided for under Tex. Pen. Code § 43.03. This offense occurs when individuals attempt to convince others to engage in prostitution or receive a financial benefit from a prostitution scheme in some manner.
Promotion of prostitution typically is a state jail felony offense, but certain circumstances can elevate it to aggravated promotion of prostitution. This offense involves individuals who own, control, or financially support a prostitution scheme that involves two or more persons providing prostitution services. Aggravated promotion of prostitution charges may result in second-degree felony charges. Because the consequences are so severe, individuals facing promotion of prostitution charges should consider discussing their defense options with an Allen prostitution attorney.
Prostitution and Minors
Both prostitution and promotion of prostitution result in higher levels of criminal charges if they involve minors. If individuals commit prostitution with a person under the age of 18, the charge is a second-degree felony. A conviction on a second-degree felony charge can result in a prison sentence of between two and 20 years, as well as a fine of up to $10,000.
Promotion of prostitution is also a second-degree felony offense if the scheme involves an individual who is under the age of 18. Aggravated promotion of prostitution becomes a first-degree felony if one or more of the prostitutes are minors.
Look to an Allen Prostitution Attorney for Legal Representation
Prostitution charges can be embarrassing, stressful, and cost you your reputation for years to come. Fortunately, an Allen prostitution lawyer may be able to help you minimize the fallout from a prostitution conviction.
Building a strong defense may be a crucial step towards a positive resolution of any criminal case. Working with skilled legal counsel could make a difference in the outcome of your case. Call today for a consultation.