Ft. Worth Prostitution Defense
Contact Our Fort Worth Criminal Lawyer
According to Texas Penal Code § 43.02, it is a crime to knowingly engage in sexual conduct for a fee or to solicit sexual acts in a public place for a fee. This means that you could be charged with prostitution regardless of whether you have paid or received money to engage in unlawful sexual acts. If you have been charged as a first-time offender, the crime would be prosecuted as a Class B misdemeanor.
If you have previously been convicted of prostitution, the charges would be increased to a Class A misdemeanor. Finally, you could face a "state jail felony" if you have been charged with your fourth or subsequent offense.
For this reason, you should not hesitate to retain the assistance of our Fort Worth sex crime lawyer if you have been arrested for a prostitution-related offense in Texas.
In doing so, you may be able to avoid the following penalties:
- Class B Misdemeanor: Up to 180 days in jail and/or $2,000 in fines
- Class A Misdemeanor: Up to 1 year in jail and/or $4,000 in fines
- State Jail Felony: No less than 180 days & no more than 2 years in jail
What is the Promotion of Prostitution?
In the state of Texas, you could also be charged with a crime if you have promoted prostitution. This means that you, acting as someone other than the prostitute, have knowingly received money or property pursuant to agreement to participate in the proceeds of prostitution or solicited another person to engage in sexual conduct with a prostitute for a fee (Texas Penal Code § 43.03). This particular offense is more commonly known as "pimping," and is prosecuted as a Class A misdemeanor.
If convicted, you could face up to one year in jail and/or a $4,000 fine. If it can be proven you have knowingly owned, invested in, financed, managed or supervised a business that exercises control over two or more prostitutes, this offense may jump to the level of aggravated promotion of prostitution—which is a felony in the third degree. If convicted, you would be sentenced to prison for 2-10 years and/or a $10,000 fine.
What is Compelling Prostitution?
Compelling prostitution is defined as the act of causing another person by force, threat or fraud to engage in prostitution or causing a child under the age of 17 to commit prostitution by any means (Texas Penal Code § 43.05).
This is the most serious of all prostitution-related offenses in Texas, as it is prosecuted as a felony in the second degree. If you were to be convicted of this crime, you could be sentenced to state prison for two to twenty years and/or asked to pay a $10,000 fine.
For this reason, you should not hesitate to take action in the interest of protecting your future if you have been accused of compelling prostitution. With our help, you can get started on building the aggressive defense you will need. Our firm is well-qualified to implement a strong legal strategy on your behalf, including those that are listed below.
Plausible Defenses for Your Criminal Offense
Whether you have been accused of engaging in prostitution, promoting prostitution, soliciting prostitution or compelling prostitution, it is important to understand that there are numerous defenses that can be implemented on your behalf.
One of the most effective ways to combat a conviction of this nature is to show that you were the victim of entrapment—which means that an undercover law enforcement officer persuaded you to engage in behavior that you normally wouldn't have.
Since a significant number of prostitution charges stem from organized sting operations, it is recommended that you let an experienced Fort Worth criminal defense attorney investigate the circumstances of your arrest. Another plausible defense would be to show that no money was exchanged—whether you have been charged as the prostitute or the "John"—or that you were compelled to commit a crime after being placed under duress.
Find out how we can help, contact our firm 24/7. You can call at (817) 756-1817 or submit a free case evaluation form online to get started.