As is the case in most American jurisdictions, prostitution is a type of criminal offense that is treated quite seriously in Texas. According to Texas Penal Code § 43.02, an individual can be found guilty of this particular crime if they have knowingly engaged in or have offered to engage in sexual activity in exchange for a fee. The offense also encompasses the act of soliciting another individual in a public space to commit such conduct. Promotion of prostitution and solicitation of prostitution are related offenses which can also result in serious consequences for those convicted.
The fact of the matter is that anyone facing a charge of this nature must act quickly in order to mount a strong legal defense, and a Denton prostitution lawyer with our firm is standing by to help clients do precisely that.
Important Factors to Consider
Given the sensitivity and potential for public scorn surrounding prostitution-related crimes, those accused of such offenses need to take swift action to protect their good name and that of their family members. Putting aside for a moment the very real potential for serious criminal punishment following a conviction of this type, it is important for all defendants to contemplate the ancillary effects likely to follow.
Marital disruption, damage to community standing, job loss, effects on professional licenses and other negative impacts underscore the importance of aggressively fighting back against these types of allegations with the help of a prostitution lawyer in Denton.
Consequences of Conviction
As stated previously, the ramifications of a conviction on a prostitution-related charge in Texas can be quite onerous. First-time offenders will be subject to the penalties applicable to Class B misdemeanor offenses, which can include jail time of up to 180 days and fines of up to $2,000.
However, repeat offenders may be found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, and those with three or more prior convictions may be subject to state jail felony punishments that can include up to two years in prison and fines reaching up to $10,000.
Those found guilty of promoting prostitution can face third-degree felony punishments which can include two to 10 years’ imprisonment, and those charged and convicted of compelling acts of prostitution are subject to second-degree felony sanctions which can reach twenty years’ imprisonment.
Those charged with prostitution crimes in Texas must bear in mind that allegations alone do not necessarily mean that a conviction is imminent or inescapable. The fact is that numerous potential defenses may exist which can be explored and pursued by a seasoned Denton prostitution attorney. These can often include arguments related to:
- Police entrapment
- Lack of actual knowledge
- Age of the defendant
- Intoxication-produced lapse in awareness
- Physical or mental duress
- Absence of funds changing hands
As in all criminal matters, it will be necessary for an experienced attorney to carefully investigate the specific facts of each case to determine which if any of the listed defense strategies may apply.
Benefits of a Legal Advocate
The specter of a prostitution-related charge is almost certain to strike fear in the heart of any defendant, but it is critical that those sentiments are not allowed to stand in the way of building a strong legal defense. If you are facing accusations of this nature and are ready to assert your right to fair treatment, a Denton prostitution lawyer with our firm stands prepared to work tirelessly on your behalf.