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Online Promotion of Prostitution

Engaging or soliciting prostitution is crime associated with serious penalties. Thanks to these consequences, sex workers and clients have turned to other means to conduct business. Many people pursuing or promoting prostitution now utilize the internet to coordinate meetups. Sites such as craigslist, backpage.com or even phone applications such as snapchat are regularly used to promote and sell sex work to customers. 

The influx of prostitution cases originating online lead to Texas legislators passing a new law which makes online promotion of prostitution a crime. It’s now illegal to promote yourself as a sex worker online or to facilitate the promotion of prostitution for another person online. If you or someone you know has been accused of online promotion of prostitution, we recommend you get in touch with trusted legal counsel immediately.

Lawyer for Online Promotion of Prostitution in The Woodlands, TX

Selling sex work online is now a crime under Texas law as of September 2019. This means you can be arrested for promoting yourself or someone else’s sex work business online. If you have been arrested for online promotion of prostitution, we implore you to seek trusted legal representation for your case.

For an experienced and skilled attorney, call Horak Law. Matthew Horak has been practicing sex crimes defense for years and is always up-to-date on the newest legislation in Texas. He can utilize his skills, resources and knowledge to fight for your rights. Call Horak Law now to learn more at (713) 225-8000. Attorney Horak represents people throughout the greater Harris County area including Conroe, The Woodlands and Houston.

Overview of Online Promotion of Prostitution in Texas 


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What Constitutes as Online Promotion of Prostitution in Texas?

Promotion of prostitution is a well-known criminal offense and is commonly tried in Texas. However, online promotion of prostitution is a new charge as of September 2019. According to the Texas Statutes 43.031, you’re guilty of online promotion of prostitution if you:

  • Own, manage, or operate an interactive computer service or information content provider; or
  • Operate as an information content provider; with
  • The intent to promote prostitution to another person or facilitate another person to engage in the act of prostitution

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Penalties for Online Promotion of Prostitution in Texas

The penalties for online prostitution charges depend on your criminal record. A first-time offender may be charged with a third-degree felony, which is punishable by: 

  • Up to 10 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000 

An online promotion of prostitution charge could have its offense level enhanced to a second-degree felony if any factors were present during the commission of the offense. 

  • You were previously convicted of a prostitution-related case prior; or
  • The sex worker you were promoting was under the age of 18

A second-degree felony can result in: 

  • Up to 20 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000

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Aggravated Online Promotion of Prostitution in Texas

Certain online prostitution schemes can result in an aggravated prostitution charge. If you own, manage, or operate an interactive computer service or information content provider with the intent to promote prostitution of five or more persons or facilitate that promotion, you will receive an aggravated charge of online promotion of prostitution.

This offense is normally charged as a second-degree felony, which can result in:

  • Up to 20 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000

However, the crime can be enhanced to a first-degree felony if you have: 

  • Previously been convicted of a prostitution-related offense; or
  • The operation involved two or more persons younger than the age of 18

A first-degree felony is one of the highest-level charges you can receive. It can lead to a lifetime in prison without parole and a fine of up to $10,000.


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Additional Resources 

Prostitution Has Gone Online – And Pimps are Thriving – Visit the official website for Research at Michigan State University (MSU) and read an article written by Mary Finn and Andy Henion of the MSU Today to learn more about how prostitution and sex trafficking has become more and more popular online. Access the site to learn statistics, how law enforcement handles cases and the development of the online pimp. 

Prostitution Laws in Texas – Visit the official website for the Texas Penal Code to learn more about their prostitution and sex offense laws. Access the site to learn more surrounding sex crimes such as compelling, promoting, soliciting or engaging in prostitution.


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Defense Lawyer for Online Prostitution in Montgomery County, TX

If you or someone you know has been arrested for online promotion of prostitution, it’s highly suggested you act and gain legal representation. A criminal defense attorney can assess your case, collect evidence and draw up a strong defense plan for you. For an experienced and skilled defense lawyer, we recommend Horak Law.

Matthew Horak is an experienced defense lawyer with a love for what he does. Attorney Horak has a passion for He approaches all his clients with compassion but is aggressive in the courtroom. Call (713) 225-8000 now to learn more about how to fight back your charges and avoid the serious penalties. Horak Law represents people throughout the greater area of Montgomery County and surrounding counties including Harris County, Fort Bend County, Waller County, Liberty County and Brazoria County.


This article was last updated on November 22, 2019.

Our Office in The Woodlands
1790 Hughes Landing Blvd #400 The Woodlands, TX 77380 (281) 907-4990
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5300 Memorial Dr #750 A Houston, TX 77007 (713) 225-8000
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Matt Horak Matt Horak is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2014

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