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First-Time Solicitation Offense in Texas Is a Felony

high heels, handcuffs, and money to symbolize texas's new law on solicitation

Is Solicitation a Misdemeanor or Felony in Texas?

When H.B. 2975 takes effect on September 1, 2021, offering or agreeing to engage in sexual conduct in exchange for a fee will go from a Class A misdemeanor to a state jail felony. Texas just became the first state to make a first-time solicitation of prostitution offense a felony.

How Does this Change Penalties for a Solicitation Charge?

What this means is that in two months, anyone convicted of a first solicitation offense will face 180 days to 2 years in state jail and a fine of no more than $10,000. Previously the crime was punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a maximum fine of $4,000.

A second solicitation offense jumps from being a state jail felony to a third-degree felony. In Texas, third-degree felonies are penalized by 2 to 10 years of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

H.B. 2975 will amend Chapter 43 of the Texas Penal code by adding section 43.021, which specifically concerns solicitation of prostitution offenses. Subsections (b) and (c-1) of the current prostitution statute (section 43.02) will be transferred to the new statute.

Subsection (b) enumerates the elements of the offense, providing that it is a crime for a person to offer or agree to pay a fee to have sex with another person. Subsection (c-1) concerns the level of charges for first and subsequent offenses.

What to Do if You're Charged with Solicitation

Solicitation will soon be considered a more serious offense in Texas. It is imperative that anyone facing charges – whether now or when the new law takes effect – retain aggressive legal representation right away to seek to avoid having a misdemeanor or felony conviction on their record.

At The Law Offices of Jed Silverman, we are here to provide the defense you need in Houston. Call us at (713) 597-2221 or contact us online today.

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