Houston’s Top Prostitution Defense Lawyer Charles Johnson can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  You can talk to him directly for your Free Case Review, right over the phone.
Call him at 713-222-7577 or toll free at 877-308-0100.
Offices in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas & Austin.
Major Credit Cards Accepted.

Generally, prostitution is the act of engaging in sexual activity by a person for a fee or a thing of economic value.  But the scope of the crime of prostitution has been widened to include all prostitution related offenses.  Thus a person is considered to commit an offense of prostitution if s/he engages in an act of prostitution willfully, solicits prostitution, or agrees to engage in an act of prostitution.

The parties to the crime usually include: a prostitute and a customer or a third person/pimp.  In addition to engaging in prostitution, soliciting prostitution, agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution, child prostitution, attempted prostitution are other prostitution related offenses.  A person may be guilty of an attempt to commit prostitution when s/he engages in conduct which tends to effect the commission of such crime.  In order to prove attempt, it is necessary to establish that a defendant had the intent to commit a specific offense and that a defendant engaged in some affirmative act to carry out that crime.

Prostitution Defense Lawyer: Criminal Lawyer Charles Johnson

The elements constituting an offense of prostitution are that a person has engaged in a sexual activity and has done it willfully.  Sexual activity may be sexual intercourse or any lewd acts that may arouse sexual feelings.  Most jurisdictions make monetary consideration a requisite to constitute prostitution but some jurisdictions do not require it to be an element of the offense.  Consideration need not be in the form of money.

In order to constitute an offense of soliciting prostitution, a person has to solicit another person to engage in an act of prostitution and the act must have been done with specific intent to engage in an act of prostitution.  A prostitute or a customer may be charged for the offense of solicitation of prostitution depending on the circumstances or who began the interaction.  Specific intent of engaging in an act of prostitution is an essential element to constitute an offense.  An offer to pay money or other compensation like drugs in exchange for sexual acts may be considered evidence as to the intent of the parties.  Some courts have held that the individual being solicited must actually receive the solicitation in order to convict an accused for soliciting prostitution.

Agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution is another prostitution offense.  The elements of the offense are that, a person must have agreed to engage in an act of prostitution with another person.  It should have been with a specific intent to engage in an act of prostitution and any act in furtherance of prostitution must have had to be performed.  This offense is a continuation of solicitation of prostitution because the person who accepts solicitation will be agreeing to engage in prostitution.

A charge under the offense of agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution may be made even if the person who solicited did not have the same intent.  This situation may arise when a person who pretended to be a prostitute was an under cover agent.  In addition to the intent, an act in furtherance of prostitution must have been performed to constitute the offense of agreeing to engage in prostitution.

An act in furtherance of prostitution can be, driving to an agreed upon location where the sexual activity will take place, mere verbal command to undress, giving the payment agreed upon and the like.  The nature of the act is not important as long as it indicates existence of an agreement to engage in prostitution.

It is also a crime to promote prostitution (also called pimping or pandering). Promoting prostitution includes receiving money or other proceeds from an agreement to participate in the proceeds from prostitution. For example, if Bob were to agree with Larry to split the fee from Sally’s act of prostitution, that constitutes the crime of promotion of prostitution. Promotion of prostitution also occurs when one person solicits another to engage in sexual contact with a third party. For example, if Bob talked to Larry and got him to engage in sexual contact with Sally for a fee, that amounts to the promotion of prostitution as well.

Compelling prostitution is a crime where the defendant knowingly causes a child under the age of 18 to commit prostitution, regardless of whether the defendant knew the age of the child or not. Additionally, the solicitation of prostitution — such as inquiring about a sex worker’s rate — is charged as prostitution under Texas prostitution laws.

Texas Prostitution Laws at a Glance

Statute Texas Penal Code § 43.02 – 43.06
Statutory Definition of Prostitution (a) A person commits an offense if, in return for receipt of a fee, the person 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 a sexual conduct for hire.

(b) A person commits an offense if, based on the payment of a fee by the actor or another person on behalf of the actor, the person 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.

An offense is established under Subsection (a) regardless of whether the actor is offered or actually receives the fee. An offense is established under Subsection (b) regardless of whether the actor or another person on behalf of the actor offers or actually pays the fee.

Statutory Definition of Pimping/Pandering/Managing a Prostitution Enterprise A person commits an offense if, acting other than as a prostitute receiving compensation for personally rendered prostitution services, he or she knowingly:

  • Receives money or other property pursuant to an agreement to participate in the proceeds of prostitution; or
  • Solicits another to engage in sexual conduct with another person for compensation.

A person commits an offense if he knowingly owns, invests in, finances, controls, supervises, or manages a prostitution enterprise that uses two or more prostitutes.

Statutory Definition of Compelling Prostitution A person commits an offense if the person knowingly causes by any means a child younger than 18 years to commit prostitution, regardless of whether the actor knows the age of the child at the time.
Classification of the Crime
  • Class B misdemeanor for prostitution or solicitation (if no aggravating factors are present).
  • Class A misdemeanor if perpetrator has 1 or 2 previous convictions for prostitution or solicitation; for pimping (if no other aggravating factors are present).
  • State jail felony if perpetrator has 3 or more previous convictions for prostitution or solicitation; for repeat offense of pimping.
  • Third degree felony for owning, financing, controlling, or managing a prostitution enterprise with 2 or more prostitutes.
  • Second degree felony if the person solicited is younger than 18 (regardless of whether the perpetrator knew at the time); if the perpetrator believed the person solicited was younger than 18; for pimping the services of someone younger than 18; for compelling a child younger than 18 to commit prostitution.
  • First degree felony for owning, financing, controlling, or managing a prostitution enterprise with 2 or more prostitutes, where at least 1 is under 18; if an actor who compels a child under 18 to commit prostitution also may be charged with another offense in this section.
Sentences and Penalties
  • Class B misdemeanor: Up to 180 days in jail, fine of up to $2,000.
  • Class A misdemeanor: Up to 1 year in jail, fine of up to $4,000.
  • State jail felony: 6 months to 2 years in a state jail facility, find of up to $10,000.
  • Third degree felony: Up to 10 years in prison, fine of up to $10,000
  • Second degree felony: 2 to 20 years in prison, fine of up to $10,000.
  • First degree felony: 5 years to life in prison, fine of up to $10,000.
Defenses
  • Intoxication
  • Entrapment (i.e. by an undercover police officer)
  • Age
  • Duress (i.e. the defendant was under threats of bodily harm if they did not commit the sexual contact for a fee)
  • No money was received for the sexual contact
  • Lack of knowledge

Prostitution Defense Lawyer: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

Even though prostitution is (initially) a misdemeanor, a conviction can be devastating. A sex related criminal record can damage a person’s career and family life. If you are facing prostitution or solicitation of prostitution anywhere in Texas, you will find an aggressive, experienced, and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Attorney Charles Johnson.

 

Expert Sex Crimes Lawyer Charles Johnson can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a Free Case Review.
Call us at 713-222-7577 or toll free at 877-308-0100.
Offices in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Austin.
Major Credit Cards Accepted.

 

 

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