Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyers Helping Clients Charged with Prostitution & Solicitation
As one of the largest counties in Texas, Collin County has seen its fair share of prostitution. While the practice of selling sex for money is often called the “world’s oldest profession,” it remains a serious criminal offense in Texas, both for the seller and the buyer. And it is critical to understand that the crime of prostitution extends to the “offer” of sex for money, regardless of whether the transaction is actually completed. Among other reasons, this is why you need to speak with a qualified Collin County sex crimes lawyer if you find yourself charged with any type of prostitution offense.
Prostitution in Texas
Put simply, Section 43.02 of the Texas Penal Code defines prostitution as “knowingly” offering or agreeing to engage in “sexual conduct” in exchange for a “fee.” It does not matter how much money is involved or whether the act of solicitation takes place on the street or in some other public place like a hotel. Any offer of sex-for-money is illegal in Collin County.
It is also against the law to indirectly facilitate prostitution–i.e., pimp–by accepting money on behalf of someone else to engage in sexual activity. This is known as “promotion of prostitution” under the Penal Code. If a person knowingly promoted two or more people as part of a larger “prostitution enterprise,” they can be charged with “aggravated promotion,” which carries a stiffer potential sentence. There is also a separate offense for “compelling prostitution,” i.e. causing someone else to engage in prostitution by “force, threat, or fraud.”
The Penalties for Prostitution in Collin County
An initial conviction for prostitution–offering or soliciting–is a Class B misdemeanor under Texas law. This carries a maximum possible jail term of 180 days and a $2,000 fine. A second or third prostitution offense is elevated to a Class A misdemeanor, where the penalties ratchet up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine. On the fourth conviction, prostitution is a state jail felony, where the offender may face 2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The most serious prostitution penalties are for soliciting a person under the age of 18. If convicted, the solicitor faces a second-degree felony charge–and possibly 20 years in prison–regardless of whether they have any prior prostitution-related convictions. It also does not matter if the defendant knew the person was actually under 18. A person may also be convicted if they were solicited by someone who falsely represented themselves as being under 18, i.e. an undercover cop posing as a teenager online.
A Collin County Prostitution Lawyer Can Help You
This last scenario illustrates how easy it is to get trapped by a prostitution charge. This is why you need help from an experienced Collin County sex crimes lawyer, especially if you have never dealt with the criminal justice system before. If you are a Collin County resident charged with prostitution and need to speak with a lawyer right away, call Rosenthal & Wadas, PLLC, today at 972-369-0577.