Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution text with flags in background

Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution

The Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution crime in the state of Texas gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you run (or help run) a prostitution enterprise that has two or more prostitutes. Learn more detailed information about the Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution offense below.

UPDATE: SB 1802, 86th Texas Legislature, added this offense to the list of “reportable” offenses, meaning convictions or deferred pleas will require registration as a sex offender.1 The same bill also increased the penalties for the Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution offense. Learn more about the new penalty scheme below

Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 9 “Offenses Against Public Order and Decency”, Chapter 43 “Public Indecency.” Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution is a separate offense from Promotion of Prostitution, not just an enhancement. Learn more about the Texas crime of Promotion of Prostitution

Have you been charged with Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305.

What is the law in Texas about Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution?

The offense is described in Section 43.04 of the Texas Penal Code.

(a) A person commits an offense if he knowingly owns, invests in, finances, controls, supervises, or manages a prostitution enterprise that uses two or more prostitutes.

“Prostitution enterprise” is not defined in the statute. Neither is “prostitute.” But the Texas offense of Prostitution is defined at Texas Penal Code Section 43.02. Learn more about the Texas offense of Prostitution

How can I be charged with Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution?

You can be charged with Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 43.04(a) as described in the section above have been met, including (1) “owning, investing in, financing, controlling supervising or managing” (2) a “prostitution enterprise” (3) that uses two or more prostitutes.

What is the punishment for Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution?

For offenses occurring on or after September 1, 2019, all violations of the Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution will be punished as a first degree felony.2 The punishment for this offense has increased significantly over the last several sessions.

For offenses occurring before September 1, 2017, a conviction for Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution is punished as a felony of the third degree,3 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 10 years.

HB 29, 85th Legislature, amended the law effective for offenses occurring on or after September 1, 2017, increasing the default punishment that of a felony of the second degree.3

Under the 2017 law, Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution could also be punished as a felony of the first degree if the prostitution enterprise uses a prostitute that is under the age of 18, regardless of whether you knew the prostitute’s age or the prostitute lied about her age.3


Legal References:

1Article 62.001(5)(B), Code of Criminal Procedure, as amended by SB 1802, 86th Texas Legislature, Section 1, effective for offenses occurring on or after September 1, 2019

2Texas Penal Code Section 43.04(b), as amended by SB 1802, 86th Texas Legislature, Section 4, effective for offenses occurring on or after September 1, 2019

3Texas Penal Code Section 43.04(b), as amended by House Bill 29, 85th Legislature, Section 39, effective September 1, 2017:

(b) An offense under this section is a felony of the [second] third degree, except that the offense is a felony of the first degree if the prostitution enterprise uses as a prostitute one or more persons younger than 18 years of age, regardless of whether the actor knows the age of the person at the time [of] the actor commits the offense.

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