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Posted on March 26, 2014 by Law Office of Brett A Podolsky
The best way to avoid the embarrassment of a prostitution charge is to avoid prostitution altogether, but sometimes we just make bad decisions. If you’re in that predicament right now, then it’s important that you understand the legal defenses that are available in a prostitution case. Every criminal defendant should exercise their legal rights under the law. A prostitution charge is no exception.
According to the Texas Penal Code, exchanging money or something of value for a sexual act is illegal. Prostitution is also a crime under federal law. Receiving or soliciting a sexual act can result in financial penalties and even time in jail. Repeat offenders are subject to enhanced criminal penalties.
Prostitution Defense Strategies
A successful prostitution defense requires knowledge of current prostitution laws as well as the available defense strategies. The following common defense strategies should be considered:
1) Entrapment Defense
It constitutes entrapment when a police officer or another government official causes someone to commit a crime they would not have otherwise committed. It can be difficult to prove that a defendant was illegally enticed in a prostitution case. Most of the time, it can be shown that the defendant intended to engage in prostitution. The fact that an undercover police officer was involved does not negate the premeditated intent of the defendant.
2) Due Process Defense
There are times when an arresting officer violates the constitutional rights of a defendant by acting in a manner that is regarded as improper under the law. For instance, it is inappropriate for a government official to engage in sexual activity as part of a prostitution sting. Inappropriate behavior on the part of a police officer may represent a due process violation and provide suitable grounds for the dismissal of prostitution charges by a judge.
3) Lack of Probable Cause Defense
If an arrest occurs before a defendant agrees to engage in an act of prostitution, the arrest may be deemed as illegal. A police officer cannot arrest a patron without probable cause. The officer must demonstrate that a definite offer to engage in prostitution occurred before the arrest was made. Once again, a judge will decide whether the officer had probable cause to make an arrest. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to engage in prostitution.
Prostitution is usually charged as a misdemeanor. First time offenders often receive a sentence of community service, probation or a requirement to attend prostitution education classes. Many habitual prostitution offenders choose to enroll in a prostitution rehabilitation program to end the cycle of arrests and convictions once and for all.
Female Escort Attorney
Prostitution charges can both hurt your reputation and come with serious legal penalties. To avoid this, you need professional legal assistance. Call Brett A. Podolsky today at 713.227.0087 for free legal consultation.