Being charged with prostitution in Houston Texas is a serious misdemeanor offense that can have long-lasting consequences on one’s criminal record. Prostitution [Title 9 Chapter 43] is legally defined as the exchange of money or other valuables for sex. Directly related to prostitution is ‘Patronizing’ which is paying for sex. It’s important to note that you can be charged even for simply offering to pay for sex or provide sex for money.
Generally prostitution in Texas is charged as a Class B Misdemeanor, but this increases to a Class A Misdemeanor if one has been previously convicted and can become a state felony [including jail time] if convicted at least three times.
Solicitation of a minor (at least 14 years old but younger than 18) results in a 3rd degree felony and if the minor is younger than 14 the charge is a 2nd degree felony offense.
Penalties for Prostitution Conviction
Texas penalties for class B prostitution misdemeanors can be a fine of up to $2000 and up to 180 days in jail. Class A penalties can be fines of up to $4000 and one year in jail. Felony offenses carry long term prison sentences — a 2nd degree felony can carry up to 20 years in a state penitentiary.
If you are being charged with prostitution or patronizing in Houston, Harris County, or surrounding areas you need an experienced criminal defense attorney that cares and will work hard to provide you the best defense possible. Carl Haggard has been defending clients against prostitution charges in Houston for over 30 years and has a verifiable winning record.
Supplementary Prostitution Legal Information
What does it mean if my Prostitution case gets referred to the Sexual Exploitation Division of the DA’s office?
Just as the Harris County DA’s office has a special division for the prosecution of sensitive crimes such as Family Violence ‐ the Family Criminal Law Division [FCLD], and Child Abuse ‐ the Child Abuse Division ‐ it has a relatively new special division for the prosecution of sexual offenses, most commonly Prostitution. While having your case sent to a special division will often prolong and complicate things initially, if defendants have an attorney who understands how the system works and how to negotiate with the prosecutors in this division, it can often work in their favor. The purpose of this division is toward rehabilitation ‐ getting prostitutes off the streets ‐ where we can demonstrate they qualify for and/or are deserving of rehabilitation ‐ rather than aggressive prosecution.
We recently worked with one client who had several related minor misdemeanors (such as Impeding Sidewalk) and other priors before getting charged with her 1st Prostitution offense. We were able to work with the DA’s in this section to get her case dismissed although the facts were clearly against us. Our client now plans to start a new life in another state.