Prostitution-related offenses in Amarillo are more common than many people realize, and they can carry very harsh penalties. Despite how common prostitution is, it also carries a large social stigma that can affect your personal and professional life, now and moving forward. A distinguished criminal defense attorney will understand what you are up against and can work tirelessly to protect you and your reputation.
If you or a loved one have been charged with a prostitution-related offense, you will need the help of an experienced Amarillo prostitution lawyer who can work to protect and restore your valued reputation in your community.
In Amarillo, prostitution is common along the city’s Boulevard strip, and also extends out into the area’s surrounding neighborhoods. Police often conduct sting operations, arresting as many as ten men at once for soliciting sex from undercover officers. There are a number of different prostitution-related offenses with which a person in Texas may be charged, depending on the circumstances of the arrest. A knowledgeable Amarillo prostitution attorney can explain these offenses and answer other questions regarding prostitution charges.
Common prostitution-related charges in Texas stem from the exact nature of the alleged involvement in prostitution-related crimes, and can include but are not limited to:
- Engaging in prostitution
- Soliciting – often called patronizing- prostitution
- Coercing, compelling or inducing a person to engage in prostitution against their will, or through the use of force, threats or fraud
- Involving minors in prostitution
- Operating a so-called house of prostitution
- Allowing a business to be used for the purpose of prostitution
- Profiting from the business of prostitution
- Promoting prostitution by investing in, controlling, supervising, managing or financing a prostitution enterprise
- So-called pimping and pandering crimes
Penalties for a Prostitution Conviction
Penalties for prostitution-related offenses can be quite harsh and depend upon the severity of the specific prostitution-related offense alleged. Penalties range from up to 180 days in jail and $2000 in fines for a first-time prostitution or solicitation conviction, to up to life in prison, $10,000 in fines and a mandatory minimum of five years served for compelling a minor under the age of 18 to engage in prostitution. A qualified Amarillo prostitution lawyer can attempt to mitigate the penalties that potential clients face.
Enhanced Penalties for Prostitution-Related Offenses
While the penalties for even lower-level misdemeanor prostitution offenses can be harsh, the severity for subsequent offenses is compounded under Texas law, with penalties doubling, tripling – and more – depending on the type of offense committed and the number of prior prostitution-related convictions present on an accused person’s record.
Penalties are also heightened when the circumstances of the offense are especially egregious, such as when the alleged prostitute is a minor or a young child. For instance, a simple solicitation charge – normally a class B misdemeanor – becomes a third-degree felony punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and between two and ten years in prison when the prostitute solicited is a minor between the ages of 14 and 18.
When the solicitation involves a child under the age of 14, the offense is considered a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, in addition to the $10,000 in fines. Texas also sets forth enhanced penalties for the promotion of prostitution involving more than one prostitute – a higher level offense called aggravated promotion of prostitution.
Talking to a Lawyer
No matter the circumstances that led to your charges, or exactly how you ended up facing a prostitution-related prosecution, an experienced Amarillo prostitution lawyer can work with you to build a solid defense. Your lawyer can look at evidence, hire a private investigator to conduct their own appraisal of the case, and can reach out to witnesses. Your counsel can also question whether there are any constitutional issues in your case or not, and can work to challenge the prosecution’s argument. Get in touch with a criminal defense attorney that will advocate for you.