Soliciting A Prostitute Becomes A Felony in Texas | Atascosa County Defense Lawyer
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Soliciting A Prostitute Becomes A Felony

Posted on in Criminal Defense

jourdanton criminal defense lawyerBeginning next month, Texas will be the first state in the country to make soliciting a prostitute a felony. The measure, packaged in House Bill 1540, was introduced by state Rep. Senfronia Thompson, a Democrat from Houston, to combat human trafficking and curb “modern-day slavery.” She’s championed the issue for more than a decade. 

The bill received bipartisan support and received unanimous support in committee votes in both the House and Senate. After the Republican governor signed it into law in June, the Texas attorney general Ken Paxton called it “a substantial step towards curbing the demand for commercial sex” and explained that the measure will protect “vulnerable men, women, and children in our communities.” He added, “I commend our legislature for passing laws that fight this inexcusable offense.”

House Bill 1540

Before the passage of HB 1540, the Texas Penal Code equated the solicitation of a prostitute with prostitution itself, meaning the state saw both the John and the sex worker as equally guilty for the crime. The charge for either was a Class B misdemeanor, but it became a Class A misdemeanor if you were caught a second time, and a state felony if you were caught a third time. 

As of Sept. 1, 2021, if you offer or agree to pay a person for sex, you commit a state jail felony and could receive a jail sentence of 180 days and a $10,000 fine, according to the language of the new law. If you were convicted of soliciting a prostitute before and are charged with the new law, you could face a state felony of the third degree and could be punished with two to 10 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. 

The punishment for soliciting a prostitute increases if the victim is under the age of 18, whether you know it or not, or if you believe they are younger than 18 years of age. For that, you could be charged with a second-degree felony, which carries a sentence of two to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Contact An Atascosa County Sex Crimes Lawyer

If you have been charged with soliciting a prostitute or prostitution, contact an Atascocsa County criminal defense lawyer for legal support. The team at BCP Law consists of experienced attorneys with a winning record. Contact us today for a free consultation by calling 830-769-1010.

 

Source:

https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/news/releases/paxton-commends-legislature-making-texas-first-state-penalize-buying-sex-felony

https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=87R&Bill=HB1540

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/docs/pe/htm/pe.43.htm

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