Topic: Criminal Law
The Texas Legislature passed a few new laws related to prostitution. The law change that will impact people accused of prostitution the most will be the change to the law for those receiving "deferred adjudication" for misdemeanor prostitution offenses. A conviction for prostitution can be used to "enhance" a later conviction. If a person has been convicted three or more times of prostitution then the charge is elevated to a State Jail Felony. Before September 1, 2013, a person placed on deferred adjudication was not considered "convicted" for this enhancement. Now, if you enter a plea of guilty or no contest and are placed on deferred adjudication you are considered "convicted" for the enhancement statute. This makes it that much more important to have quality representation if you are accused of prostitution. Other changes to the law are related to compelling and promotion of prostitution. The changes make some of the penalties harsher.