Solicitation allegations could be extremely embarrassing and frustrating. A person may not know how to proceed or if they may have a credible legal defense. They may be inclined to plead guilty in an attempt to move forward, however, this could negatively impact their personal and professional life. Pleading guilty typically creates a criminal record which is open to the public and may negatively influence a person’s future employment opportunities. Contact a Dallas solicitation lawyer who could help identify different legal strategies and potentially devise a legally valid defense.
The court system in Dallas can become confusing quickly and may overwhelm a person who attempts to defend themselves without a legal representative. However, a skilled defense attorney could explain various court proceedings and how they could influence a person’s case.
Benefits of a Solicitation Attorney
An experienced solicitation attorney in Dallas could take several actions to defend a person from allegations of solicitation. More specifically, an attorney could:
- Investigate the circumstances that led to the arrest
- Assess the nature of any police set-up or involvement in the incident
- Identify any defenses applicable to a case
- Attempt to work out a plea agreement
- Defend someone in court
This is the type of legal assistance that a person may need when accused of engaging in solicitation in Dallas.
Solicitation and the Law in Dallas
Under Texas Penal Code §43.02, solicitation is part of the criminal offense of prostitution. Not only does prostitution occur when an individual knowingly offers or agrees to receive a fee from another individual in order to engage in sexual conduct, but it also may occur when an individual knowingly offers or agrees to pay a fee to another person for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct. This can either be with the person receiving the fee or with another person altogether. There is no requirement for sexual activity to occur in a solicitation charge.
Potential Charges for a Solicitation Offense
Typically, a solicitation of prostitution offense is charged as a Class B misdemeanor, especially for a first-time offender. In certain circumstances, however, a solicitation charge can be elevated to a Class A misdemeanor (one or two prior convictions) or a state jail felony (three or more prior convictions).
Solicitation of prostitution is typically charged as a felony in the second-degree if the individual knowingly offers or agrees to pay a fee to another in order to engage in sexual conduct with a person who is under the age of 18, represented to be under the age of 18, or believed to be under the age of 18. Being unaware of a person’s age is not considered a valid legal defense. Particularly due to the severity of this charge, consulting a Dallas solicitation lawyer is highly advisable.
Possible Penalties for Soliciting
The potential penalties for a conviction of prostitution or solicitation of prostitution may range from zero jail time to 20 years in prison, depending on the circumstances. For instance, conviction on a Class B misdemeanor charge could result in up to 180 days in jail, whereas conviction on a second-degree felony charge may result in anywhere from two to 20 years in prison.
Fines for a prostitution or solicitation of prostitution conviction may also range from zero to $10,000. Even a first-time offense, charged as a Class B misdemeanor, may result in a fine of up to $2,000. It also is possible that an individual who is convicted of prostitution or solicitation in Dallas could receive a term of incarceration and a fine.
Let a Dallas Solicitation Attorney Help
When a person is accused of solicitation, they may face significant consequences. Contact a Dallas solicitation lawyer who can help advocate on your behalf. Attending a court hearing or speaking to a judge without legal representation could significantly harm a person’s chance for refuting the charge successfully. Schedule an appointment today to learn how an attorney could help.