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Promotion of Prostitution

Texas law prohibits all forms of prostitution. The participants are often called "the prostitute" (willing to perform a sex act for money), "the john" (willing to pay for the sex act), and "the pimp" (willing to facilitate and profit from the transaction). Criminal charges for "promotion of prostitution" apply to those who facilitate relationships with more than one prostitute and stand to gain the most financially.

Prostitution-related crimes in Texas can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the circumstances. Under Texas Penal Code Section 43.03, the crime of "promotion of prostitution" prohibits receiving compensation for personally rendered prostitution services by another. The offense requires proof that the defendant knowingly:

  1. received money or other property pursuant to an agreement to participate in the proceeds of prostitution; or
  2. solicited another to engage in sexual conduct with another person for compensation.

The crime of promoting prostitution is a class A misdemeanor. The crime can be charged as a state jail felony if the defendant has been previously convicted of an offense under this section.

The crime can be charged as a felony of the second degree if the defendant engages in the conduct involving a person younger than 18 years of age who was engaging in prostitution, regardless of whether the defendant knew the age of the person at the time the defendant committed the offense. More enhanced penalties apply to charges of "Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution," which is filed as a third-degree felony.

In the most serious cases, law enforcement and prosecutors will go after an entire organization from the main pimp, to recruiters, to managers, and all the way down to a female or male prostitute. Charges for compelling or promoting prostitution are often charged with engaging in organized criminal activity (EOCA).

Attorney for Promotion of Prostitution in San Antonio, TX

If you were charged with any type of prostitution or solicitation charge, including "Promotion of Prostitution" or "Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution," then contact a criminal defense attorney at Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr. We represent clients throughout San Antonio, TX, in Bexar County.

Call 210-226-1463 today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss the allegations against you and possible defenses that might apply to your case.


Enhanced Penalties for Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution

Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution under Section 43.04 requires a showing that a person manages, owns, invests in, finances, controls or supervises a prostitution enterprise that uses two or more prostitutes. Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution is charged as a third-degree felony under Texas law.

For prosecutions under Section 43.04, the crime of aggravated promotion of prostitution sets out six different ways of participating in the prostitution enterprise. The prostitution enterprise is defined by the statutory scheme as a business of two or more prostitutes. The business must have a planned or designed undertaking in which two or more persons offer to, agree to, or engage in sexual conduct.


Elements to Prove Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution

Under Texas law, the elements of the offense of aggravated promotion of prostitution include;

  1. a person knowingly;
  2. owns, invest, finances, controls, invests in, or supervises;
  3. a prostitution enterprise; and
  4. the prostitution enterprise uses two or more prostitutes.

These offenses are difficult to prosecute because the prosecutor must show the actual use of prostitutes by the enterprise. An allegation that uses an undercover law enforcement officer posing as prostitutes would not be sufficient for a charge of aggravated promotion of prostitution.

For prosecutions under Section 43.04, the term "prostitute" is defined as one who either offers to engage, agrees to engage, or engages in sexual conduct for hire. Without evidence that the conduct actual took place, insufficient evidence would exist for a conviction under Section 43.04.

Additionally, the crime requires proof that the defendant was willing to further the goals of the prostitution enterprise. The evidence to make that showing typically involves a showing that the defendant explained the services and fees or collected money. In many of these cases, the person accused with give a confession or make statements that he or she supervises, invests in, controls, finances, invest in or owns the prostitution enterprise.

 In other cases, the employees of the enterprise will make statements to meet this showing. In some cases, the declarations of employees have been held not to be hearsay and were admitted into evidence in a trial for aggravated promotion of prostitution. The charging document for this charge does not necessarily need to set out the names of the two or more prostitutes employed by the enterprise or the method used to promote it.


Additional Resources

Public Indecency and Prostitution Charges - Visit the website of the Texas Legislature to find the statutory language in Title 9, Chapter 43 offenses for public indecency including those charges under Subchapter A for prostitution, promotion of prostitution, and compelling prostitution.

Texas Inmates Charged with Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution - Visit the Texas Tribute to find statistics about Texas Prison Inmates charged with "aggravated promotion of prostitution." Find information on sentence length, prison sentence distribution, inmates by race, and inmates by sex. The aggregated crime statistics are based on National Crime Information Center (NCIC) data submitted by Texas Department of Criminal Justice staff.


Finding an Attorney for Charges of Promotion of Prostitution

If you were arrested for promotion of prostitution or aggravated promotion of prostitution then contact a criminal defense attorney at Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr. We represent clients throughout Plano, TX, in Collin County and Denton County. We also represent clients throughout the greater Dallas–Fort Worth area including Dallas County and Tarrant County, TX. 

Texas law provides for harsh penalties and punishments for any type of prostitution or solicitation charge, particularly for allegations of promoting prostitution. Call us today at 210-226-1463 to discuss your case and defenses that might apply.

We represent clients on related charges for public lewdness under Penal Code Section 21.07, prostitution and solicitation of prostitution under Penal Code Section 43.02, and compelling prostitution under Section 43.02.

Call 210-226-1463. We can begin your defense today.


This article was last updated on Friday, November 22, 2017.

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