According to Texas prostitution laws, anyone is prohibited to provide or offer to provide sexual activities for money or other kinds of compensation. It’s likewise illegal to pay for any form of sexual service and organize or financially benefit from organizing prostitution services. Pandering, in which an individual procures another individual to be prostituted, and pimping, wherein an individual benefits from the earnings of prostitution, are unlawful and common methods for promoting prostitution.
As you’ll see below, the penalties can be extremely harsh so if you’re accused with any prostitution-related offenses, looking up defense lawyers in Houston and getting legal aid is your best bet.
Penalties for Prostitution and Patronizing Prostitution
The offense of prostitution and patronizing prostitution are considered Class B misdemeanors in Texas. These carry a fine not exceeding $2,000 and jail time not exceeding 180 days, or both. However, if an offender has been convicted of the exact offense once or twice before, it becomes a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by jail time of up to a year and a $4,000 fine, or both.
The charge and penalties become more severe if an offender has been convicted more than two times for the same offense — state jail felony punishable by 180 days of jail time or up to two years imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding $10,000. It becomes a 3rd degree felony if an offender solicited a minor between the ages of 14 and 18, and includes penalties of two to 10 years of imprisonment and/or up to a $10,000 fine. Further, it can become a 2nd degree felony if an offender solicited a minor under 14 years old, with penalties of two to 20 years of imprisonment and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
Punishments for Promoting Prostitution and Pimping
The punishment for promoting prostitution or pimping, which is a Class A misdemeanor, is up to a year of jail time and/or a fine not more than $4,000. Promotion can likewise be aggravated, which is a 3rd degree felony that carries a punishment of between two and 10 years imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding $10,000.
Forcing prostitution on an individual over 18 years old is considered a 2nd degree felony, punishable by two to 20 years of prison time and/or a fine not more than $10,000. On the other hand, forcing prostitution on an individual under 18 years old is classified as a 1st degree felony, which is punishable by five years to life imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding $10,000.