Your first reaction after police arrest you for soliciting prostitution in Texas is shame and fear. Shame that people who know you may change their opinion of you and fear that you will be arrested and convicted. In Texas, anyone charged with soliciting prostitution can face state jail time if they are convicted.
What Does Soliciting Prostitution Mean In Texas?
According to Texas Penal Code Section 43.021 (a) defines solicitation of prostitution as “A person commits an offense if the person knowingly offers or agrees to pay a fee to another person for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with that person or another.”
Soliciting prostitution is a state jail felony except in the following situations:
(1) a felony of the third degree if the actor has previously been convicted of an offense under Subsection (a) or under Section 43.02(b), as that law existed before September 1, 2021; or
(2) a felony of the second degree if the person with whom the actor agrees to engage in sexual conduct is:
(A) younger than 18 years of age, regardless of whether the actor knows the age of the person at the time of the offense;
(B) represented to the actor as being younger than 18 years of age; or
(C) believed by the actor to be younger than 18 years of age.
Since the Texas definition of soliciting prostitution is so broad, you may find yourself in a lot of trouble even if no sexual conduct takes place. This is why you need an experienced lawyer to help you fight these charges as soon as you are arrested.
Have You Been Arrested For Soliciting Prostitution?
Police cannot just arrest a couple and charge them for soliciting prostitution. There are certain requirements that the police need to meet before they arrest you. These include:
Probable cause: Police must have probable cause which means they must have made the conclusion that you have committed a crime based on the facts and circumstances. They must observe trustworthy evidence that makes them conclude that a crime has been committed. A case may be dismissed if an officer arrests you without probable cause.
Reasonable suspicion: This means that the facts and circumstances would make any reasonable or objective person conclude that a crime was committed. But the police cannot arrest you based on reasonable suspicion alone. To gain probable cause, the police may ask you certain questions and depending on how you respond, may arrest you.
What Happens After An Arrest?
After the police arrest you, they take you through booking, arraignment, bail, preliminary hearing, trial, and then sentencing. Police collect your personal information, fingerprints, and photograph during booking. At the arraignment, you get to hear the charges against you. It is at this time that you can either enter a guilty, not guilty, or no-contest plea.
After the arraignment depending on the severity of your case, you may or may not spend time in jail. The court will set bail and after you pay bail, you will be released until the trial date.