Helping North Texans Erase Criminal Records

How to beat a solicitation charge in Texas?

On Behalf of | Jul 21, 2023 | Criminal Defense, Sex Offenses

Solicitation, a transaction where value meets desire, involves paying or exchanging something for sexual favors or acts. It is the sale of intimate connections between two individuals. Contrary to popular belief, completing the act is unnecessary for an arrest. A mere attempt, backed by the exchange of money, suffices for the charge to be complete. When solicitation charges hinge on an attempt that did not lead to the actual act, proving guilt may be difficult to establish.

Solicitation penalties

Penalties for solicitation charges in Texas vary depending on prior convictions. The first conviction is a Class B misdemeanor, carrying up to 180 days in jail and a maximum fine of $2,000. A second conviction is a Class A misdemeanor, with penalties of up to one year in jail and a fine of $4,000. For a third or subsequent offense, it becomes a state jail felony, resulting in 180 days to two years in state jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

If the solicited person is a minor under 18, the penalties escalate significantly, with the offense becoming a second-degree felony. Convictions may lead to up to 20 years in state prison and a maximum fine of $10,000. It is important to note that ignorance of the person’s age is not a defense.

Burden of proof

Before the court can convict anyone of a solicitation offense, a prosecutor must prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. This standard is a high bar for prosecutors to meet, and in many cases, they are unable to do so when presented with a strong legal defense. If you can challenge the evidence and showcase the unprovable elements, you open the door to reduced charges, dismissed cases or even a not-guilty verdict from a jury. Some of the possible defenses against solicitation charges may include:

  • If you are unaware that the other person is asking for money in exchange for sex, or if there was no exchange of money at all.
  • If you are intoxicated at the time of the crime, you may argue that you cannot form the necessary intent to commit it.
  • If you present any evidence that may prove an unconstitutional arrest, such as illegal entrapment.

Note that illegal entrapment here pertains to situations where officers persuade a person to commit a crime they otherwise would not normally do. This method of trapping people is permitted as long as law enforcers follow the legal procedure.

Beating a solicitation charge in Texas demands a strategic defense and an understanding of the law’s intricacies. By challenging the evidence, presenting strong defenses and professional legal counsel, those accused can safeguard their rights and pave the way to favorable outcomes.