In Texas, it is a crime to commit prostitution. Under Texas law, a person commits the crime of prostitution if they knowingly engage in or offer to engage in sexual contact for a fee or if they solicit another person in a public place for sexual conduct. The offense is established by either soliciting or receiving a fee.
It is also a crime to promote prostitution (also called pimping or pandering). Promoting prostitution includes receiving money or other proceeds from an agreement to participate in the proceeds from prostitution. For example, if Bob were to agree with Larry to split the fee from Sally's act of prostitution, that constitutes the crime of promotion of prostitution. Promotion of prostitution also occurs when one person solicits another to engage in sexual contact with a third party. For example, if Bob talked to Larry and got him to engage in sexual contact with Sally for a fee, that amounts to the promotion of prostitution as well.
Compelling prostitution is a crime where the defendant knowingly causes a child under the age of 18 to commit prostitution, regardless of whether the defendant knew the age of the child or not. Additionally, the solicitation of prostitution -- such as inquiring about a sex worker's rate -- is charged as prostitution under Texas prostitution laws.
Texas Prostitution Laws at a Glance
|Statute||Texas Penal Code § 43.02 - 43.06|
|Statutory Definition of Prostitution||
(a) A person commits an offense if, in return for receipt of a fee, the person knowingly:
(b) A person commits an offense if, based on the payment of a fee by the actor or another person on behalf of the actor, the person knowingly:
An offense is established under Subsection (a) regardless of whether the actor is offered or actually receives the fee. An offense is established under Subsection (b) regardless of whether the actor or another person on behalf of the actor offers or actually pays the fee.
|Statutory Definition of Pimping/Pandering/Managing a Prostitution Enterprise||
A person commits an offense if, acting other than as a prostitute receiving compensation for personally rendered prostitution services, he or she knowingly:
A person commits an offense if he knowingly owns, invests in, finances, controls, supervises, or manages a prostitution enterprise that uses two or more prostitutes.
|Statutory Definition of Compelling Prostitution||
A person commits an offense if the person knowingly causes by any means a child younger than 18 years to commit prostitution, regardless of whether the actor knows the age of the child at the time.
|Classification of the Crime||
|Sentences and Penalties||
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- please contact a Texas criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Charged With Prostitution? Get Legal Help Today
Depending on your level of involvement and the severity of the case, prostitution and related offenses can result in everything from a few weeks in jail to serious time in prison. Regardless of your charges, your best defense is the counsel of a professional legal team. Get started on your case today by reaching out to a Texas defense attorney.
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