Solicitation charges can be life-altering, both on personal and professional levels. You may face difficulty securing a job, relationship problems, and a permanent criminal record that could create many complications for you in the future. If you are facing any solicitation charges, contacting an Austin solicitation lawyer at once can be vital to reaching a positive outcome.
While first-time solicitation charges may be a misdemeanor offense, multiple convictions or any charges involving a minor can result in felony charges. The punishments for a felony conviction can be severe and cause you to lose various civil rights. Consulting a practiced defense lawyer may allow you to combat these charges and achieve a better resolution in your case.
What Counts as Solicitation?
According to Tex. Pen. Code § 43.02, prostitution and solicitation are treated as the same offense, broadly labeled as “prostitution.” While prostitution traditionally involves offering sex acts in exchange for payment, solicitation typically occurs when someone offers to pay or pays for sex acts, whether it is with the person they pay or with another. In either case, there is no requirement that sexual conduct actually occurs, it is sufficient that the offer to pay or engage in sexual behavior occurs.
Solicitation is a Class B misdemeanor under Tex. Pen. Code § 43.02. Prior convictions for prostitution or solicitation can elevate the charge to a Class A misdemeanor or a state jail felony, depending on the specific circumstances. If the target of the alleged solicitation is under the age of 18 or represented or believed to be under the age of 18, it may result in second-degree felony charges. This would be the case even if the individual did not know that the person was under the age of 18. A conviction on a second-degree felony can include a prison sentence ranging from two to 20 years.
Promotion and Aggravated Promotion in Austin
The offense of promotion of prostitution, like prostitution, includes elements of solicitation. Under Tex. Pen. Code § 43.03, promotion of prostitution occurs when a person solicits others to engage in sexual conduct for compensation. This offense is a state jail felony but can increase to a third-degree felony charge if the person has prior convictions, or to a second-degree felony charge if the individual allegedly solicited is under the age of 18.
In some cases, promotion of prostitution leads to aggravated promotion of prostitution charges under Tex. Pen. Code § 43.04, which is a second-degree felony or a first-degree felony if it involves one or more individuals who are under the age of 18. This offense occurs when a person owns, invests in, or supervises a prostitution enterprise. Managing or operating a prostitution enterprise inherently involves soliciting others to participate in the enterprise.
Another criminal offense that is closely related to solicitation is compelling prostitution. Under Tex. Pen. Code § 43.05, compelling prostitution occurs when individuals intentionally cause others through threats, force, or fraud, to commit prostitution. This offense also happens if individuals cause others who are under the age of 18 to engage in prostitution by any means.
Compelling prostitution is generally a second-degree felony offense. However, if the crime involves any individual who is under the age of 18, it increases to a first-degree felony, which can result in up to 99 years in prison. Since the repercussions of a conviction on this offense can be very grave, getting the advice of an Austin solicitation attorney may be very important.
An Austin Solicitation Attorney May Be Able to Help
If you were arrested on alleged involvement in prostitution or solicitation, you should refrain from making any statements until you have sought counsel from an Austin solicitation lawyer. Trying to explain your actions or correct a misunderstanding may do you more damage than good.
Getting the legal advice that you need before talking to police is likely to be in your best interest. Contact legal counsel today and learn about your options.