Charges of prostitution are filed when law enforcement believes that a person either offered or engaged in sexual conduct for a fee. Arrests are typically made in sting operations operated by law enforcement, with a police officer posing as a prostitute to catch “Johns,” or posing as a person seeking a sexual encounter. Once a discussion about an exchange of money for sexual conduct has occurred, the arrest can be made. No actual sexual act must take place for prostitution charges to be filed.
Aggravated Prostitution or Promotion of Prostitution Charges
When a person is believed to be managing, investing in, controlling, or supervision two or more prostitutes, the charges filed against that person will be a third-degree felony with penalties from 2 to 5 years in state prison.
If you have been charged with prostitution, your legal situation can be dangerous, particularly if you have a prior conviction. You need a Houston prostitution attorney that you can trust to seek out any and all options to help you avoid conviction or can negotiate reduced or dismissed charges.
How to Defend Against Charges of Prostitution
To successfully defend against a prostitution charge involves strategy, knowhow, and experience. Houston criminal defense lawyer James Alston will initiate several important actions in the early stages of your defense, which may include:
- A full investigation into police actions to identify any rights violations or acts that may constitute entrapment.
- A careful review of police reports, video evidence, or other evidence the prosecutor will use to attempt to convict you on the charge to identify weak points in the case against you.
- An evaluation of the evidence to determine whether your case involves a failure to have probable cause to arrest you.
Second, Third or More Prostitution Charges
The first offense of prostitution is filed as a class B misdemeanor. The second will be increased to a class A misdemeanor. For those who have been convicted on a charge of prostitution three times or more in the past, the charges will be filed as a state jail felony, with 180 days to two years in jail, and up to $10,000 in fines.
Compelling Prostitution Charges
When law enforcement believes a person has forced another to engage in prostitution, whether by threat, force, or other means, or causes a person under 17 years of age to engage in prostitution, the charges filed will be “compelling prostitution,” a third-degree felony. If convicted, the penalties include two to ten years in prison and fines as high as $10,000.
Contact Us Today.
If you are facing charges related to prostitution, whether the charges filed are a misdemeanor or felony, you need to ensure your rights and interests are zealously protected by a criminal defense lawyer you can trust. You want a lawyer who knows the justice system from the inside out – a former prosecutor. Call the law office of arguably the best prostitution lawyer Houston has to offer.