What Happens if I Get a Solicitation of Prostitution Charge in Northwest Dallas?

What Happens if I Get a Solicitation of Prostitution Charge in Northwest Dallas?

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Northwest Dallas has been an unofficial “hotspot” for prostitution for over a decade. Harry Hines Boulevard has a bad reputation, one that attracts a great deal of attention from sex traffickers, people looking to pay for sex, and – of course – the police. No matter your reason for being in the area, you are at an increased risk of being charged for soliciting prostitution in Northwest Dallas due to the unsavory reputation of the neighborhood. They often assume that anyone waiting in their car or holding a conversation on a street corner might be engaging in the local flavor of commerce, whether or not this is true.

If they charge you with soliciting prostitution in Northwest Dallas, it’s only natural to wonder: What happens next?

At Starr Law, we have dealt with many solicitation and prostitution-related cases that start on Harry Hines Boulevard and the surrounding region. We can give you an idea of what to expect after being charged – along with a few important tips on what you should do next after that charge has been made.

Police officers arresting a handcuffed man.

What Happens if You Are Charged With Soliciting Prostitution?

If they charge you with soliciting prostitution, here’s what happens next:

You Will Be Arrested for Soliciting Prostitution in Northwest Dallas

If the police decide to charge you with soliciting prostitution based on solid or circumstantial evidence, the first step they will take is to arrest you. Maybe you are still in Northwest Dallas, or they have found you at home after collecting evidence and tracing your identity. 

During the arrest, the police must say why they are arresting you and you can ask them to show their warrant if they have one. However, they do not necessarily have to tell you what they charge you, yet.

You Will Be Charged With a State Jail Felony

When you have been charged with soliciting prostitution, you are officially at risk of being convicted of a felony. They upgraded the solicitation from a state jail felony to a second-degree felony (depending on circumstances) in 2021 as a method of discouraging sex trafficking in Texas.

You Will Be Booked in a County Jail

Once arrested, they will likely book you into a county jail. This is where you will remain until your arraignment hearing in 1-2 days.

You Will Get Arraignment and a Bail Hearing in 24-48 Hours

After waiting 24 to 48 hours in jail, they will take you to your arraignment hearing. If you don’t know the charges yet, this is where they will state the charges against you. You can enter an initial plea of guilty or not guilty. If you don’t have a lawyer, they will assign you one. Then you will get your bail hearing and the bail payment required to leave jail before they set your trial.

Your Trial Date Will Be Set

Usually, they will set a trial date at your arraignment and bail hearing. 

You Will Be Tried or Take a Plea Bargain

In the time leading up to your trial, you will have time to build a defense or accept a plea bargain. If you accept a plea bargain, a trial may not be necessary. However, they will place a crime on your record. You will likely face a certain amount of jail time in addition to other penalties.

If you go to trial, your lawyer will argue your defense. The outcome will depend on the strength of your defense and the judge and jury’s decision.

You Will Be Convicted, or the Charges Will Be Dismissed

Depending on the outcome of your trial, either they will convict you of a felony or they will dismiss your charges.

You Will Go to Jail or Go Home

If convicted, you will go to jail. A state jail felony can result in up to 2 years of jail time. However, prior convictions can increase your risk to 2–10 years of jail time, and contact with someone under 18 (or believed to be under 18) can result in 2-20 years of jail time, plus up to $10,000 in fines.

Man talking to a female lawyer seeking legal advice.

What to Do After Being Charged With Soliciting Prostitution

If they charge you with soliciting prostitution in Northwest Dallas, remain calm. There are a few steps you will need to take to safely navigate the situation and seek the best possible outcome.

Do Not Self-Incriminate

First, don’t try to talk your way out of it. Remember: Anything you say can and will be used against you. Even people who had nothing to do with soliciting prostitution can say the wrong thing when upset by an arrest. Resolve to remain quiet and ask for a lawyer.

Call a Lawyer Before Your Arraignment

Make sure you have a lawyer before your arraignment and bail hearing. This is the first important stage of your defense. Your lawyer will guide you through the initial strategy and represent you during the bail hearing, arguing for a lower and more manageable bail.

Build a Reasonable Defense

Working with your lawyer, you will need to build a defense. People with personal reasons for being in northwest Dallas are more likely to be accused of soliciting prostitution, whether or not that was their intent. It may be possible to prove with evidence that you were not in the area for the reputed purpose. Or they may dismiss the case if there is insufficient evidence to prove your actions or intent.

Consequences if Convicted for Soliciting Prostitution in Dallas

They upgraded soliciting prostitution in Texas to a felony in 2021.  If they charge you with solicitation of prostitution in northwest Dallas and that charge becomes a conviction, you will have a permanent felony on your record and will likely serve real jail time.

State Jail Felony

  • First offense
  • Consequences
    • Up to 2 years in jail
    • Up to $10,000 in fines

Third Degree Felony

  • Prior offenses
  • Consequences
    • Up to 10 years in jail
    • Up to $10,000 in fines

Second Degree Felony

  • Under 18 solicitation
    • The prostitute was under 18
    • The prostitute said they were under 18
    • The accused believed the prostitute was under 18
  • Consequences
    • Minimum 2 years in jail
    • Up to 20 years in jail
    • Up to $10,000 fine
Man in handcuffs in a prison.

Why Is Soliciting Prostitution a Felony Now?

Soliciting prostitution in Texas used to be a misdemeanor. However, recent increased problems with human trafficking and organized sex slavery have led to increased penalties for any crime that facilitates prostitution. People who purchase sex can be either knowing or unknowing participants in sex slavery. Therefore, increasing the penalty to a felony intends to discourage participation. Also, ideally, depresses the market for trafficked women and minor children.

In other words, be careful when you have business in Northwest Dallas, especially around Harry Hines Boulevard. If someone asks you to discuss the price of services, known or unknown, consider walking away before making allegations.

Prepare Your Legal Defense for Soliciting With Starr Law

If they charge you with solicitation of prostitution in Northwest Dallas, Starr Law can help. We understand how terrifying it can be to face a felony charge based on a single conversation with someone you may not have known who was trying to negotiate a sexual service. Our lawyers specialize in sexual and prostitution-related cases, including accusations of solicitation. Contact us at your first opportunity. We will represent you in arraignment and help guide you through this challenging situation toward the best possible outcome.

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