Promotion of Prostitution Attorney :: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp
The promotion of prostitution is considered a type of pimping offense in Texas. If an individual is facing a promotion of prostitution charge in Texas, he or she might have been tagged in a sting operation.
Local and state police and federal law enforcement agencies often implement prostitution sting operations in attempts to arrest offenders for the promotion of prostitution.
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Promotion of Prostitution in Texas
Texas Penal Code Section 43.03(a) defines promotion of prostitution, stating that an individual may be convicted of promotion of prostitution if 1) he or she receives money or goods from a prostitute or 2) solicits another person to participate in sexual conduct with others for money or goods.
Section 43.03(a)(s) states that an individual may be convicted of promotion of prostitution if the prosecutor proves solicitation:
- The definition of solicitation of prostitution isn’t contained in the statute. However, the concept involves that an individual attempted or succeeded in selling or asking for sexual favors in exchange for compensation.
- A crucial exemption to the law is that the prostitute can’t be convicted of promotion of prostitution if he or she personally exchanged sex for money, goods, or other compensation.
Promotion of Prostitution Charges
If the state’s attorneys believe a defendant is responsible for another person’s prostitution activity, he or she may be charged with promotion of prostitution.
The prosecution must prove that the defendant solicited or maintained an agreement with a prostitute to share in his or her proceeds of prostitution:
- The defendant isn’t necessarily guilty, but he or she can be charged if the state’s attorneys have probable cause, a low threshold of proof that often relies on the word of an arresting officer or some evidence.
Promotion of Prostitution Penalties in Texas
House Bill 29 (H.B. 29, 2017) upgrades punishment of the promotion of prostitution to a state jail felony:
- The offender faces a third-degree felony if he or she has a prior conviction, or
- The offender faces a second-degree felony if he or she engaged a prostitute less than 18 years of age (even if the age of the prostitute was unknown when the offender engaged him or her).
Promotion of Prostitution vs. Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution in Texas
Aggravated promotion of prostitution is a more serious crime than the promotion of prostitution in Texas. It occurs if an individual runs (or helps to run) a prostitution enterprise or ring with at least two prostitutes. Texas Penal Code Section 43.04 (“Offenses against Public Order and Decency”) describe the crime:
- An individual commits the crime of aggravated promotion of prostitution if he or she “knowingly” manages, owns, supervises, invests in, controls, or finances at least two prostitutes in a prostitution enterprise.
- Prostitution enterprise isn’t defined by the statute, nor is the term prostitute. (The offense of prostitution is referenced at Section 43.02 of the Texas Penal Code.
Aggravated promotion of prostitute is considered a separate offense from the promotion of prostitution. In other words, it’s not an enhancement of the promotion of prostitute.
Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution Punishment
According to H.B. 29, aggravated promotion of prostitution in Texas was amended to a second-degree felony. If convicted of aggravated promotion of prostitution, the offender faces two to 20 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
However, aggravated promotion of prostitution may be punished as a first-degree felony if the promoter engages prostitute(s) less than 18 years of age (even if the prostitute claimed to be older or lied about his or her age). If convicted, the offender faces five to 99 years (life) behind bars and a $10,000 fine.
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Contact an Experienced Texas Prostitution Lawyer
If you are facing promotion of prostitution or aggravated promotion of prostitution charges, you need an experienced Houston prostitution attorney now. Contact The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp at 713-868-6100 to schedule an initial case evaluation.