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How harsh are the penalties for soliciting prostitution?

On Behalf of | May 23, 2024 | Criminal Defense

For years, prostitution has been rampant in Texas. The sight of scantily dressed individuals roaming the streets at night has become all too common. In a determined effort to combat human trafficking and decrease the rate of prostitution, the state has taken a firm stance by classifying the act, including sexual solicitation, as a felony.

What happens if you are arrested for soliciting prostitution in Texas?

Solicitation of prostitution occurs when a person knowingly offers or agrees to pay another person to engage in sexual conduct. Compelling someone into prostitution or promoting the activity are equally punishable offenses.

Despite the state’s efforts to address the issue, there continues to be individuals who seek out sex workers for a sense of companionship, sexual satisfaction, curiosity or as a means to fulfill an addiction. However, regardless of the reason, soliciting prostitution comes with stiff penalties:

  • First offense: State jail felony charge punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and jail time ranging from 180 days to two years
  • Second offense: Third-degree felony charge punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and jail time ranging from two to ten years
  • Soliciting prostitution from a minor: Second-degree felony charge punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and jail time from two to 20 years

Criminal charges may apply even if the sexual act did not go through. Showing intent to commit the offense, such as withdrawing money or driving to a location where paid sexual activity will take place, may be grounds for an arrest.

Beyond the legal penalties, sex-related crimes may also lead to life-changing repercussions including reputational damage and loss of employment.

Is it possible to beat a soliciting prostitution charge?

Given the state’s stringent efforts to restrict prostitution, confronting solicitation charges is an extremely serious matter. Nonetheless, individuals do have options for mounting a defense. Insufficient evidence, entrapment or not knowing the other party was a prostitute are just a few.

In these situations, the guidance of a criminal defense attorney can be critical. Their experience and legal know-how can be pivotal in safeguarding one’s future.