Houston Prostitution Lawyer Eric Benavides explains the recent policy changes in Harris Country regarding prostitution cases and the Harris County Pretrial Intervention Program.
There is a new policy in Harris County when it comes to prostitution cases. Prostitution cases used to be eligible for Harris County pretrial interventions. However, District Attorney Kim Ogg recently passed a policy that “Johns” would no longer be allowed to apply for pretrial interventions in Harris County. For the individuals who are “selling sex”, there is still a possibility of getting into this program, but not for the “buyers”.
The pretrial intervention program allows an individual to earn a dismissal. This is a great opportunity for those with no criminal record to make sure that their criminal record stays clean. After a case is dismissed through a pretrial intervention, the individual can apply for an expunction. But now, because of the new policy, this is no longer an option for many individuals who are charged with prostitution.
This new policy is a big problem for many individuals in Harris County. Many people choose to do the pretrial intervention because it leads to a dismissal. One problem with prostitution cases, along with other types of sex cases, is that it can look embarrassing on your criminal record. No one wants to apply for a job and have a prostitution charge show up. Another problem is this is one type of charge that could potentially give individuals problems if they are not a United States citizen. Many individuals who would normally work the case out, are now left with no choice but to set their case for trial.
I recently heard from an assistant district attorney about a new program that was potentially in the works. However, I was able to personally ask district attorney Kim Ogg about these potential new programs recently and she assured me that there was no truth to the rumors.
Worst case scenario, if you are charged with prostitution and you are guilty, you would still qualify for a deferred adjudication probation. This is a special type of probation that if you finish it there is no conviction, however, will not be able to get an expunction on your case. The best thing that you would be able to do is apply for a nondisclosure which would seal the record for the general public but not for the government. A deferred adjudication is considered a conviction for immigration purposes. If you are undocumented, we will have to review our options and choose the best option for your particular situation
This is the current status as of June 1, 2018. This policy is subject to change at any time. If you are looking for a Houston Prostitution Lawyer feel free to give me a call. I can let you know what the current status is of this program at that time.
Eric Benavides is a Houston Criminal Defense Attorney. He is a co-founder of Benavides & Serrano, PLLC. He is a graduate of the prestigious Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Trial College, and is a proven trial lawyer. He has been recognized as one of the best criminal lawyers in Houston by the Houstonia magazine, and has earned a perfect 10.0 rating on AVVO.