Texas Laws on Solicitation of Prostitution
According to a 2016 YouGov national survey of 1,000 American adults, about 12% of men have paid another person for sex. Under Texas law, it is illegal to solicit prostitution – ask for sex in exchange for a fee. In fact, Texas has some of the strictest laws addressing solicitation of prostitution in the United States.
Pursuant to the New Texas Penal Code Section 43.021, "a person commits an offense of soliciting prostitution if the person knowingly offers or agrees to pay a fee to another person for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with that person or another."
What Qualifies as "Solicitation" in Texas?
Under Texas law, solicitation is the sale of sexual intercourse between one person and another person in an “act of prostitution”. A person partakes in an “act of prostitution” if they intentionally engage – or offers to engage – in sexual activity in exchange for monetary payment or financial compensation.
What Does Prosecution Need to Prove?
In order to convict a defendant for solicitation of prostitution in Texas, the prosecuting attorney must prove that the defendant made a serious attempt to engage in prostitution by either providing sexual acts for a monetary sum or other compensation or offering money for sexual acts. An experienced attorney can enlighten you about the nature of your charges and help defend your legal rights.
Is Solicitation Considered a Felony?
Yes. Texas was the first state to make solicitation of prostitution a felony. From September 1st, 2021, all kinds of prostitution-related offenses, including solicitation of prostitution, will be charged as a state jail felony. The penalties are usually severe and far-reaching.
What are the Possible Penalties?
In Texas, the penalties for soliciting prostitution charges can be devastating. Depending on the defendant's criminal history, nature of the charges, and other surrounding circumstances, the potential penalties and consequences for solicitation of prostitution include:
- Imprisonment (ranging from months, years, or decades)
- Huge fines
- A criminal record/history
- Increased difficulty in securing public benefits or government assistance
- Increased difficulty in securing employment and housing
- Ineligibility to obtain certain financial loans
- Loss of rights to possess, carry, or own firearms
- Loss of rights to vote in elections
A skilled criminal defense attorney can fight aggressively to uphold your rights and outline the best defense strategy to achieve the most favorable outcome in your case.
Work With a Knowledgeable Criminal Defense Attorney
Defending your solicitation of prostitution allegations without reliable representation could increase your risks of getting convicted and suffering the maximum punishment. Unfortunately, a criminal conviction could potentially jeopardize your quality of life, personal reputation, liberty, eligibility for government assistance, and other future opportunities. Therefore, when facing solicitation of prostitution charges, it is paramount that you hire a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney for detailed guidance and to help build your defense.
At MC Criminal Law, we are committed to offering personalized legal guidance and aggressive representation to clients in their criminal cases. As your legal counsel, we can investigate all of the facts of your case thoroughly and attempt to craft an effective defense strategy to fight your charges. With our extensive trial experience, we can help you navigate the Texas criminal justice system, represent you in every phase of the court proceedings, and make sure you get fair treatment. Above all, you can leverage our long-term relationships with local law enforcement to improve your chances of a brighter tomorrow.