Defending You From Prostitution Charges
Understanding Prostitution Related Offenses in Texas
Frequently referred to as “the oldest profession in the world”, prostitution is the performance of any sexual favor for some form of payment. Payments can include money, drugs, shelter, or anything else that can be considered a fee.
In Texas, whether you are attempting to buy or sell any form of sexual favor, you can still be charged with prostitution.
There are many acts that can lead to criminal charges related to prostitution, some of which we’ve listed below.
- Compelling Prostitution
- Promotion or Prostitution
- Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution
Prostitution Charges & Texas Law
Solicitation of Prostitution
Solicitation of prostitution is the act of simply agreeing to act in exchange for money. However, even if the act was not committed, the “agreement” to the act is what makes both parties guilty. For example, simply withdrawing money or taking a prostitute to a place where the act would be committed is enough to be considered guilty.
Promotion of Prostitution
In Texas, “pimping” is charged as Promotion of Prostitution. Promotion of Prostitution is the act of soliciting a prostitute or a customer for a prostitute.
A person can be charged with Promotion of Prostitution if they knowingly commit any of the following;
- find customer for a prostitute,
- collecting money from the prostitute,
- benefit from the proceeds of prostitution,
- of if they advertise the prostitute in any way.
Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution
A person commits an offense if he knowingly owns, invests in, finances, controls, supervises, or manages a prostitution enterprise that uses two or more prostitutes. (Title 9)
Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution is always classified as a felony offense in the state of Texas. If you’re facing criminal charges in Houston, TX involving such an offense it’s best to have an experienced attorney in your corner. With Bennett & Bennett in your corner, you’ll have a winning team on your side. Contact us by contact-form or by phone at 713-224-1747.
Criminal Penalties for Texas Prostitution Convictions
In general, most prostitution related criminal offenses are classified as misdemeanors in the State of Texas with the exception of Compelling Prostitution, Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution, and persons who are habitually charged with Prostitution.
Misdemeanor Prostitution Offenses
First Offense Prostitution
1st-time prostitution cases are classified as Class B misdemeanor offenses. Convictions can lead to no more than 180 days in jail and a fine up to $2,000. Depending on the circumstances of the conviction, you may have to register as a sex offender.
Second/Third Offense Prostitution
2nd & 3rd offense prostitution cases are classified as Class A misdemeanor offenses in the state of Texas. Convictions can lead to a county jail sentence of up to 1 year, and a fine of up to $4,000.
Habitual prostitution offenders, or people charged with prostitution for a 4th time or more, will have their charges enhanced to a State Jail Felony. A conviction under State Jail Felony guidelines can lead to a prison sentence ranging from 180 days to 2 years, with a fine of up to $10,000, or a combination of both.
Felony Prostitution Offenses
This offense is a 2nd Degree Felony in Texas, which can result in a prison sentence of 2 to 20-years in a correctional facility operated by the TDCJ. The offense will be enhanced to a 1st Degree Felony if a minor was compelled into prostitution.
Compelling is defined as, “use of force, threat, or fraud” to coerce prostitution.
Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution
In general, Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution falls under 3rd Degree Felony classification except if the person being used as a prostitute is a minor, in which case the charge will be enhanced to a 1st Degree Felony.
If convicted of 3rd Degree Felony Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution the penalty will include a prison sentence ranging from 2 to 10 years, with a potential fine of up to $10,000.00. 1st Degree Felony convictions in Texas carry a prison sentence that ranges from 5 years to life.
The Sex Offender Registration Penalty
Depending on the circumstances of your case, the ferocity of the prosecutor assigned to your case, and any previous criminal history you have that is related to sexual deviance in any way, and you may be forced to take part in the Texas Sex Offender Registration Program. This penalty may apply to you long after you’ve served any required prison time, paid any assessed fines, and paid your full debt to society.
If you’re required to register as a sex offender, and fail to do so or to adhere to it’s policies, you’ll face new criminal charges. The threat of being forced to register as a sex offender is, alone, enough to warrant fighting any form of prostitution related offense hand, tooth, and nail. Your future may count on it. Our legal-team is ready to fight for you.
Charged with Prostitution in Houston, TX?
Contact Board Certified® Criminal Lawyer Mark Bennett
Attorneys Mark & Jennifer Bennett have a wealth of experience finding the best options for defending people who are facing criminal charges related to sex crimes.
Since 1995 we’ve fought for the rights and liberties of people accused and prosecuted by the State of Texas and the U.S. federal government.
If you need our help, contact us at 713-224-1747 to schedule your 100% free & confidential consultation. Our office is located just steps away from the Harris County Criminal Justice Center in Downtown Houston at 917 Franklin St on the 4th floor.