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Operation of Stash House

Prostitution or smuggling persons schemes can be incredibly intricate and require several people involved to run the operation smoothly. These outside people may not actively participate in the smuggling or prostitution debacle, but they provide a space for offenders who are running these operations knowingly and benefit from it. This is referred to as operation of a stash house and the crime can lead to serious life altering penalties.  

You may not be as directly involved in the smuggling or prostitution surrounding the operation but allowing a space to be used as a stash house is also a crime. If you or someone you know has been arrested for operating a stash house, then we highly encourage you to seek experienced legal representation immediately.

Defense Attorney for Operating a Stash House in Harris County, TX

Owning a stash house which facilitates prostitution or smuggling person-related crimes is against the law. Managing, operating or permitting another person to use the area for a prostitution or smuggling persons offense can land you in hot water. To learn more about the penalties and how to fight back, call Horak Law. 

Matthew Horak is an experienced criminal defense attorney with years of practice under his belt. He can utilize his skills, resources and network to defend your case. Simply call (713) 225-8000 to set up your first consultation free. Horak Law represents people throughout the greater Harris County area including Houston, Spring, Humble, Pasadena and Cypress.

Overview of Stash Houses in Texas


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What Does Texas Consider to be a Stash House?

You’ve probably heard actors from crime drama use the word “stash house” for a variety of crimes including drug trafficking or a criminal enterprise. However, Texas has a specific definition for the term stash house in a legal setting. In Texas, a stash house is any real estate, building, room, tent, vehicle, boat or property owned by a person or under their control that is used to facilitate specific crimes. 

These criminal offenses include:

  • Smuggling of Persons;
  • Continuous Smuggling of Persons;
  • Trafficking of Persons;
  • Continuous Trafficking of Persons;
  • Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution; and
  • Compelling Prostitution

You aren’t required to use the building to be charged with operating a stash house. If you are renting the property to someone who intends to use it for one of the crimes above, you could still be charged with operating a stash house.


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What Are the Penalties for Operating a Stash House? 

The consequences for operating a stash house are incredibly serious. If you’re convicted, you’ll receive a class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by:

  • Up to one year in jail; and
  • A fine of up to $4,000

While the penalties for operating a stash house are serious, the social ramifications of being a convicted released criminal are also just as harsh. Many people when they are released from jail have issues finding employment, housing or even maintaining personal relationships. That is why it’s recommended you seek experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you.


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Statute of Limitations for Operating a Stash House in TX

All crimes have something known as a statute of limitations, which is essentially a deadline for the prosecutor to file charges. The reasoning for this is that certain evidence and witness testimony may lose integrity over time, so the statute of limitations ensures the criminal process is done promptly and efficiently. In Texas, a judge determines a crime’s statute of limitations by the type of offense level it’s assigned under.

Since operating a stash house is a class A misdemeanor, the statute of limitations is two years. Once that deadline has passed, the state attorney will be unable to file charges. However, it’s important to remember that related crimes to operating a stash house don’t have a statute of limitations. If you are also charged with trafficking or compelling prostitutes, then the prosecutor won’t have a statute of limitations to follow and can file charges at any time. 


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Additional Resources 

Coalition to Combat Human Trafficking | CCHT – Visit the official website for CCHT, the Coalition to Combat Human Trafficking to learn more about how trafficking functions in Texas, statistics for human trafficking, education and victim assistance and resources. 

Texas Laws for Operating a Stash House – Visit the official website for the Texas Penal Code to learn more about their laws for operating a stash house. Access the site to learn more about the crime’s elements, penalties and other related kidnapping or smuggling offenses.


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Operation of a Safe House Lawyer in The Woodlands, TX

If you or someone you know has been arrested for operating a stash house, it’s crucial you find legal representation that can help you. The charges you are facing are serious and can lead to consequences that can drastically change your life. Fight back by calling Horak Law and setting up your first consultation with an experienced attorney. 

Matthew Horak understands the social stigma or charges related to trafficking or prostitution. He wants to protect your reputation and freedom by providing a quality defense for your case. Learn more by calling (713) 225-8000 to set up an appointment. Horak Law practices throughout the Texas area including Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, Harris County, Liberty County and Montgomery 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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