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Prostitution occurs when a party either pays or receives a fee in exchange for sexual services. Tarrant County began prosecuting prostitution cases much more aggressively in 2019. There has been an increased number of stings from different law enforcement agencies. Several Tarrant County law enforcement agencies, including the Tarrant County Sheriff and Fort Worth Police Department, have specialized units to target prostitution and human trafficking.These agencies typically post fake online advertisements or respond to existing advertisements. When a party shows up and agrees to terms, they are arrested and charged.
The person paying a fee is typically referred to as the "John" or "Hobbyist." The punishment for paying a fee in exchange for a sexual service was recently enhanced to a Class A Misdemeanor on September 1, 2019. This makes the punishment range up to one-year in jail and up to a $4,000 fine. Offenses prior to September 1, 2019, are a Class B Misdemeanor.
The person receiving a fee in exchange for sexual services in typically referred to as the "Girl" or "Prostitute." The punishment for receiving a fee is a Class B Misdemeanor. This makes the punishment range up to 180 days in jail and up to a $2,000 fine. There are various affirmative defenses available to a person accused of receiving a fee, including that they are a victim of human trafficking.
If you have been arrested for prostitution, we recommend that you consult a criminal defense attorney. Contact the Lankford Law Firm to speak with a Tarrant County prostitution lawyer that has experience with prostitution cases in Tarrant County, Texas. At the Lankford Law Firm, our recent results on prostitution cases include Not Guilty verdicts, including by a Directed Verdict, dismissals, and reduction in charges. Most of our former prostitution clients have been able to expunge their cases.