Legal Consequences of a Prostitution Arrest in Arlington & Dallas
As 300,000 visitors invade Arlington, Dallas and Fort Worth this week for Super Bowl XLV, an influx of 40,000 prostitutes are expected to follow. Local police are poised for a serious prostitution crackdown; for years they have been preparing for battle with this illegal trade that is now inseparable from the Super Bowl. In fact, Dallas police can be considered seasoned veterans in battling the human trafficking industry.
Dallas played host to last year’s NBA All-Star game, which also meant it hosted tens of thousands of prostitutes. Police found it to be an especially undesirable practice because many of the prostitutes were younger than 18. As a result, police will be making a full effort to enforce Super Bowl prostitution and solicitation through charges under Texas law.
Prostitution Under Texas Law
Texas law has two provisions that could be applicable in the common prostitution arrest scenario where a “John” or “trick” asks for or agrees to sexual conduct in exchange for a fee.
- The Texas Penal Code defines prostitution as the situation where a person offers to engage in, or agrees to engage in, or engages in sexual conduct for a fee or solicits another in a public place to engage in sexual conduct for hire.
- The Penal Code states that solicitation of prostitution is established whether the actor solicits a person to hire the actor or offers to hire the person.
The two above provisions are similar, but not identical. The first requires that the alleged offense take place in a public place. Also, the latter provision allows for someone to be prosecuted for solicitation of prostitution in a situation where he didn’t actually solicit the would-be prostitute himself, but sent another to do so on his behalf.
Consequences of Prostitution Charges
In Texas, solicitation of prostitution usually results in misdemeanor charges. However, certain factors, such as the age of the prostitute, can result in charges for multiple sex crimes and even escalate into felony charges.
For typical “john” arrests — including most that will occur at this year’s Super Bowl — the arrested person will face misdemeanor charges of solicitation or prostitution. The charged person potentially faces the following consequences:
- Thousands of dollars in fines
- Jail time
- Conviction on his criminal record
- Mug shot made public and posted on area billboards
- Injury to family relationships and career
Because the consequences can be far-reaching and significantly impact one’s life, it is crucial to defend against prostitution charges.
Defending Solicitation Charges
Because of the area’s commitment to battling Super Bowl prostitution, the police will be extremely aggressive and adopt an “act now, ask questions later” approach. A prostitution arrest does not mean that the arrestee is guilty of the crime.
Whether a solicitation or prostitution arrest is the result of a misunderstanding, err in judgment or mistake by law enforcement, anyone accused of a sex crime needs to take the charges seriously. Contact a reputable criminal defense attorney in the Dallas area; the lawyer will be able to address the charges for you, even if you have already returned home and left the area.