Why Am I Being Charged With Prostitution Instead Of Solicitation If I Am Not A Prostitute?
According to the law in Texas, there are two ways to commit prostitution: by agreeing to receive a fee in exchange for sex, and by agreeing to offer a fee in exchange for sex. These are considered the same offenses and carry the same penalty ranges and punishments. However, there are some differences in how you may be treated in court as a John (a person who agrees to offer a fee in exchange for sex) as opposed to a prostitute. For example, in Travis County, Johns without a criminal history can expect to receive jail time, or at a minimum, deferred adjudication probation, the latter of which would remain on their record for life. Female prostitutes, on the other hand, will be offered an opportunity for a dismissal, regardless of how much criminal history they have. This difference is ripe for attack based on Fourteenth Amendment equal protection grounds in Texas, and it’s something I commonly use to mount an attack in these cases.
What Are The Penalties For Prostitution? What Can I Expect?
Prostitution is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and up to a $2,000 fine. If you have one or two prior convictions for prostitution, then it becomes a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in county jail and up to a $4,000 fine. If you have three prior convictions for prostitution, it becomes a state jail offense punishable by either six months to two years in a state jail facility up and up to a $10,000 fine, or by up to a year in a state jail facility and a felony conviction under Section 1244A of the Penal Code. Other consequences of being convicted of prostitution include difficulty in the ability to gain employment and obtain housing. In addition, the conviction would be on your record for life; the charge would not be dismissed in Travis County unless you are set for trial and the prosecution loses their witnesses.
If you are a female defendant or a prostitute in the parlance of our times but not charged with soliciting prostitution, then you would be offered Phoenix Court, which is a specialty court program in Travis County that offers a vast array of services, including housing, transportation, mental health, substance abuse, childcare, and job location services with the goal of getting you into a more stable situation so that you don’t get embroiled in similar situations in the future. In my experience, many women who are charged with prostitution already have a conviction for it, or end up sitting in jail for too long to be interested in such a program. However, if you are out on bond and interested in this program, it would give you the opportunity to have your charge dismissed and to obtain many services which may be of use to you.
For more information on Prostitution Vs. Solicitation In Texas, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (512) 601-0009 today.
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