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There are different variations of solicitation under Texas law, but all involve offering money or something else of value to another so that they will participate in sexual conduct. At the least, solicitation of prostitution is a criminal misdemeanor offense that will create a permanent criminal record and could result in a jail sentence and fines. Whenever you are facing any solicitation charges, you may wish to see an El Paso solicitation lawyer for more information about your situation.
A practiced defense attorney could investigate the facts of your situation and assess the evidence against you. With legal guidance, you may be able to develop a strong defense to the charges against you.
Solicitation Offenses in El Paso
Solicitation of prostitution is included as an offense under Texas Penal Code § 43.02. While prostitution involves offering sex acts in exchange for money, solicitation consists of providing money in exchange for sex acts. This could occur with the individual making the offer, or with another person. It constitutes solicitation under Texas law even if no sex acts ever take place. Pending the offer or agreement is made, the crime has occurred.
The offense of solicitation is typically charged as a Class B misdemeanor. One or two prior convictions could result in Class A misdemeanor charges, and three or more prior convictions may result in state jail felony charges. Since a conviction on solicitation charges might result in a jail sentence, consulting with a solicitation attorney in El Paso may be wise.
Solicitation of prostitution also becomes more serious and could result in second-degree felony charges if the alleged target of the solicitation is under the age of 18, or even represented as or believed to be under the age of 18. Even if the accused is unaware that the target is under 18, the offense could still become a second-degree felony. A conviction on these charges may result in a prison sentence ranging from two to 20 years and a $10,000 fine.
Promotion of Prostitution
Similar to the prostitution statute, Tex. Pen. Code § 43.03 makes it illegal to solicit others for prostitution. Promotion of prostitution occurs when an individual knowingly seeks someone to engage in sexual conduct with others in exchange for compensation.
Typically, this offense is a state jail felony, but it is a second-degree felony charge if the subject of the solicitation is under the age of 18. A conviction for promotion of prostitution, regardless of the level of charge, can cause lengthy terms of incarceration and high fines. An El Paso solicitation lawyer may be helpful in fighting back against charges.
When the Offense Involves a Minor
While criminal solicitation of a minor according to Tex. Pen. Code § 15.031 typically involves inducing or commanding a minor to commit certain criminal offenses, a specific portion of that code section deals with sex offenses. Specifically, criminal solicitation of a minor occurs if someone induces or requests a minor engages in any of the following sexually-based criminal offenses:
- Child sex trafficking
- Continuous sexual abuse of a child
- Sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault
- Prostitution and compelling prostitution-underage
Other crimes included in this section are indecency with a child and sexual performance by a child. For this section, minors include any individuals who are under the age of 17. In most cases, criminal solicitation of a minor is charged at one level lower than the level of the offense that the person who solicited the minor to complete.
Retain an El Paso Solicitation Attorney
While the consequences of solicitation charges may appear grave, there is always hope. Many defenses could apply in solicitation cases that could assist in helping you reach a more positive outcome. With an El Paso solicitation lawyer at your side throughout, you may be better equipped to fight back against these charges. To learn more, call today.