Important steps to take following a prostitution sting
Prostitution is prohibited in Texas, as in all other states (except Nevada). Defined by law as offering or providing sexual acts in exchange for compensation, prostitution is a crime that can take place in a variety of places. Therefore, law enforcement has become increasingly creative over the years in their approach to targeting suspected prostitution offenders.
Understanding and protecting your rights can be challenging if you are currently facing a criminal charge for prostitution. Therefore, your first call following a bust should be to a reliable prostitution defense lawyer.
What to do during a prostitution sting arrest
While the manner in which prostitution transactions are arranged has changed with technology, the main strategies law enforcement agencies use to make arrests for prostitution remain unchanged. Most utilize some variation of the “sting” operation (or “bust”) to crack down on prostitution.
Due to the secretive, commercial nature of prostitution, most participants tend to be tied to a particular area of town or enterprise. These characteristics of prostitution activity make it possible for police to set up sting operations by monitoring areas of town that have a high level of prostitution activity. Police also often monitor specific people who appear to be connected to illegal sex work.
During a sting operation, an officer may pose as a “john” or other party who wishes to play a role in a prostitution transaction. Once the other parties agree to the transaction, the monitoring police agency will generally arrive on the scene to arrest everyone who appears to be involved.
At the time of arrest, officers often place people in custody first and ask questions later. Therefore, it is within your interest to immediately request an attorney and to speak with them prior to responding to police questioning.
What to do when charged for prostitution in Texas
After the initial arrest and booking phase, you will appear in court where a judge will inform you of your charges and you will be required to enter a plea. Your attorney will advise you prior to your court appearance to help you make decisions that are least likely to harm your case. Because prostitution is typically a relatively minor offense, you will likely be released on bail after agreeing to return for a later court date.
While you may be tempted to breathe a sigh of relief at this point, your criminal court case doesn’t end here. In fact, it’s only just beginning. You will need to work with your lawyer to build the best case for your defense. While you may technically request an attorney at any time, it’s always best to contact an attorney immediately.
From the moment you enter police custody, law enforcement and the state will be monitoring your statements and behavior closely for evidence to help them build a case for your conviction. Your attorney can help you avoid unnecessarily and accidentally incriminating yourself.
What to do when you are released from police custody
In some cases, the police may arrest you, only to later release you because they no longer have a reason to keep you in custody. Release from police custody doesn’t automatically mean they are no longer investigating you. Therefore, you should contact a prostitution defense lawyer to discuss your interactions with police.
It’s always better to be prepared to protect your rights and defend yourself against a criminal case should one arise from information gathered at the time of your initial arrest.
Possible defenses against a prostitution bust charge in Texas
There are several effective defenses an attorney may be able to use to defend you against a prostitution charge. If you were arrested during a large prostitution sting, your attorney may be able to use the entrapment defense by establishing that you never had an intent to participate in prostitution absent police interference. If the facts of your case permit your attorney to establish that there was no plan to exchange money, the activity will not meet the state’s definition of prostitution.
You may also be acquitted if your attorney is able to establish that your behavior was influenced by duress. Therefore, you should be fully honest with your attorney to allow him or her to build the best case for your legal defense.
If you have been arrested for prostitution, the time to obtain legal representation and protection is now. At the Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp, we offer knowledgeable, trustworthy and compassionate legal representation to those who are facing Texas prostitution charges. We will work with you to help you put your best foot forward in court. Our goal is to help you put your criminal charge behind you so you can move on and breathe a sigh of relief.