Prostitution is illegal in Texas and is usually charged as a Class B misdemeanor. According to the Texas penal code, a person commits prostitution if, in exchange for a fee, the person knowingly engages or agrees to engage in sexual conduct. In other words, one may be charged with prostitution even if no sexual conduct has actually occurred. This means money does not have to be exchanged for a charge of prostitution to arise.
A prostitution charge can be very serious. If the accused has previous convictions for prostitution or is charged with “aggravated promotion of prostitution,” the charge may be a Class A misdemeanor or even a felony. If you have been accused of prostitution, it is important for you to establish contact with a distinguished defense lawyer as soon as you can. A Lubbock prostitution lawyer has the local experience to collect relevant evidence and witnesses before going to trial.
Penalties for a Prostitution Conviction
Generally, a prostitution charge is a Class B misdemeanor. The criminal penalties for a Class B misdemeanor include up to 180 days of jail time and up to $2,000 in fines. If the accused has up to two prior prostitution convictions, the third charge may be a Class A misdemeanor, which comes with up to one year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines.
If the accused has previously been convicted of prostitution three times, the charge will be a state jail felony with anywhere from 180 days to two years of jail time, and a fine of up to $10,000. There are also Second and Third-Degree felony charges associated with various prostitution-related crimes, such as “aggravated promotion of prostitution” (pimping), and “compelling prostitution.” These felony charges can carry up to 20 years of jail time along with fines of up to $10,000. A Lubbock prostitution lawyer can help ensure that every legal right is protected throughout a potential client’s case.
Possible Defenses Against Prostitution Charges
If the police collected evidence during the course of a sting or undercover operation, an individual may have been subject to entrapment. Entrapment is illegal and a Lubbock prostitution lawyer may argue that the police overstepped their authority by encouraging the commission of a crime.
To show entrapment, a lawyer will attempt to prove that the police attempted to cause a crime to take place. If an entrapment defense is successful, the charges may be reduced or dropped. Additionally, the law enforcement officers involved may be punished. An individual may have been compelled by another person to participate in prostitution under extreme duress. In this case, an attorney may argue that the charges should be thrown out.
Speaking to a Prostitution Attorney
An individual may have participated in consensual sex without any intention for payment. In the scenario where money did not change hands, a Lubbock prostitution lawyer may argue that no crime had been committed. If you have been arrested and accused of a crime related to prostitution, a local attorney can help. You need aggressive and competent representation from a prostitution lawyer who will work tirelessly to protect your legal rights. Together, we will go over the facts of your case and discuss all relevant legal issues, including every possible defense. For more information about how we can help, contact us today.