Law enforcement tend to use undercover officers and sting operations to detect prostitution crimes. These tactics are incredibly effective, and the evidence collected can be incredibly damaging to a case. In 2016 alone, the Department of Public Safety reported 8,306 people were arrested on prostitution-related charges.

An arrest for engaging in, promoting or compelling prostitution can damage your career and reputation. The social stigma associated with the crime could hinder you from pursuing your professional and personal goals. In addition, the penalties for prostitution are harsh. If you’re convicted, you may face steep fines and possible incarceration.

If you or someone you know has been charged with prostitution, it’s imperative you contact a skilled defense attorney.

Attorneys for Prostitution in Harris County, Texas

Have you been charged with a prostitution-related offense? If so, it’s important you contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Prostitution could result in felony charges, meaning you could go to prison. Take the steps to protect your future and contact [firm].

Call [phone] to schedule a case evaluation. [firm] accepts clients accused of sex crimes throughout the greater Harris County area including Bellaire, Pasadena, Houston and West University Place.

Overview of Prostitution Charges in Texas

Penalties for Prostitution in Texas

Receiving money or paying for any form of sexual activity is illegal in Texas. Both acts are considered a form of prostitution, which is class B misdemeanor. A class B misdemeanor is punishable by the following:

  • Up to 180 days in jail; and
  • A possible fine of up to $2,000

There are various factors that can lead to prostitution charges being elevated. For instance, a previous prostitution conviction will result in your charges being reclassified as a class A misdemeanor. The penalties for a class A misdemeanor include:

  • Up to 12 months in jail; and
  • A possible fine of up to $4,000

If you have three or more prior convictions, then your charges will be elevated even further. A fourth or subsequent prostitution charge is a state jail felony, which is punishable by:

  • Up to 24 months in state jail; and
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000

Another factor resulting in elevated charges is the age of the prostitute. Soliciting a minor for prostitution will be elevated to a second-degree felony if you:

  • Plan to engage in sexual activity with a person under the age of 18;
  • The prostitute told you they were younger than 18 years old; or
  • You were fully aware the prostitute was a minor

A second-degree felony is punishable by:

  • Up to 20 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000

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Promoting Prostitution in Texas

Soliciting or engaging in prostitution isn’t the only way you could be charged. It’s also illegal in Texas to promote, advertise or profit from a prostitution scheme. The Penal Code § 43.03 states you’re promoting prostitution if you have:

  • Knowingly received money or property from a prostitution operation; or
  • Solicited a patron to engage in sexual activity with a sex worker

Promoting prostitution is a state jail felony, which can result in:

  • Up to 24 months in state jail; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000

Your penalties to a could be enhanced if you have a prior prostitution-related conviction. Having a previous prostitution-related conviction may lead to a third-degree felony. The penalties for a third-degree felony include:

  • Up to 10 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000

People who solicit minors for prostitution may face enhanced penalties. Your penalties could be elevated to a second-degree felony if you do any of the following:

  • Agrees to engage in sexual conduct with a person younger than 18;
  • Represented to the offender that the prostitute is a minor; or
  • Believes the prostitute they paid for is younger than 18 years old.

Promoting prostitution of a minor is a second-degree felony, which is punishable by:

  • Up to 20 years in prison; and
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000

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Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution in Texas

In some cases, a prostitution case will involve an underground “brothel house” or sex work enterprise. This means people who control prostitution enterprises with more than two sex workers could be charged with aggravated promotion. You can also be charged for aggravated promotion if you manage or supervise sex workers in a prostitution enterprise.

Aggravated promotion of prostitution is a second-degree felony, which can result in:

  • Up to 20 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000

Charges will be reclassified as a first-degree felony of the sex work enterprise includes minors. A first-degree felony is one of the highest charges in the state of Texas. You could face 99 years or life in prison if you’re convicted.

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Compelling Prostitution in Texas

Inducing another person into prostitution-related activity is a crime. Texas law states you’re compelling someone into prostitution if you:

  • Threaten them into prostitution with bodily injury;
  • Force them into sex work;
  • Use fraud to coerce them; or
  • Compel a person under the age of 18 into prostitution. Even if you’re unaware at the time the sex worker was a minor.

Compelling another person into prostitution is a second-degree felony, which is punishable by:

  • Up to 20 years in prison; and
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000

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Additional Resources

Coalition Abolition Prostitution – Visit the official website of the non-profit called Coalition Abolition Prostitution International (CAP). Access the site to learn more about the mission of CAP, reformative legislative to help prostitution victims, and statistics about sex work.

Prostitution Laws in Texas – Visit the official website for Texas Legislation to learn more about the laws surrounding prostitution. Access the statute to read the legal language, admissible defenses and other related offenses such as obscenity.

Lawyer for Prostitution in Houston, Texas

Handling prostitution charges on your own isn’t the best idea. The District Attorney’s Office aggressively prosecutes prostitution especially if they have evidence from an undercover sting. It’s important you have the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you through this legal process.

Do what’s best for your future and contact [firm]. Call [phone] to schedule a free consultation today. We accept clients throughout the greater Houston metroplex area including Bellaire, Uptown, Greenspoint and Magnolia Park.

This article was last updated on March 7th, 2019.


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