Texas Penal Code 43.03 – Promotion of Prostitution
WHAT IS PROMOTION OF PROSTITUTION IN TEXAS?
Promotion of prostitution is the crime applicable to what is commonly referred to as the “pimp.” Texas law criminalizes soliciting clients on behalf of prostitutes, and receiving money from people for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with prostitutes.
WHAT IS THE PROMOTION OF PROSTITUTION LAW IN TEXAS?
Tex. Penal Code § 43.03. PROMOTION OF PROSTITUTION.
(a) A person commits an offense if, acting other than as a prostitute receiving compensation for personally rendered prostitution services, he or she knowingly:
(1) receives money or other property pursuant to an agreement to participate in the proceeds of prostitution; or
(2) solicits another to engage in sexual conduct with another person for compensation.
(b) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree, except that the offense is:
(1) a felony of the second degree if the actor has been previously convicted of an offense under this section; or
(2) a felony of the first degree if the actor engages in conduct described by Subsection (a)(1) or (2) involving a person younger than 18 years of age engaging in prostitution, regardless of whether the actor knows the age of the person at the time of the offense.
WHAT IS THE PENALTY CLASS FOR PROMOTION OF PROSTITUTION IN TEXAS?
Promotion of prostitution is enhanceable, meaning the offense level increases if a person has been previously convicted thereof. The first offense for promotion of prostitution is a third degree felony, punishable by two to ten years in prison. A subsequent charge after a person has been convicted at least once is a second degree felony, punishable by two to 20 years in prison.
Regardless of whether the person has prior convictions, promotion of prostitution is a first degree felony, punishable by five to 99 years of life in prison, if the purported prostitute being offered to another is under 18 years of age.
WHAT IS THE PUNISHMENT RANGE FOR PROMOTION OF PROSTITUTION IN TEXAS?
Promotion of prostitution charged as any grade of felony carries a maximum fine of $10,000. In addition to the fine, a person charged with third degree felony promotion of prostitution faces two to ten years in prison. Second degree felonies carry a possible prison sentence between two and 20 years. A person charged with promotion of a prostitute under 18, a first degree felony, faces five to 99 years or life in prison.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR PROMOTION OF PROSTITUTION IN TEXAS?
A person charged with promotion of prostitution may be eligible for probation after a conviction, or deferred adjudication without a conviction, for a period not to exceed ten years.
WHAT ARE THE DEFENSES TO PROMOTION OF PROSTITUTION IN TEXAS?
Although there are no listed statutory defenses to promotion of prostitution, a person may attempt to negate one or more of the elements the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
For example, the State must show the accused was an actual party to the agreement to participate in the proceeds of prostitution, rather than a mere conduit. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals explained in Duffield v. State that a fellow prostitute in a prostitution enterprise who accepts money from other prostitutes to give to their pimp is a mere conduit, and may not be charged with promotion of prostitution.
WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR PROMOTION OF PROSTITUTION IN TEXAS?
The limitation period for promotion of prostitution is three years.
PROMOTION OF PROSTITUTION IN TEXAS
Texas law punishes anyone acting on a prostitutes behalf who solicits clients or accepts money for sexual acts with the prostitute.
TEXAS PROMOTION OF PROSTITUTION COURT CASES
The case law regarding promotion of prostitution in Texas illustrates the types of conduct punished by the statute.
- In Hsu v. State, the defendant managed a Houston stripclub. Undercover officers asked their waitress about the price of sex with one of the women, who confirmed at least one of the women was available. The defendant came to their table to confirm the “rules,” then called over a woman who agreed to sex for a fee. The defendant was later charged with and convicted of promotion of prostitution. The appellate court affirmed, finding the defendant, who was not personally rendering prostitution services, solicited the undercover agents to engage in sexual conduct with one of the women at his club.
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DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED .15
Driving facts involved failing to maintain a single lane and speeding. Client refused breath test and forced law enforcement to obtain search warrant for blood. Blood test result was not used after challenge from Defense, and State waived and abandoned charge.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Client was a college student, worried about the collateral consequences of an alcohol offense. After negotiation and review of the traffic stop, the case was dismissed. Client received no criminal conviction. The charge was later expunged and deleted from client’s record.
DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED .15+
Client was involved in minor accident. Client was at fault in accident. A young executive, client was concerned that a criminal conviction for DWI would result in termination. After review of the traffic stop, it was clear the officer lacked probable cause for arrest. State eventually dismissed DWI charge. Client received no criminal conviction.
Client, a military veteran, was facing up to one year in jail. State could not prove intoxication by alcohol, and was prepared to proceed on loss of use by marijuana. After challenging the State to prove that marijuana was ingested at or near time of driving, and that marijuana impaired client’s driving, the State dismissed the case on the day of trial.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Driving facts involved a false claim by police that taillight was out. After challenging the reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop, the State was forced to dismiss the case when video did not match police report. Client has since expunged arrest, and has no criminal record.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Client is a public school teacher and faced immediate termination upon conviction. The facts of the case were bad. State was unwilling to budge in negotiation, and matter was set for trial – the last shot at avoiding a conviction and preserving client’s livelihood. State was forced to dismiss on day of trial. Client has no criminal record, and has since expunged the DWI arrest.
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