Engaging in, promoting, soliciting or compelling others into prostitution is an incredibly serious offense with harsh penalties. Not only this, but the social stigma alone associated with prostitution could potentially damage your career and hinder your personal goals. Many offenders with a prior prostitute conviction even have issues obtaining housing or applying for a federal or private loan. The best way to avoid these consequences is to fight the allegations head on with experienced legal representation.

If you or someone you know has been charged with an engaging in or soliciting prostitution, we urge you to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.  Hiring an attorney will give you a significant advantage in the courtroom as they can collect evidence, file motions, and build a sturdy defense to utilize for your case. They can discredit evidence used against you as well as poke holes in the prosecution’s argument with expert testimony and information. Don’t wait another moment to defend your rights and freedom. If you’re in need of legal counsel, get in contact with The Benken Law Firm immediately.

Houston Prostitution Defense Lawyer in Texas

It’s unfortunate, but a simple prostitution charge or arrest has extensive consequences. Not only will the news possibly affect your personal relationships and goals, but you are now stuck facing the statutory penalties. Thankfully, you can fight back with experienced and skilled legal representation. Find quality and knowledgeable legal representation by contacting The Benken Law Firm.

Prostitution defense attorney Brian Benken is an experienced sex crimes attorney with over 30 years of practice under his belt. His thorough nature and many years of knowledge lends credence to his extraordinary defense skills. To set up your first consultation with Brain Benken, call (713) 223 - 4051. At the appointment sex offenses defense lawyer Brian Benken will answer all your legal questions as well as disclose all your available legal options to you.

The Benken Law Firm accepts clients throughout the greater Harris County and Houston area including West University Place, The Heights, Uptown, Bellaire and Downtown Houston.

Overview of Prostitution Charges in TX

Back to top

Is Prostituting Legal in Texas?

Similar to other states, the Texas Penal Code outlaws both engaging in and soliciting prostitution. Both engaging in prostitution and soliciting a prostitute will result in serious penalties. Engaging in prostitution without aggravating factors is a class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by:

  • Up to 180 days in jail; and
  • A possible fine of up to $2,000

Having a prior prostitution charge on your criminal record will enhance your charges by one offense class. For instance, if you were charged with class B misdemeanor charge but have a prior prostitution conviction, then the judge will automatically reclassify your crime to a class A misdemeanor instead.

Back to top

New Penalties for Solicitation in Texas

The State of Texas has passed a new law for those who solicit prostitutes in exchange for compensation. It is now the only state in the United States that charges Johns with a felony offense on their first conviction without any aggravating factors. The law was put into effect thanks to HB 1540, which passed in May through both the Senate and House.

According to the new legislation, the defendant will face up a state jail felony if they’re convicted of solicitation which carries a sentence of two years in prison with a minimum of 180 days. They will also be obligated to pay a $10,000 conviction fine. If it’s the defendant’s second conviction, then the court will enhance the charge to a third-degree felony. The punishment for a third-degree felony is up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Back to top

Is Promoting Prostitution a Felony in Texas?

You can be charged with a prostitution related offense even if you never engaged in sexual activity with a prostitute or engaged in sex work yourself. Promoting prostitution in any way through advertising or word-of-mouth for profit will land you criminal charges. Under the Texas Penal Code Section 43.03, it states you’re guilty of promoting prostitution if you have done any of the following actions.

  • Received money or property from a prostitution operation knowingly; or
  • Solicited a patron to engage sexual activity with a prostitute

The crime of promoting a prostitution scheme is a state jail felony, which can result in:

  • Up to 24 months in state jail; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000

The judge will automatically enhance your charges if there is already a prior prostitution-related conviction on your record. You will instead face a third-degree felony, which is punishable by:

  • Up to 10 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000

Advertising or promoting a prostitution scheme involving minors will result in enhanced penalties. Your charges will be reclassified to a second-degree felony if any of the following actions occurred during the commission of the crime.

  • Had an agreement with a patron to engage in sexual conduct with a minor;
  • You represented to the patron that the prostitute is a minor; or
  • You knew ahead of time the prostitute the patron paid for is younger than 18 years old.

Promoting a minor prostitute or a scheme involving underaged prostitutes is a second-degree felony, which is punishable by:

  • Up to 20 years in prison; and
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000

Back to top

Penalties for Aggravated Promotion in Texas

Some prostitution cases are much more extensive and could be defined as an underground “brothel house” or sex work enterprise. The Texas Penal Code defines a prostitution enterprise as any sex worker scheme involving two or more prostitutes. If the court proves these facts to be true, then the judge will instead charge you with aggravated promotion of prostitution.

Aggravated promotion of prostitution is a second-degree felony, which can result in:

  • Up to 20 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000

Back to top

What is Compelling Prostitution in Texas?

It’s also a crime to encourage or induce another person into prostitution or a sex worker scheme. Texas law states you’re compelling someone into prostitution if you:

  • Threaten them into prostitution with bodily injury;
  • Force them into sex work;
  • Use fraud to coerce them; or
  • Compel a person under the age of 18 into prostitution. Even if you’re unaware at the time the sex worker was a minor.

Compelling another person into prostitution is classified as a second-degree felony, which is punishable by:

  • Up to 20 years in prison; and
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000

Back to top

Additional Resources

Coalition Abolition Prostitution – Visit the official website of the non-profit called Coalition Abolition Prostitution International (CAP) to learn more about their mission to reform prostitution laws. Access the site to learn more about the possible bills in the works that could possibly change sex worker laws so they have more protections from the government.

Prostitution Laws in Texas – Visit the official website for Texas Legislation to learn more about the laws surrounding sex crimes including engaging in or soliciting a prostitute. Access the statute to read up on the statutory language of prostitution, the admissible defenses for the crime and other related sex offenses.

Back to top

Sex Crimes Attorney in Houston, Texas

The stigma alone surrounding prostitution charges could seriously impact your life. If you or someone you know has been charged with engaging in, soliciting, compelling or promoting prostitution, then get in contact with The Benken Law Firm. Houston sex crimes lawyer Brian Benken has handled numerous sensitive sex crime cases for over 30 years. He can assist you by utilizing his extensive skills, resources and knowledge to create a sturdy defense for your case.

Call Houston prostitution defense lawyer Brian Benken now at (713) 223 - 4051 to set up your first consultation free of charge. The Benken Law Firm will overlook your case to determine what the best possible legal strategy is to defend your rights. The Benken Law Firm accepts clients throughout the greater Harris County and Houston area including Rice Military, Midtown, Museum Park, Hunter Creek Village and Bellaire.

Back to top

(713) 223 - 4051
Benken Law