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Houston Prostitution & Solicitation Lawyer

In Texas, there are a number of distinct crimes for those involved in prostitution with varying degrees of punishment. The most common among these crimes are prostitution and solicitation of prostitution. Arrests for these crimes usually result from undercover sting operations conducted by law enforcement. If you were charged with solicitation or prostitution in the Houston area, you should immediately request a free consultation from an attorney at (713) 222-6767 or using our online form.

Prostitution or solicitation charges can result in serious consequences including:

  • Jail time
  • Significant fines and court costs
  • A permanent criminal record that can affect your job or career
  • Effects on your reputation in your community

If you have been charged with prostitution or solicitation, do not let the public embarrassment you may be feeling prevent you from seeking the help of a qualified and experienced Houston sex crimes defense attorney who can help you fight the charge.

Texas Prostitution Charges and Penalties

Texas Penal Code Chapter 43 Subchapter A sets out the following prostitution crimes:

  • Prostitution — Section 43.02(a) states that a person commits the offense of prostitution if he or she, in exchange for receipt of money or items of value, knowingly offers to engage, agrees to engage in, or engages in sexual conduct or solicits another in a public place to engage with the actor in sexual conduct for hire. This is a Class B misdemeanor for the first offense, which carries a punishment of up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000. Prostitution involving an individual 14-18 years old is a third-degree felony and, if the individual is 14 years or younger, it is a second-degree felony.
  • Solicitation of Prostitution — Section 43.02(b) states that a person commits the offense of solicitation of prostitution if he or she, based on the payment of money or items of value, knowingly offers to engage, agrees to engage, or engages in sexual conduct or solicits another in a public place to engage with the actor in sexual conduct for hire. This person is commonly referred to as a “john.” This is a Class B misdemeanor for the first offense.
  • Promotion of Prostitution — This crime occurs when someone other than the individual acting as the prostitute knowingly profits from the proceeds of the prostitution. This person is commonly referred to as a “pimp.” This is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a punishment of up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.
  • Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution — This offense occurs when a person knowingly owns, invests in, finances, controls, supervises, or manages a prostitution enterprise that uses two or more prostitutes. This is a third-degree felony, which carries a punishment of 2 to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. If any one or more of those acting as prostitutes are younger than 18, it is a first-degree felony, which carries a punishment of 5 to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Compelling Prostitution — This offense occurs when a person knowingly causes another to commit prostitution through force, threat, or fraud. This offense can also include any person who causes someone under the age of 18 to commit prostitution. This is a second-degree felony, which carries a punishment of 2 to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. If this offense involves a child, it can be charged as a first-degree felony.

The penalties for solicitation of prostitution or prostitution can be enhanced if you have any prior convictions of these offenses. If you have one or two prior convictions, you can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. If you have three or more prior convictions, you can be charged with a state jail felony.

If convicted of a prostitution offense, you will have a permanent criminal record, which could have long-term consequences on your career and reputation. A conviction may also result in probation and community service. The social stigma associated with these crimes can not only be embarrassing for you, but cause damage to your personal relationships.

It is not a defense to a charge of prostitution or solicitation of prostitution that no sexual act actually occurred. Simply offering money for sex to an undercover officer is prostitution. Once the offer of sex for money has been made to an undercover officer, the person is usually arrested. Most of the time no money has been exchanged when a person is arrested.

Contact a Proven Houston Prostitution & Solicitation Lawyer

If you have been charged with prostitution or solicitation of prostitution, you need the experience and skill of Houston criminal defense attorney Ned Barnett on your side. With his experience as a former prosecutor in the Houston area, he has unique insight into the criminal justice system that he uses to his client’s advantage.

Barnett has extensive experience handling cases of this nature and a proven record of success as a defense attorney. Regardless of the circumstances of your case, he will fight aggressively to get you the best possible outcome.

Barnett has over 25 years of practical legal experience, which includes trying criminal cases as a state and federal prosecutor. He opened his own practice in 1994 and is board certified in criminal defense by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He understands what is at stake for those facing criminal charges and is dedicated to helping you avoid a conviction. You can trust that he will go above and beyond to protect your rights and your freedom.

Contact the Law Offices of Ned Barnett today at (713) 222-6767 to learn how a skilled Houston prostitution lawyer can help defend you.