In Texas, prostitution is a Class A misdemeanor. Prostitution involves the sale of sexual services for something of value. An individual working as a prostitute must offer to engage in sexual conduct in exchange for something of value and solicit someone in a public area. A person convicted of prostitution can face about a year in jail. Also, anyone who forces an individual to become a prostitute in Texas can be charged with compelling prostitution.

What Is Compelling Prostitution?

Compelling prostitution is a crime that occurs if a person knowingly causes an individual to participate in prostitution by threat, force, or fraud. It also occurs when a person causes an individual younger than 18 years old to commit prostitution.

Is Promotion of Prostitution the Same as Compelling a Prostitute in Texas?

No. To promote prostitution, a person must act as a third party to receive compensation on behalf of an individual engaging in prostitution. Generally, all parties are consenting to the act of prostitution. To be charged with compelling a prostitute, a person must force an individual to work as a prostitute.

Does the Punishment for Compelling Prostitution Depend on the Prostitute’s Age?

Yes. It is a felony of the second degree if a person forces an adult into prostitution. A felony of the second degree means a person may face:

  • Two to 20 years in state prison
  • $10,000 fine
  • Pay a fine and spend time in state prison

If the person being forced into prostitution is a minor, then the crime is a first degree felony. A person convicted of compelling a minor into prostitution may face:

  • Five to 99 years in state prison
  • $10,000 fine
  • Fine and time in state prison

Should I Contact a Criminal Attorney about My Compelling Prostitution Charge?

You should contact a Texas criminal attorney about your compelling prostitution charge. Your criminal attorney will discuss your legal rights and defenses.