By Benson Varghese

Last Updated: June 24th, 2021 at 1:32 PM
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 the customers or so-called “Johns.” Being arrested for solicitation of prostitution is an embarrassing charge that can impact your family, finances and, in some cases, your 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.

Texas Solicitation of Prostitution Charges

Texas law makes no distinction between “prostitution” and “solicitation of prostitution.” Under Texas Penal Code §43.02, a person commits prostitution if he or she:

  • offers to engage, agrees to engage or engages in sexual conduct for a fee; or
  • solicits another in a public place to engage in sexual conduct for hire

In other words, it doesn’t matter whether you are a buying or attempting to buy sex or selling or attempting to sell sex, it’s the same crime in the eyes of the law. It’s also important to stress that that sex doesn’t have to occur to be arrested and charged with 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

Prostitution, or solicitation or prostitution, can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on whether the defendant has prior charges and other factors. Here’s a breakdown of punishments stemming from solicitation and prostitution charges:

  • First-time offenders face a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a maximum $2,000 fine.
  • If the defendant has previously been convicted one or two times of prostitution, it is Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $4,000.
  • A repeat offender with three or more previous convictions for prostitution is a state jail felony, punishable by six months to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • If a defendant owns, manages or finances a prostitution enterprise with two or more prostitutes, it is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
  • If a defendant solicited a person younger than 18, believed the person being solicited was a minor, or coerced a minor to commit prostitution, the offense becomes a second-degree felony, punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • If a defendant owns, manages, or finances a prostitution enterprise with two or more prostitutes and at least one individual is under 18, the crime is a first-degree felony. A first-degree felony is punishable by five years to life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Defenses Against Allegations of Solicitation

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 attorneys 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 we can help you can put this mistake behind you so you can move on with your life.

Fort Worth Solicitation Lawyer
Varghese Summersett PLLC
Varghese Summersett PLLC