Compelling prostitution generally consists of “pimping” another person for sex acts. Under Tex. Pen. Code § 43.05, individuals commit the crime of compelling prostitution if they knowingly cause another to commit prostitution by using force, threat, or fraud, or if they cause a child under the age of 18 to commit prostitution by any means, regardless as to whether they know the age of the child at the time of the offense. Although “by any means” is far from clear, in most cases, it is enough if the accused provided the opportunity for the minor to participate in prostitution and persuaded the minor to engage in the prostitution. However, the commission of prostitution is not a requirement for a conviction on compelling prostitution charges.
In many cases, compelling prostitution charges arise from a police sting, in which police set up prostitution services designed to catch prostitutes, johns, and pimps. Charges of compelling prostitution also often originate from human trafficking investigations.
Compelling prostitution is a second-degree felony offense, but it becomes a first-degree felony offense if it involves a child under the age of 18. A conviction for a second-degree felony can result in two to 20 years in prison and a fine of $10,000, and conviction for a first-degree felony can result in two to 20 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
Judging from these penalties, whereas prostitution is typically a minor misdemeanor offense, compelling prostitution is not a lesser offense. Individuals convicted of compelling prostitution could face decades in prison, especially when minors are involved. The criminal defense lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the legal defense of countless individuals who are facing criminal charges, including charges involving bribery. We are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf to get the best outcome possible in your case. Call our office today at (512) 474-4445 to set up an appointment with our criminal defense attorneys today.