Having a strong criminal defense attorney on your side could make a significant difference in your ability to resolve prostitution charges in a positive manner. Legal representation may be a determinative factor in the ultimate resolution of your case, so contacting a Tarrant County prostitution lawyer for help building a defense may be your best option.
Any agreement, offer, or transaction that involves the exchange of money for sexual acts constitutes prostitution under Texas Penal Code §43.02. Individuals who are acting as prostitutes, “johns,” or pimps all commit the offense of prostitution under this statute. Whether a sexual act actually occurs as agreed or offered is inconsequential—deciding to or offering to exchange sex for money alone is enough to violate the law.
A first-time prostitution conviction is a Class B misdemeanor, which can result in a maximum jail sentence of 180 days and a fine of $2,000. Individuals with one or two prior prostitution convictions can face Class A misdemeanor charges, which are punishable by up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine. Since the possible penalties for even a misdemeanor prostitution charge may be severe, consulting with a prostitution lawyer in Tarrant County may be essential.
Felony Prostitution Charges
If individuals have three or more prior convictions, their fourth prostitution charge will be a state jail felony. Additionally, if the prostitution offense involved another person who is under the age of 18, whom someone represented as being under 18, or whom they believe is under 18, the charge is a second-degree felony.
A conviction on a second-degree felony can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to 20 years, along with a maximum $10,000 fine. Along with the possibility of substantial prison terms and high fines, individuals convicted of felony prostitution offenses can face additional sanctions that can last for years, including the loss of critical civil rights.
Promotion of Prostitution in Tarrant County
Another felony offense involving prostitution is promotion of prostitution, as outlined in Tex. Pen. Code §43.03. This state jail felony offense occurs when persons take actions to convince or coerce others into engaging in prostitution.
Promotion of prostitution may also occur when persons receive compensation as part of an agreement to participate in a prostitution scheme, other than serving as prostitutes. A Tarrant County prostitution attorney could offer further clarification about how law enforcement agents define and prosecute this particular criminal charge.
This offense may become a second-degree felony if the prostitution scheme involves an individual who is under the age of 18. Those who finance, own, or manage a prostitution scheme that involves at least two individuals acting as prostitutes can be convicted of aggravated promotion of prostitution, which is also a second-degree felony.
Call on a Tarrant County Prostitution Attorney for Help
Sex-related criminal charges tend to result in prejudgement from society at large before you have even had a chance to clear your name. While facing prostitution or related charges may be overwhelming, there may be defenses available to you.
Fortunately, a Tarrant County prostitution lawyer may be able to assist you in this type of situation. Having legal counsel at your side throughout any criminal proceedings could lead to a more successful outcome in your case, so call today to start working on yours.