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Prostitutes Beware: The Law Is Watching You…Very Intently

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Sections 43.02 through 43.06 of the Texas Penal Code deal with the crime of prostitution. Prostitution is the act of exchanging sexual favors for something of value, which does not have to include money. There are actually several different crimes associated with prostitution, and the one an individual is charged with will vary based upon the role he or she played in carrying out a sex-for-hire scheme.

The Prostitute

A prostitute is someone who knowingly engages or agrees to engage in sexual conduction for a fee, or who solicits another person to hire him or her for illegal sexual conduct. The act of prostitution has varying degrees of severity:

  • First or second offense-charged as a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 6 months in jail, and a fine of not more than $2,000
  • Third offense-Class A misdemeanor, which carries a punishment of up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $4,000.
  • Fourth and subsequent offenses are state jail felonies, which can result in up to two years in state jail and a fine of up to $10,000

Promotion of Prostitution

Promotion of prostitution occurs whenever an individual “receives money or other property pursuant to the agreement to participate in prostitution” or “solicits another to engage in sexual conduct with another person for compensation.” Such an act is considered a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by as much as one year in prison and a fine that can be as high as $10,000.

Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution

Aggravated promotion of prostitution is better known as “pimping”, and involves an individual knowingly owning, controlling, financing, supervising or managing a prostitution ring that involves two or more prostitutes. This crime is a third-degree felony, which carries a punishment of:

  • Between two and ten years in prison
  • Fine of up to $10,000

Compelling Prostitution

Compelling prostitution involves forcing another to commit prostitution through the use of force or threats. It can also involve any act that causes a person younger than 17 to commit prostitution. This crime will be considered a second-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 20 years in state prison, along with a fine of up to $10,000.

Defenses

There are a few defenses for the various crimes associated with prostitution including:

  • Duress
  • Involuntary intoxication
  • Mental illness or instability
  • Lack of intent
  • Entrapment

Being charged with any crime associated with prostitution can be serious business. Forensic evidence and eyewitness testimony must all be examined very carefully if a defendant is to raise reasonable doubt in the minds of jurors.

Prostitution accusations can be very damaging to a woman’s reputation. If you have been charged with selling your body for money, then get a hold of Brett A. Podolsky today by calling 713.227.0087.

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Law Office of Brett A. Podolsky
917 Franklin St. Ste 510
Houston, TX 77002