Austin Solicitation of Prostitution Lawyer
Solicitation of Prostitution Attorney Proudly Serving Austin and Surrounding Areas
Have you been charged with Solicitation of Prostitution? If this is the case, consequences of being accused or charged can often be considerably worse than being convicted of a normal criminal offense. Sex crimes carry a lot of public condemnation and also touch on a more emotional level than their nonsexual-in-nature counterparts. The laws on Solicitation very from state to state. In some areas, solicitation falls under an “attempt” crime designation. If you’ve been charged in Texas, don’t try to navigate the court system alone. More than ever, you need compassionate and competent representation. An experienced Austin Solicitation of Prostitution Lawyer, like Paul Darrow, is your best bet for getting your charges reduced or even dismissed.
Common Effects of a Solicitation Charge
- Your family life is affected. The people you love most can find this charge unforgivable and may hastily react before hearing all the facts.
- Your reputation is slandered. Sometimes this charge can be published in the media, exposing you to intense public scrutiny. Your employer and others that trust you to get a job done may now doubt your ability to be effective.
- The stigma in our society can be insurmountable. Often times when this charge is attached to your name, people rush to judgment without ever consulting your version of the facts.
- Texas law creates a special enhancement scheme for prostitution cases. This means that once a person has been convicted of prostitution one time, the next time(s) the person is charged, he/she will face harsher punishment. You will need an Austin Solicitation of Prostitution lawyer to protect your rights.
In order to prove that a person committed the offense of prostitution, the government must show beyond a reasonable doubt that one of two different scenarios occurred. The first scenario is that the person accused knowingly offers to engage, agrees to engage, or engages in sexual conduct with another person for a fee.
The second scenario is that the person accused knowingly solicited another in a public place to engage with the person in sexual conduct for hire. This second scenario applies to the person who offers to pay for sex. These different scenarios and semantics can be a complicated scene to navigate. There’s never been a more crucial time to retain an Austin Attorney Paul Darrow to walk you through it.
How Solicitation of Prostitution Cases are Typically Investigated
A criminal charge for Solicitation of Prostitution or Prostitution is almost always the result of an undercover sting operation by a law enforcement agency. It is important to hire a criminal defense lawyer like Paul Darrow that is familiar with the tactics and methods that law enforcement uses to investigate and prosecute these types of crimes. As a former Assistant District Attorney, he knows from the “inside” how these cases are investigated and prosecuted. The investigation usually happens one of two ways.
In the first scenario, police officers act as if they are a prostitute soliciting everyday citizens in strip clubs, on the Internet, or the street corner. They are usually wearing a hidden microphone or “wire,” and try to get the other person to just make an agreement to exchange some type of sexual activity for money. Sometimes they video record the “transaction.” Many people are surprised to find out that just the mere agreement to exchange money for sex is a crime. The actual sex act doesn’t even have to occur.
In the second scenario, the undercover officer plays the role of the “John” or person looking to hire someone to give money to in exchange for a sexual act. These police officers typically look on the Internet or in strip clubs. They try and get someone to just make an agreement to exchange a sexual act for money. Again, these conversations are almost always recorded.
Defenses for Solicitation of Prostitution
In order for the Texas government to prove that a person committed a crime, it has to prove each and every part of the crime has been committed. Lawyers refer to these as the “elements” of the crime. To convict a person of any crime, the state has to prove each and every element beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a heavy burden to bear and Attorney Paul Darrow has the necessary experience to shoulder the burden and fight for an accused’s rights.
For example, if the government cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the identity of the accused is the same person who committed the act, then it cannot convict that person. Likewise, if the government cannot prove that the defendant had a certain state of mind or acted “knowingly,” it cannot convict the accused person.
Furthermore, unless the government can prove that an agreement was actually made beyond a reasonable doubt they are unable to convict a person of solicitation of prostitution or prostitution. Many times an overly zealous police officer tries to push and manipulate the person to make such an express agreement. These police officers many times jump the gun and arrest a person before any crime has actually occurred. Often times these cases can be successfully defended because the prosecutor cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt in a Texas court of law that there was, in fact, an express agreement.
In addition, the government cannot use the mere fact that a person has a previous criminal record or reputation for prostitution as proof that he was engaged in prostitution. For example, say the police find two people having sex in a car in a parking lot. The police run both people’s criminal record and see that one has a previous conviction for prostitution. Without any other evidence that the two were having sex in exchange for money, the government cannot prove that the two people committed the offense of prostitution. They may be charged with another crime, depending on the circumstances, but those facts alone do not prove prostitution, even where one of the people has a reputation or prior conviction for the offense.
Finally, the law allows for a defense where the person accused is a victim of human trafficking. This is because of the interest that law enforcement has taken in recent years in the phenomenon of human trafficking and the exploitation and abuse that often goes along with it. The Solicitation of Prostitution Attorney in Austin who best understands these many defenses and circumstances is Paul Darrow, and he is anxious to get to work on your defense.
Punishment Enhancements for Prostitution Charges
Prostitution charges carry with them a unique enhancement scheme. This means that a person who has had multiple prostitution charges faces harsher penalties with each conviction. The first charge of prostitution is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a possible fine of up to $2,000. A second or third prostitution charge is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a possible fine of up to $4,000. A fourth or fifth charge is a state jail felony, which is punishable by between 6 months to 2 years in state jail and a possible fine of up to $4,000.
CALL AUSTIN SOLICITATION OF PROSTITUTION LAWYER PAUL DARROW
Where a person is accused of soliciting a person under the age of 18, that person faces a second-degree felony, even where the accused has no knowledge of the other person’s age. A second-degree felony is punishable by between 2 and 20 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $10,000.
It is critical to hire an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney to defend you if you are charged with Solicitation of Prostitution. Attorney Paul Darrow is a former prosecutor that has dedicated his career to defending people accused of a crime. If you’re looking for an Austin sex crimes attorney who is tenacious, aggressive and knowledgeable, look no further than the Law Office of Paul Darrow.