What is Considered Solicitation of Prostitution
In Texas, anyone who offers to engage (or agrees to engage, or actually engages) in sex for a fee may be charged with Prostitution. These cases almost always involve undercover police “sting” operations.
One common scenario involves a female police officer posing as a prostitute and attempting to get unsuspecting males to agree to have sex or sexual relations for a fee. The man is arrested as soon as he verbally — or through some non-verbal communication, such as a gesture or a head nod — agrees to pay a specific amount of money in exchange for a sex act. The transaction is usually (but not always) captured on audio or video.
Another common case scenario involves an undercover male police officer who goes to a “strip club” or a “massage parlor” and attempts to get unsuspecting females to agree to commit a specific sex act in exchange for a specific fee. The male police officers will often spend taxpayer dollars buying alcoholic drinks for women, in an attempt to make their cases.
The male police officers who go to massage parlors will often strip off their clothes “as instructed” by the women they target, then allow themselves to be oiled up and/or massaged. Because they are sometimes unclothed, undercover police officers will later claim in court that the transaction was not recorded on audio or video, because there was “no place to put a camera or microphone.” Jurors are often skeptical of this excuse.
A person accused of Prostitution in Houston, Texas should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney with a proven track record of successfully defending these types of cases so they may aggressively fight the charge in court on your behalf.
About Prostitution Charges
In Texas, first-offense Prostitution is a Class “B” misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $2,000, plus six (6) months county jail time, or both such fine and jail time. A person commits an offense if he or she knowingly offers to engage, agrees to engage, or engages in sexual conduct for a fee.
An offense is established whether the accused is to receive or pay the fee. A person also commits an offense if he or she knowingly solicits another person in a public place to engage with him or her in sexual conduct for hire.
An offense is established whether the accused solicits a person to hire him or her or offers to hire the person solicited. Tex. Pen. Code § 43.02. An offense is a Class “A” misdemeanor (punishable by a fine of up to $4,000, up to one year county jail time, or both such fine and jail time) if the accused has been convicted one or two times previously. It is a State Jail Felony (180 days – two years in a state jail facility) if the accused has been convicted three or more times previously.
Penalties for Prostitution in Texas
It is a Third Degree Felony (punishable by 2-10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000), if the person solicited is 14 years of age or older and younger than 18 years of age. It is a Second Degree Felony (punishable by 2-20 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000) if the person solicited is younger than 14 years of age.
Have You Been Charged with Prostitution
If you are facing charged of Prostitution, it is very important to remain silent until you have consulted with an experienced attorney. Call The Scheiner Law Group PC and talk with one of our attorneys who will offer you the best course of action to take to ensure the most positive results. Your freedom and reputation must be protected at all costs and we have the experience needed at a time like this.