Texas Prostitution Laws
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In Texas, there are multiple laws related to prostitution. Each offense has individual factors and elements regarding the specific violation. Having a general knowledge and understanding of the laws is beneficial in the event that you find yourself faced with these types of charges.
Committing Prostitution in Texas
In Texas, a person commits the crime of prostitution if he knowingly:
- Offers to engage, agrees to engage, or engages in sexual conduct for a fee; or
- Solicits another in a public place to engage with him in sexual conduct for hire.
Generally, a required element of this law is that there must be a furtherance of the act in order for the crime to have been performed. For example, if the actor receives or pays a fee.
In relation to this law, a “public place” is considered a location where the public, or a large portion of the public has access. This often includes places such as apartment buildings, hotels, schools, hospitals, and shopping centers.
A crime of this nature is generally charged as a Class B misdemeanor. However, if the individual has been previously convicted of committing prostitution once or twice, the charge will be increased to a Class A misdemeanor. If the individual has been convicted three or more times previously, the charge is now deemed to be a state jail felony.
A Class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine up to $2,000. Compare that with a Class A misdemeanor which is punishable by up to one year in jail and fines up $4,000. Furthermore, a state jail felony will result in 180 days – 2 years in jail and fine that is not to exceed $10,000.
What Does Texas Law Say About Promotion of Prostitution?
An individual commits the offense of promotion of prostitution if, while acting other than as a prostitute, receiving compensation for personally performed prostitution services, he knowingly:
- Receives money or other compensation based on a prior agreement which involved participating in the proceeds of prostitution; or
- Solicits another individual to participate in sexual conduct with another for payment.
This crime is generally charged as a Class A misdemeanor.
Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution in Texas
The crime of aggravated promotion of prostitution occurs when a person knowingly owns, invests in, finances, controls, supervises, or manages a prostitution enterprise that uses two or more prostitutes.
This crime is generally considered a Third Degree felony which is punishable by receiving 2-10 years imprisonment and fines up to $10,000.
Compelling Prostitution in Texas
An individual can be charged with the act of compelling prostitution if he knowingly causes another by force, threat or fraud to commit prostitution or causes by any means a person younger than 17 years to commit prostitution.
This crime is most often charged as a Second Degree felony. This level of felony is punishable by 2-20 years imprisonment and fines up to $10,000.
Do You Need an Attorney?
If you have been charged with a crime related to the prostitution laws in Texas, contact an experienced attorney in the area who is knowledgeable on the laws and will help you to understand the laws and ensure that you receive the best outcome possible regarding your legal matters.
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