Prostitution Defense Attorney in Lubbock
In general, prostitution occurs when sexual conduct is exchanged for a fee, or an agreement to do so is made. This means that criminal charges for prostitution offenses can be filed against you even if no sexual conduct actually occurs. Texas law makes it a crime to not only engage in prostitution yourself, but also to solicit someone else for prostitution services (Solicitation of Prostitution), promote the prostitution of someone else (Promotion of Prostitution), or to compel someone else to engage in prostitution (Compelling Prostitution). In fact, personally rendering prostitution services is the lowest-level offense of all the prostitution-related crimes in Texas.
If you’ve been arrested in Lubbock County or West Texas for prostitution or prostitution-related sex crimes, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows how to present a strong defense in court. Criminal defense lawyers can help their clients with criminal cases and related legal matters, even when it seems hopeless. Contact me today to schedule a free consultation to further discuss the details of your case at my law office.
In Texas, a person commits the offense of prostitution if they knowingly offer or agree to receive a fee from another to engage in sexual conduct. Prostitution is a Class B misdemeanor, except that repeat offenders can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor or a state jail felony, depending on the number of previous offenses.
Texas Penal Code § 43.02(a) — Prostitution
Solicitation of Prostitution
Texas criminal law also makes it a crime to knowingly offer or agree to pay a fee to another person for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct. This offense is sometimes referred to as “solicitation”, though it is not called that in the official statute. Solicitation of prostitution is a Class A misdemeanor for first-time offenders, and a state jail felony for repeat offenders.
Solicitation is a second degree felony if:
The person you offered to pay for sex was younger than 18 years old
The person you offered to pay for sex told you they were younger than 18 years old
You believed that the person you offered to pay for sex was younger than 18 years old
Texas Penal Code § 43.02(b) — Prostitution
Promotion of Prostitution
Promotion of prostitution is sometimes called “pimping” or “pandering”. Promotion of prostitution occurs when someone who did not personally render prostitution services either:
Promotion of Prostitution
Receives money or other property as part of an agreement to share the proceeds of prostitution
Solicits someone to engage in sexual conduct with another person for compensation
Additionally, if you own, invest in, finance, control, supervise, or manage a prostitution ring or enterprise involving two or more prostitutes, you can be charged with Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution.
Promotion of prostitution is a third degree felony for first-time offenders and a second degree felony for repeat offenders. It can also be a first degree felony if the person engaging in prostitution is under the age of 18. Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution is always a first degree felony.
Texas law also includes a criminal offense called Online Promotion of Prostitution. You can be charged with this crime if you own, manage, or operate an online interactive computer service or information content provider that is intended to promote or facilitate the prostitution of another person. If the service or content provider that you own, manage, or operate involves five or more prostitutes, you can be arrested for Aggravated Online Promotion of Prostitution.
First-time online promotion of prostitution offenders can be charged with a third degree felony, while the offense is a second degree felony for repeat offenders or if the person engaging in prostitution is under the age of 18. Aggravated online promotion of prostitution is a second degree felony for first-time offenders, but if you are a repeat offender or if two or more of the prostitutes involved are younger than 18, you can be charged with a first degree felony.
Texas Penal Code § 43.03 — Promotion of Prostitution
Texas Penal Code § 43.031 — Online Promotion of Prostitution
Texas Penal Code § 43.04 — Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution
Texas Penal Code § 43.041 — Aggravated Online Promotion of Prostitution
A person can be charged for compelling prostitution if they cause someone to commit prostitution by using force, threat, coercion, or fraud. You also can be arrested for this offense if you cause a person younger than 18 years old to commit prostitution by any means. Compelling prostitution is always a first degree felony in Texas.
Texas Penal Code § 43.05 — Compelling Prostitution