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By Benson Varghese

Last Updated: September 22nd, 2021 at 9:39 AM
Published on: May 11th, 2020 at 4:26 PM

It’s not uncommon in North Texas for law enforcement to initiate prostitution stings in an effort to catch customers or so-called “Johns.” In fact, we have seen an uptick in these types of stings since Sept. 1, 2021, when Texas became the first state in the country to make buying sex a felony.

Being arrested for solicitation of prostitution is an embarrassing charge that can impact your family, finances, and freedom. That’s why it’s imperative to contact a Fort Worth solicitation lawyer as soon as possible if you have been accused of soliciting a prostitute. It’s important to try and get in front of the charge as quickly as possible in an effort to lessen the impact it will have on your personal and professional life, as well as your reputation.

The experienced defense attorneys at Varghese Summersett have successfully represented countless clients accused of sex crimes. We will handle your case with sensitivity and discretion while working to resolve it in a manner that will leave your record clean.

Solicitation of Prostitution

Solicitation of Prostitution in Texas is Now a Felony

In the past, Texas law used to make no distinction between “prostitution” and “solicitation of prostitution.” Prostitutes and “Johns” faced a misdemeanor charge and were punished equally. That all changed in September 2021 when Texas became the first state to make solicitation of prostitution a felony. This means that “Johns” actually face harsher punishment that the person offering sexual services (who still faces a misdemeanor.)

Under Texas Penal Code §43.021, a person commits solicitation of prostitution if he or she:

  • knowingly offers or agrees to pay a fee to another person for purposes of engaging in sexual conduct with that person or another.
  • It is important to stress that that sex doesn’t have to occur to be arrested and charged with prostitution or solicitation of prostitution. Prosecutors only have to prove that an agreement was made. That’s why so many people get arrested in sex stings – just making the deal and meeting up can lead to an arrest.

Texas Solicitation Consequences

Solicitation of prostitution can range from a state jail felony to a second-degree felony depending on the facts and circumstances. Here’s a breakdown of punishments stemming from solicitation of prostitution:

  • First-time offenders face a state jail felony punishable by six months to two years in a state jail facility and a maximum $10,000 fine.
  • Defendants convicted two or more times of solicitation of prostitution face a third-degree felony punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
  • Defendants face a second-degree felony, punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine, if the person with whom they agreed to engage in sexual conduct is:
    * younger than 18, regardless of whether the actor knew the age of the person at the time of the offense; or
    * represented to the actor as being younger than 18;
    * or believed by the actor to be younger than 18 years of age

Defenses Against Allegations of Solicitation of Prostitution

To be convicted of prostitution or solicitation, the prosecutor must prove several elements and this is not always easy – especially if you’ve got a savvy, experienced defense attorney. The defense can argue that the defendant didn’t know the other person was a prostitute or that a fee was never exchanged or agreed upon. Entrapment or duress could also come into play.

A seasoned Fort Worth solicitation attorney at Varghese Summersett will listen to the facts and circumstances surrounding the allegation and tailor a defense strategy unique to your case.

Get in Touch with a Fort Worth Solicitation Attorney Today

Being accused of soliciting a prostitute could negatively impact your personal and professional life and leave an embarrassing blemish on your record. Contact our firm today to find out how a Fort Worth solicitation lawyer can help you can put this mistake behind you so you can move on with your life. Call 817-203-2220 to speak with a member of our team.

Fort Worth Solicitation Lawyer
2021-09-22T09:39:59-06:00
Varghese Summersett PLLC
Varghese Summersett PLLC