As a Houston Prostitution Lawyer, I have seen all types of different situations where individuals are charged with prostitution. Many people search for a Houston Prostitution Lawyer hoping that they will get answers about their case, and about the defenses that they might have. Let’s look at this from both the view of the “buyer” and the “seller”.
There tends to be more “buyers” arrested for Prostitution. And the reason is that the police set up undercover sting operations almost every weekend. It seems that not a week goes by that the police post a mountain of mugshots online, or on social media, bragging about all the people they arrested.
These undercover stings typically happen one of two ways:
1. There is an undercover officer on the street posing as a Prostitute. The buyer approaches them, or the officer approaches the potential buyer. A conversation happens that is typically always recorded by audio, video, or both. If there is an agreement for illegal activity, the arrest team (who is waiting in the wings) comes out and arrests the buyer.
2. An undercover officer poses as a prostitute/escort online. A conversation, typically by phone or text ensues, and the person is arrested when they show up to the hotel room.
Now it may seem that these cases might be open and shut, but there are instances where there are defenses. In this type of situation, the most common defense is an argument of lack of intent. While there is no specific intent needed per the penal code, it is a common-sense type of defense.
Take this conversation for example where an undercover officer walks up to a person in a car:
- Undercover Officer: “Hey, what is going on, want to have some fun?”
- Defendant: “What type of fun”
- Undercover Officer: “Whatever you want, we can have sex for $40”
- Defendant: “No I am ok”
- Undercover Officer: “Come on, it will be fun”
- Defendant: “No I am ok”
- Undercover Officer: “I promise it will be worth your time”
- Defendant: “ok”
- Undercover Officer: “Great, meet me right there at that hotel”
At this point, instead of going right to the hotel, the person drives left to get away from the undercover officer. Sometimes people tell a person what they want to hear just to make them shut up. The problem? As soon as he says ok, an arrest team is on him, and arrest him down the street.
Should this person be arrested for prostitution? I don’t think so either. This person needs a good Houston Prostitution Lawyer to fight for them.
What about a defense for sellers? The most common defense is a defense of entrapment. Entrapment is defined in penal code section 8.06. It is a defense that a person broke the law because he was induced so by an officer who used persuasive means likely to cause the person to commit the offense.
So how might this happen?
- Undercover Officer: “Hey, you look nice today”
- Defendant: “Thank you”
- Undercover Officer: “I’ve never done this before, but I have $1,000, and I would love to pay you to have some fun with me”
- Defendant: “What do you mean?”
- Undercover Officer: “Just sex, it will be quick”
- Defendant: “No, I would never do that”
- Undercover Officer: “How about $2,000”
- Defendant: “No, sorry”
- Undercover Officer: “Don’t you have bills to pay? $5,000, and it will be over in 10 minutes”
- Defendant: “Leave me alone please”
- Undercover Officer: “$10,000, you pick the place, set the terms, you can practically buy a new car”
- Defendant: “…Ok”
Should this person be arrested for Prostitution? I don’t think so either. This person should be looking for a Houston Prostitution Lawyer ASAP! But things like this happen. Maybe not exactly like this, but law enforcement can take advantage of people’s situations and convince them to do something they normally would not have done.
These are two common defenses that come up from time to time. Obviously, it is always best to fight cases if you are not guilty. What makes the decision even easier is that in Houston, many prostitution cases no longer are eligible for Pre-Trial Intervention. If you have any questions or are looking for a Houston Prostitution Lawyer give me a call, Houston Criminal Lawyer Eric J Benavides at 713-222-2828.
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.