A prostitution arrest could be a devastating event. You might be concerned about the potential punishment you might suffer, but you are also likely worried due to the societal stigma attached to sex work. With a prostitution offense on your record, you could experience discrimination in seeking housing or educational opportunities.

A Frisco prostitution lawyer understands your fears and can employ strategies to increase the chances of a positive outcome. Our team of dedicated criminal defense attorneys at Barbieri Law Firm, P.C will fight to uphold your rights against the prosecution. Call as soon as possible to get a compassionate advocate on your side.

Understanding Prostitution Crimes

Prostitution is attempting to sell sex for money or something else of value. A person could be guilty of prostitution even if there is no sexual contact and no money changes hands. However, to be guilty of prostitution, the individual must intend to exchange sex for some valuable consideration and make arrangements to do so.

First Offenders

First offenders could face a Class B misdemeanor charge, which carries a possible sentence of 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. However, an experienced Frisco prostitution attorney could likely arrange enrollment in a diversion or rehabilitation program for a client with no prior offenses. Once the individual completes the program, their charges are dropped and they retain a clean record.

Prosecutors are aware that sometimes people offering sex for sale are themselves crime victims or suffering from economic hardship, substance abuse, domestic violence, mental illness, or some combination of these factors. In recent years there has been an emphasis on providing sex workers the opportunity to address their underlying issues and find other means of support, if they choose.

Repeat Offenders

A prosecutor could charge a person who has one or two prior prostitution convictions with a Class A misdemeanor. Conviction on a Class A misdemeanor could result in one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

An individual with three or more prior prostitution convictions could face felony charges. Upon conviction, a felony prostitution charge might result in a sentence of between six months to two years in state prison and fines up to $10,000.

Other Related Offenses

In general, the state reserves the harshest penalties for those who support or promote prostitution or who sexually exploit minors. Anyone who solicits or employs a prostitute under the age of 18, or induces a minor to engage in prostitution, could be charged with a first-degree felony.

The felony of promoting prostitution is described in Texas Penal Code § 43.03, and it criminalizes the act of arranging or helping someone to engage in prostitution in return for money or other value. Upon the first conviction, an individual might receive a sentence of two years in state prison and a $10,000 fine. Subsequent convictions for promoting prostitution carry a prison sentence between two and ten years and a $10,000 fine.

A person who owns or manages a business that profits from the work of at least two prostitutes could face a charge of aggravated promotion of prostitution. The charge is a second-degree felony and carries penalties of imprisonment for as long as 20 years and $10,000 in fines.

Defenses to Prostitution Charges

As noted above, law enforcement tends to focus on prosecuting potential customers of prostitutes and businesses that exploit them. As a result, there could be opportunities for a proactive Frisco prostitution lawyer to help a client resolve a charge without jail time.

To have a legitimate case, prosecutors must prove that the defendant had the knowing intent to exchange sex for something of value. Proving the intention behind the transaction could be difficult in the absence of written or recorded evidence. If the defense could show that evidence of intent is weak, a prosecutor might decline to move forward with a case.

If the charge is prostitution alone and there is no evidence the individual was involved in other crimes, a plea bargain is highly possible. Prosecutors are often not interested in bringing a prostitution case to trial. In some cases, an individual facing a prostitution charge might have information that could implicate persons involved in promoting prostitution, sex trafficking, and other serious crimes. In such cases, prosecutors could offer to drop charges in exchange for information and testimony.

Engage a Frisco Prostitution Attorney to Combat Charges

A prostitution conviction could lead to significant penalties, especially if it is not the first time you have been charged. Do not assume that you will get lenient treatment, as this can be a high-stakes claim.

A determined Frisco prostitution lawyer at Barbieri Law Firm, P.C. can explore all available options to resolve the case in the manner most favorable to you. Do not delay. Call as soon as you are arrested on a prostitution charge so our attorneys can get to work on your case.

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