If you’ve just been arrested for prostitution in Travis County, you probably have a thousand questions racing through your mind. What can I do now? What is the process? Will I go back to jail?
You need experienced Austin prostitution attorneys who understand the Travis County court system inside and out. We zealously represent your rights throughout this process and answer all the questions you have along the way.
Our team has a combined 30+ years of experience helping people charged with prostitution in Austin. We will tell you what to expect and how to improve the chances of getting the best result. Having experienced attorneys can make the difference between getting your case dismissed or being convicted.
What is Prostitution?
In Texas, prostitution is illegal. According to Texas Penal Code § sections 43.02 to 43.06, a person who intentionally proposes or consents to exchange sex for payment, or publicly approaches others with the intent of offering sexual services, is committing the act of prostitution.
Prostitution entails either proposing, consenting to, or actually participating in sexual activities in exchange for payment. In Texas, many are taken aback to learn that just an agreement, even without any sexual action, is adequate evidence for prostitution.
One can inadvertently be ensnared in a sting operation simply as an unintended participant. Charges can be brought against an individual if they propose, consent to, or actually partake in sexual activities for payment.
What are the consequences of Prostitution in Texas?
The penalties for a prostitution charge in Texas vary based on the circumstances and the individual's criminal history. Here's a breakdown:
First Offense: A prostitution charge for a first-time offender is generally considered a Class B misdemeanor, which can result in up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
Second Offense: A second offense is typically classified as a Class A misdemeanor, carrying a penalty of up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.
Three or More Offenses: Three or more offenses elevate the crime to a state jail felony. This can result in a jail term ranging from 180 days to two years in a state jail facility, along with a potential fine of up to $10,000.
Promotion of Prostitution: If someone is found guilty of promoting prostitution (which means they are knowingly causing another to commit prostitution or owning, investing in, financing, controlling, supervising, or managing a prostitution enterprise that uses two or more prostitutes), the crime is considered a state jail felony.
Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution: If the individual manages, supervises, controls, or owns a prostitution enterprise involving two or more prostitutes, it's a third-degree felony. Penalties can include a prison term ranging from 2 to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
Compelling Prostitution: If someone forces another (especially a minor under 18) into prostitution, the offense is classified as a second-degree felony for adults and a first-degree felony if the victim is under 18. Penalties can range from 2 to 20 years in prison for adults and 5 to 99 years (or life) for cases involving minors, with fines of up to $10,000.
LET THE LAW OFFICE OF CHARLIE ROADMAN HELP YOU
Hiring an attorney if you are charged with prostitution in Texas (or anywhere else for that matter) is crucial for several reasons:
Complexity of the Law: Criminal law, especially in a state as large and diverse as Texas, can be complex. Our experienced attorneys can navigate the intricacies of the Texas Penal Code, relevant case law, and local court procedures.
Protection of Your Rights: We can ensure your rights are upheld. This includes ensuring that evidence obtained illegally (e.g., without a proper search warrant or during an improper interrogation) is not used against you.
Legal Strategy: Our experienced criminal defense attorneys will know how to challenge the prosecution's evidence, present a defense, or negotiate a plea deal if appropriate. They can advise on the best course of action based on the specifics of your case.
Familiarity with Local Courts: Every court and every judge is different. Our attorneys are familiar with the local courts and prosecutors can provide insights that might be beneficial for your case.
WHEN SHOULD I HIRE AN ATTORNEY?
Immediately. An attorney should be working on your case right away. We want to talk to witnesses as soon as possible and protect any evidence that will help the case. Hiring an attorney is also a good way to alleviate the stress and anxiety that comes with being arrested.
CAN A prostitution CHARGE BE DISMISSED?
Yes, but it depends on the circumstances of the arrest and what you are willing to do while the case is pending. We have negotiated hundreds of dismissals in Travis County using our knowledge and experience of what works in Austin. In order to help us get the best result, we will create a customized Action Plan for you.
ONE OF MY FRIENDS/FAMILY WAS ARRESTED FOR prostitution. WILL THEY GET OUT OF JAIL AUTOMATICALLY?
No. They must qualify for a personal bond. And even if they do qualify, it can take 24 hours or more to be released. We can speed up the process significantly. And trust us, everyone wants out of jail as soon as possible. HERE IS MORE INFO ON JAIL RELEASES.