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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Prostitution is a serious crime in Texas and is considered a problem in and around Amarillo. Even so, while prostitution is subject to strict penalties, it is often the case that the person offering payment for a sex act is actually the one who ends up in greater legal trouble.
If you or a loved one have been charged with soliciting prostitution in Texas, you will need the assistance of an experienced Amarillo solicitation lawyer who can work to keep your record clear and protect or restore your reputation in your community. Speak with a qualified criminal lawyer that can work relentlessly to build you a solid defense.
Legal Definition of Solicitation
Solicitation of prostitution in Texas is simply defined as agreeing to exchange money for a sex act and then taking a step in furtherance of that act. In other words, no sex act needs to take place in order to be charged with or convicted of solicitation of prostitution.
So long as the accused person made the agreement and took steps to carry out the agreement, it is likely they will be charged with solicitation of prostitution.
Penalties for Solicitation Conviction
A first-offense solicitation conviction is considered a Class B misdemeanor punishable in Texas by up to 180 days in jail and a $2000 fine. Each subsequent offense carries heightened penalties and is considered a more serious classification of criminal offense.
For instance, a subsequent solicitation conviction is considered a more serious Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and $4000 in fines – more than double the penalty for the original class B misdemeanor first-offense.
Those convicted of solicitation of prostitution can also be required to complete community service hours and to attend mandatory prostitution solicitation offender education programs. A skilled Amarillo solicitation attorney can work to mitigate the penalties that an individual may face.
Entrapment in Prostitution and Solicitation Cases
Many persons charged with solicitation of prostitution mistakenly believe that they may claim a defense of police entrapment if they were arrested during a police sting operation. Unfortunately for the person arrested during such a sting operation, entrapment is not likely a valid defense in this scenario.
Entrapment only applies when police allegedly trick or coerce the defendant into doing or being a part of something in which they would not otherwise participate.
Since most police sting operations for solicitation of prostitution occur after the agreement to exchange money for sex has already taken place, it is generally not a viable defense to claim that the accused was coerced into the illegal conduct by police.
Potential Prostitution and Solicitation Defenses
Even though entrapment is not usually a viable defense to solicitation of prostitution charges in Texas, a skilled Amarillo solicitation lawyer can investigate the circumstances of the alleged offense and then determine whether any other valid defenses are applicable.
For example, it is possible that the accused person made an agreement to have sex, but did not discuss exchanging money for the act. In other words, the sex was consensual and not intended to be purchased. It is also possible that the accused never took any steps to indicate they intended to engage in the act of sex in exchange for money.
Let an Amarillo Solicitation Lawyer Help
Solicitation is a crime that is heavily stigmatized. No matter the circumstances surrounding your arrest, it is important that you begin working with an experienced Amarillo solicitation lawyer as soon as possible. Solicitation of prostitution is a very serious offense that can carry harsh penalties, as well as even more serious personal and professional ramifications. Contact a qualified attorney that can defend you.