Dallas Solicitation Defense Lawyers
When the police accuse you of soliciting a prostitute, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. You could face severe penalties upon conviction, and the laws in Texas are incredibly complex and rigorous. That’s when you need a trusted ally, someone who knows the legal labyrinth like the back of their hand. A skilled solicitation defense lawyer is a lifeline during these challenging times.
With the potential for steep fines, damaging criminal records, and the life-altering impact of prison time, there’s too much at stake to risk handling your case yourself. Your rights, reputation, and future could hang in the balance. The Dallas sex crimes lawyers at Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian can guide you through the storm by offering advice, advocating for your interests, and striving to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Together, we’ll confront these challenges and work toward reclaiming your peace of mind. Call (972) 369-0577 today or complete our contact form for a case evaluation.
How Does Texas Define Solicitation?
The Texas Penal Code says someone commits the crime of solicitation when they knowingly offer or agree to pay someone else for sexual acts with themself or another party. Simply put, soliciting prostitution in Texas means offering to pay someone for sexual acts, either with yourself or another person. The critical point here is that the exchange involves a fee or something else of value. Even if the sexual act doesn’t actually occur, the offer or agreement itself could still result in a solicitation charge.
Penalties for Solicitation in Texas
Under the current Texas Penal Code, solicitation is a state jail felony, and the penalties include up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. Furthermore, a conviction for a state jail felony requires the offender to spend at least 180 days in jail.
While those are the baseline penalties for solicitation in Texas, the penalties can escalate in certain circumstances. Anyone previously convicted of solicitation before Sept. 1, 2021, could face a third-degree felony charge if they commit the offense again under the new law. The penalties for a third-degree felony include up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Furthermore, solicitation is now a second-degree felony in any of the following circumstances:
- The person solicited is younger than 18, no matter whether the offender knew that at the time
- The person solicited represented themselves as being younger than 18, even if they are 18 or older
- The person who solicited the sexual acts thought the other party was younger than 18
The penalties for a second-degree felony are steep and could include up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Lastly, don’t forget how a sex crimes conviction can impact your life aside from going to prison. You might have to register as a sexual offender, which can keep you from living in certain areas or finding a job. Even if you don’t have to register as a sexual offender, a felony conviction goes on your permanent record and could impact your ability to obtain a loan, find work, and your voting rights.
Defenses to Solicitation Charges in Texas
In the face of solicitation charges, you might feel backed into a corner. But take heart — there are defenses available that could significantly influence the outcome of your case. Here are some of the most common ones that we may consider, depending on the specifics of your situation:
- Lack of Evidence: The prosecution must prove your case beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you. If there isn’t sufficient evidence that you knowingly solicited prostitution, this can be a solid defense. Our attorneys can analyze the evidence and possibly identify gaps in the prosecution’s case.
- Misunderstanding or Miscommunication: If there was a misunderstanding or miscommunication, and you did not intend to solicit a prostitute, this could be a powerful defense. It’s all about what you intended — or didn’t intend — at the time of the alleged offense.
- Entrapment: This defense might apply if a law enforcement officer induced you to commit a crime you would not have otherwise committed. If you were pressured, tricked, or manipulated into solicitation by an officer, this could be a viable defense. However, it’s important to note that simply being provided an opportunity to commit the crime does not constitute entrapment.
- Mistaken Identity: Even with modern technology, mistakes happen in criminal cases. If the police wrongly identified you, perhaps through a flawed lineup or a mistaken eyewitness, we could use this as a basis for your defense.
How Our Solicitation Defense Lawyers Can Help
Don’t panic if the police have accused you of solicitation. Here’s how a defense lawyer can help you navigate this challenging time:
- Understanding the Law: Texas law, especially regarding sex crimes like solicitation, can be complex and tricky to navigate. A defense lawyer has the training and experience to understand these laws thoroughly. They can explain the charges, potential penalties, and overall legal process to you in a clear and understandable way.
- Protecting Your Rights: A defense lawyer is, above all, your advocate. They are there to protect your rights throughout the entire legal process. They can ensure that law enforcement and the courts treat you fairly and that any evidence against you was obtained legally.
- Negotiation and Plea Bargains: In some cases, a defense lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce your charges or to work out a plea bargain. This could result in lesser penalties or even the dismissal of your case.
- Emotional Support: Facing a solicitation charge can be emotionally draining. Your lawyer can provide reassurance, guidance, and a shoulder to lean on during this difficult time.
- Trial Representation: If your case goes to trial, a defense lawyer will represent you in court. They will present your defense, cross-examine witnesses, and challenge the prosecution’s evidence, all with the aim of obtaining the best possible outcome for you.
Remember, a solicitation charge isn’t the end of the road. Our team is committed to providing not just legal expertise, but also the genuine care and attention that your case deserves. Call (972) 369-0577 today or reach out online for a free consultation.