(512) 476-4626

An arrest for engaging in, promoting or compelling prostitution can damage your career and reputation. The social stigma alone associated with the crime could hinder you from pursuing your professional or personal goals. Not only this, but if you’re convicted you’ll be required to face the steep statutory penalties including expensive fines and time in jail or prison.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for prostitution, it’s important you have experienced legal representation on your side. Law enforcement tend to utilize undercover officers and sting operations to identify people committing a prostitution crimes. The evidence secured from that online sting could give the prosecution just what they need to convict you.

Don’t be idle and defend your freedom today by calling an experienced defense lawyer.

Attorney for Prostitution in Travis County, TX

Were you charged with soliciting, engaging, or compelling another into prostitution? If so, we urge you to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Prostitution charges could result in a felony, meaning you could be sentenced to prison for your charges. Protect your future and take the first step to building your defense by calling The Law Office of Kevin Bennett.

Attorney Kevin Bennett is an experienced sex crimes defense lawyer. He has represented people from all types of sex offenses such as prostitution, sex trafficking and sexual assault. Using his resources and knowledge, he can assist you with your case. Call (512) 476-4626 now to set up your first consultation free. The Law Office of Kevin Bennett represents people throughout the greater Travis County area including Austin, Lago Vista, Pflugerville, and Del Valle.

Overview of Prostitution in Texas

Penalties for Engaging in Prostitution in Texas

It’s illegal in Texas to receive money in exchange for a sexual act or sexual activity. In Texas, engaging in prostitution is a class B misdemeanor. The penalties for a class B misdemeanor include:

  • Up to 180 days in jail; and
  • A fine of up to $2,000

Various factors can lead to an enhanced sentence for engaging in prostitution. Having a previous prostitution conviction will result in your charges being reclassified as a class A misdemeanor. The consequences for a class A misdemeanor include:

  • Up to 12 months in jail; and
  • A fine of up to $4,0000

Having three or more prior prostitution-related convictions will result in your charges being elevated further. You will instead face a state jail felony, which is punishable by:

  • Up to 24 months in state jail; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000

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What is the Penalty for Soliciting Prostitution in Texas?

In 2021, the State of Texas was the first to enhance the penalty for soliciting to a felony offense. The law was passed via House Bill 1540 in May 2021 by both the House and Senate in Texas. It was then put into effect in September 2021, which automatically reclassified a first-time soliciting offense from a class B misdemeanor to a state jail felony.

Any person guilty of soliciting a prostitute will now be charged with a state jail felony. If convicted, the defendant will face up to two years in prison with a minimum of 180 days and a fine of up to $10,000. A second conviction will enhance the penalty to a third-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

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Penalties for Promoting Prostitution in Texas

You don’t have to engage in prostitution or solicit a prostitute to be charged with a crime. Promoting, advertising or profiting from a prostitution scheme is also an illicit crime. According to the Texas Penal Code Section 43.03, you’re guilty of promoting prostitution if you:

  • Knowingly received property or money from a prostitution scheme; or
  • Solicit a patron to engage in prostitution with a sex worker

The crime of promoting prostitution is a state jail felony, which is punishable by:

  • Up to 24 months in state jail; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000

Having prior prostitution-related offenses on your record will result in an enhanced sentence. If you have a prior conviction for a prostitution offense, you will face a second-degree felony. The penalties for a second-degree felony include:

  • Up to 10 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000

Promoting prostitution involving a minor will also lead to elevated sentence. The penalties will be elevated to a second-degree felony if you do any of the following:

  • Agree to engage in sexual conduct with a minor; or
  • Promote prostitution of a person knowing they were a minor

A second-degree felony can lead to the following maximum penalties:

  • Up to 20 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000

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Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution in Texas

Certain prostitution promotion cases are so intricate they are given an aggravated sentence. Prostitution schemes that involve an underground “brothel house” or sex work enterprise with more than two sex workers could lead to aggravated promotion charges. You can also be charged with a. crime for managing or supervising sex workers in a prostitution organization.

Aggravated promotion of prostitution is a second-degree felony, which is punishable by:

  • Up to 20 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000

The charges will be reclassified to a first-degree felony if the enterprise includes persons under the age of 18. A first-degree felony is one of the highest charges you can receive in Texas with maximum penalties of up to 99 years or life in prison.

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Texas Penalties for Compelling Prostitution

Coercing or compelling another person into prostitution is also a crime in Texas. According to Texas law, you’re compelling prostitution if you:

  • Threaten them with bodily injury if they don’t prostitute themselves;
  • Force them into prostitution;
  • Utilize fraud or coerce them into prostitution; or
  • Compel a person you know is under the age of 18 into prostitution

Compelling prostitution is a second-degree felony, which can result in:

  • Up to 20 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000

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How Old Do You Have to Be to Strip in Texas 2021?

The year of 2021 was pivotal for sex crimes in the State of Texas. In addition to the new John enhancement, the State also passed another bill known as S.B 315 which outlawed certain types of employment to people under the age of 21. Now, thanks to the law that was put into effect in June, the State will no longer allow strip clubs and other sexually oriented businesses to hire any person who is under the age of 21 even if they are legally not a minor.

The new legislation has put 100s out of business and placed exotic dance clubs as well as other businesses influx. Now, if a sexually oriented business like a adult goods store, sex store, webcam studio, or modeling studio hires a person under the age of 21, they could be charged with a second-degree felony. That means the employer/business owner could face up to 20 years in prison (minimum of two years) and a fine of up to $10,000 if they violate Section 43.251 of the Texas Penal Code.

The law’s passing infantilizes young adults in the State of Texas. Not only will young adults no longer be able to find employment in sexually oriented businesses, but now they can’t enter the premises of any sexually oriented business under Texas law. Violations of this law will result in a class A misdemeanor which carries a sentence of up to one year in jail.

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Additional Resources

Coalition Abolition Prostitution – Visit the official website of the non-profit called Coalition Abolition Prostitution International (CAP). Access the site to learn more about the mission of CAP, reformative legislative to help prostitution victims, and statistics about sex work.

Prostitution Laws in Texas – Visit the official website for Texas Legislation to learn more about the laws surrounding prostitution. Access the statute to read the legal language, admissible defenses and other related offenses such as obscenity.

Prostitution Defense Attorney in Travis County, Texas

If you or someone you know has been arrested for a prostitution-related offense, it’s important you have legal counsel that you can trust. Find an attorney who’s compassionate with clients and effective in the courtroom with The Law Office of Kevin Bennett. Kevin Bennett understands the risks associated with a prostitution charge and want to do everything in his power to defend your case.

Contact him now at (512) 476-4626 to set up your first consultation completely free. Visit us in Austin Texas at our offices to discuss your charges. We also represent people throughout the Travis County area such as Pflugerville, Del Valle and Lago Vista.

This article was last updated on September 27, 2019.