In June of 2018, a man was arrested on charges of promoting prostitution after a University of North Texas student accused the man of pressuring her into performing sexual acts in exchange for money. Law enforcement investigated the case after initial reports were made in April 2018. The student reported that she communicated with the man on Kik, which is an instant messaging phone application. During conversations with this man, he pressured the student into having sex with another man and performing sexual acts in exchange for $3,000. In an attempt to negotiate, the student declined the man’s offer and sent nude photos as well as a sexual video. Later, when the man realized that the girl would not have sex for money, he threatened to create a website with the explicit photos and the girl’s phone number. Law enforcement later arrested the man.
The Texas Penal Code defines prostitution as exchanging money or anything of value in exchange for a sexual act. Not only can these charges result in hefty fines, they can also result in jail time. While the best way to avoid a prostitution charge is to not engage in prostitution, sometimes people make bad choices and end up facing these charges. One of the best things for a person facing a prostitution charge is to understand the various available legal defenses that can be raised in response.
Defenses to Prostitution
Some common defense strategies that can be raised in response to a charge of prostitution include the following:
- Due process defense. Sometimes, the arresting law enforcement officer violates the constitutional rights of a defendant by not following the law. In many situations, inappropriate behavior by law enforcement constitutes a due process violation and serves as suitable grounds for the dismissal of a lawsuit.
- Entrapment. The offense of entrapment occurs when a law enforcement office causes a person to commit a crime that they otherwise not would have. It can be challenging to establish that a person was enticed illegally by law enforcement. Many times, law enforcement’s presence does not negate a defendant’s intent.
- Lack of probable cause. If an arrest occurs before a person agrees to prostitution, an arrest might be illegal because law enforcement requires probable cause to arrest a person. In these situations, law enforcement must demonstrate that a person would have engaged in prostitution if the arrest had not occurred. Prosecution must then prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant decided to engage in prostitution.
Contact a Seasoned Criminal Defense Attorney
Being charged with prostitution can result in numerous complications that significantly impact a person’s life. In these situations, it is a wise idea to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney who understands how these charges are made and who will fight for your rights. Speak with the legal counsel at Wheeler Law Office today.
(image courtesy of Aaron Mello)