Prostitution is sometimes referred to as "the oldest profession." Whether that's true or not, it's certainly been around in Texas for a long time. Today a conviction on prostitution or solicitation of prostitution charges can result in serious penalties, including fines and jail time. The damage to a person's reputation can be immense, especially if the defendant is a prominent member of the community.
Under Texas law, both the alleged prostitute and the alleged customer can be charged with prostitution. The crime of solicitation of prostitution may occur if either party simply made an offer to exchange a sexual act for money; no money need change hands and no sex act need take place in order to result in a criminal charge.
Sometimes prostitution arrests are made after residents put pressure on local officials to clean up a particular neighborhood. At other times, especially in recent years, arrests are made after lengthy investigations into human trafficking allegations. Sting operations, in which undercover police officers pose as prostitutes or customers, are a common law enforcement tactic in prostitution investigations.
Those facing prostitution and related sex crime charges should not lose hope. With the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney, it is often possible to get the charges reduced or dismissed. At the Law Offices of Jed Silverman, we have extensive experience defending individuals who are accused of alleged sex crimes, including prostitution and solicitation of prostitution. These cases often turn on what exactly was said between the defendant and an undercover officer. In some cases, it is possible to defend these charges on the basis of entrapment. Evidence that the defendant was in fact a victim of human trafficking and coerced into prostitution can also result in dismissal of the charges.