By Law Office of A. Oliver Hassibi

July 9, 2017

Prostitution is commonly referred to as “one of the oldest trades in existence,” and yet, it’s still against the law almost everywhere in the United States with the exception of a certain part of Nevada. Often, people argue, “Prostitution involves two consenting adults, why on Earth is it still illegal?” While criminalizing prostitution seems ridiculous to some people, there are reasons why it’s illegal to this day, including:

  • Prostitution promotes the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Prostitution promotes human trafficking and the victimization of children.
  • Since prostitution is an illegal enterprise, the state does not collect revenue through taxes.
  • Prostitution promotes adultery, which goes against the mores of society.

Here in Texas, you can find prostitution under Section 43.02 of the Texas Penal Code; a person commits this offense if he or she knowingly offers, agrees to, or engages in sexual conduct in exchange for a fee. It’s also prostitution if someone solicits another in public to engage in “sexual conduct for hire.” So, if “Jessica” told Bob that he could have sex with her friend “Tina” for $200, Jessica could be charged with prostitution for soliciting Bob.

Under the law, it’s possible for a man or woman to be charged with prostitution, regardless if he or she offered or received payment for the services. Pursuant to Sec. 43.02, prostitution is a Class B misdemeanor upon a first offense, punishable by up to 6 months in jail, or by a maximum fine of $2,000, or by a fine and imprisonment.

Prostitution is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail, or by a maximum $4,000 fine, or by a fine and incarceration if the defendant has been convicted of prostitution on one or two previous occasions. If the defendant has been convicted of the offense on three or more occasions, it’s a state jail felony.

Note: If the person solicited is under the age of 18, prostitution is a second-degree felony. It is not a defense to claim that you did not know the prostitute was a minor, nor is it a defense to say the prostitute lied about his or her age.

Are you facing prostitution charges in Fort Worth, Texas? If so, I urge you to contact my firm to schedule a free, confidential consultation! Don’t let this charge ruin your future and your reputation! Contact me to get started on your defense.