People accused of solicitation in Frisco are often surprised to hear that the court lists their official charge as prostitution. This is because the Texas Penal Code makes little differentiation between people who allegedly sell sexual services and those who have purchased those services.
A Frisco solicitation lawyer could help you if you face allegations of exchanging money or other goods for sexual services. If retained, your criminal defense attorney could fight to keep your criminal record clear or work towards a reduction in charges that may limit your potential punishment.
Prostitution Versus Solicitation
Texas Penal Code §43.02 states that it is illegal to offer to pay a fee to another person in exchange for sexual conduct. However, the statute defines this act as prostitution, rather than solicitation. Therefore, both the purchaser and the seller in a typical prostitution arrest would face an official charge of prostitution.
Courts may convict a defendant of prostitution even if the intended exchange never actually takes place. According to the statute, it is illegal to merely offer to purchase a sex act in exchange for anything of value. As a result, a prosecutor’s case could rely on text messages outlining a proposed exchange, even if the two participants never physically meet.
Under the law, sexual conduct includes any touching of another’s genitals, buttocks, or breasts for the purpose of sexual gratification. A Frisco solicitation attorney could help people facing allegations of solicitation to understand the laws and how they apply to their case.
Aggravating Factors in Solicitation Cases
At the most basic level, a solicitation charge is a class B misdemeanor. This means that a conviction can result in no more than 180 days in jail, a fine of $2,000, or both. However, a solicitation charge can become much more serious if the defendant has previous convictions or if the seller is under the age of 18.
Texas Penal Code §43.02(c-1) establishes that a second or third conviction for solicitation is a class A misdemeanor. This increases the potential jail term to one year, and the fine to as much as $4,000. Subsequent convictions are state jail felonies requiring a jail term of at least 180 days up to a maximum of two years.
If the seller involved in the incident is under 18, solicitation is a felony in the second degree. This also applies if the buyer believes that the seller is under 18, even if the seller is not. Felonies in the second degree carry a mandatory minimum prison sentence of two years up to a maximum of 20 years.
A solicitation lawyer in Frisco could work to contest basic solicitation charges or any aggravating factors that may result in a harsher punishment upon conviction.
How a Frisco Solicitation Attorney Could Help
Under the Texas Penal Code, the mere attempt to purchase sex from another person is a criminal offense. While a first offense may be unlikely to result in jail time, subsequent convictions can require incarceration and increase the length of a potential sentence.
For these reasons, hiring a Frisco solicitation lawyer may be key to securing your future. A dedicated attorney could work to discover relevant information about the case and use that evidence to refute the allegations against you. Call today to begin working towards a positive resolution to your case.