North Texas Compelling Prostitution Lawyers
Prostitution is a crime in Texas, considered an offense against “Public Decency.” Depending on the specific facts of a case, charges can be classified as a misdemeanor or felony. The consequences of a sex crime allegation or charge are particularly damaging when a child is involved. Like other child-related sex crimes, an accusation alone is often life-shattering, destroying your reputation, ruining your future, and threatening your freedom.
Have you been accused or charged with a prostitution-related sex crime in Collin County?
If so, it is crucial that you retain expert legal counsel right away and get ahead of such wrongful claims. At Barbieri Law Firm, our attorneys can help you navigate the often-complex rules governing child prostitution charges and can provide you with valuable guidance on how to protect your reputation and safeguard your privacy. With extensive experience helping clients charged with various sexual offenses, including those related to prostitution and other child sex crimes, our attorneys will aggressively fight against false charges to achieve positive results for you.
Prostitution in Texas
Texas law distinguishes prostitution offenses based on the specific nature of a person’s involvement – a “prostitute” performs sexual conduct for money or goods – and cannot offer sexual contact for money or agree to engage in such conduct.
Prostitution is broadly defined under Texas Penal Code § 43.02-43.06 as a sex offense in Texas committed if a person knowingly offers or agrees to:
- “receive a fee from another to engage in sexual conduct”
- “pay a fee to another person for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with that person or another”
A person may also violate multiple Texas laws that prohibit prostitution-related sexual activities – even without knowing. Whether a person solicits or agrees to exchange money for sex, they can face possible jail time, fines, or both.
When the offense involves a prostitute who is under the age of 18, a person may be charged with a more serious felony child sex offense instead. Almost all sex crimes in Texas are considered felonies, and there are many different forms of sexual abuse of a child defined by state laws.
The most common types of prostitution-related child sex offenses a person may commit include Online Solicitation of a Minor, Compelling Prostitution, and Promoting Prostitution.
What is Compelling Prostitution of a Child in Texas? Understanding Sex Offenses in Texas: Compelling Prostitution of a Child
Texas Prostitution law found in Sec. 43.05 of the criminal code further defines the sex crime to include “compelling prostitution” as a separate offense that a person commits if that person knowingly causes 1) another to commit prostitution OR 2) “by any means of a child younger than 18 years,” and regardless of whether the accused knew the age of the child when the offense occurred.
Simply stated, if an individual knowingly prompts a child to commit prostitution, they commit the crime of compelling prostitution.
However, it is important to understand that the phrase “by any means” is overly broad. As a result, Texas prosecutors do not have to prove that there were any threats of violence or actual acts of violence to compel a minor to engage in prostitution.
What are the Penalties for Compelling Prostitution of a Child in Texas?
Compelling a minor – by any means used – to commit prostitution, including persuasion by lying or by some form of enticing a child, enhances this offense to a Second-degree felony in Texas.
Anyone convicted of compelling prostitution can face 2-20 years in prison and fines up to $10,000. If the offense involves a child, these penalties can be even more severe. Texas law codifies the forced prostitution (check) of a child as a 1st degree felony, which sentences a defendant convicted of compelling the prostitution of a child in Texas from 5-99 years in prison or life.
How Can a Defense Lawyer Help?
Because child sex cases are so different from any other kinds of cases, it is crucial that you find a highly experienced Collin County lawyers who has extensive knowledge of sex laws and legal processes associated with prostitution and other sex-related crimes in Texas. It is also extremely important to seek help from defense attorneys who both have handled sex crime cases for decades and have a proven track record of achieving positive results for clients.
While each case is unique, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can:
- Prevent charges from ever being filed
- Identify discrepancies in witness statements
- Minimize the impact
Without question, Texas law enforcement is extremely emboldened when it comes to sex offenses, especially when a child is involved, and they are all prosecuted heavily in Collin County. Sadly, we know all too well that the number of people falsely accused continues to destroy lives. Public opinion also tends to hold the accused or charged as guilty – not as innocent unless proven guilty.
If you have been falsely accused of compelling child prostitution, we want you to know we believe in your innocence. With a fearless record of taking these cases to trial, our dedicated team of Plano child molestation lawyers will work hard and fight tirelessly to help clear your name and secure your future.
Contact us today to share your story and hear how we can help you.
We have won hundreds of dismissals and Not Guilty verdicts for past clients in these kinds of cases and are ready to battle for you just the same.
Found Not Guilty
Potential Sentence: Up to 25 years in prison, with a $10,000 fine
Found Not Guilty
Potential Sentence: Up to 20 years in prison
Found Not Guilty
Potential Sentence: 2-10 years in prison
Barbieri Law Firm, P.C. Founding Attorney Heather Barbieri Featured in D Magazine
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