Law enforcement agencies love to arrest people for prostitution because the newspapers and television stations publish these arrests, which generates attention to the law enforcement agency making the arrest. Newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle and local television stations know these will generate “click-bait” articles that publicly shame the arrested by allowing strangers to look at the accused’s mugshot and name. With each click and scroll through the list, the website receives additional advertisement revenue.
Prostitution in the Media
Prostitution is illegal in Texas and most states in the nation and is immoral according to almost every religion, but people who make this mistake do not usually deserve the severe punishment they may receive for committing this sin. However, the media receive advertisement revenues from placing people in the puritanical stockades, in exchange for which the arresting agencies receive headlines.
Human Trafficking Moral Panic
Invariably at press conferences following these arrests, the vice departments of various police agencies justify the enormous resources they devote to these stings in the name of “human trafficking.” In actuality, only a small portion of the women engaged in prostitution are victims of “human trafficking.” Instead, these stings can result in the destruction of careers, families, and reputations for people who made a mistake with another consenting adult who is not the victim of “human trafficking.”
Nathaniel Pitoniak has witnessed cases where undercover officers try to coerce a suspect into agreeing to exchange money for “sexual conduct,” in order to justify an arrest, even though the purpose of the suspect’s visit is for something not contained within the legal definition of “sexual conduct.” Sometimes people are lonely and seek companionship outside of the definition of “sexual contact,” but nonetheless agree to the elements of the offense the police are attempting to make.
On the other side of the coin, sometimes the women who are charged with engaging in prostitution face very difficult life circumstances and people who are bad influences which lead them to make the poor decision to sell their body for money. Nathaniel Pitoniak has successfully represented both men and women accused of these crimes and believes both should be treated with compassion.
Why Do You Need a Defense Lawyer?
A prostitution conviction can have serious repercussions on your reputation, family life, and employment prospects. If you are in Harris County or surrounding counties such as Fort Bend, Montgomery, or Galveston County and have been charged with prostitution, you will need an experienced and successful criminal defense lawyer like Nathaniel Pitoniak to provide you with legal advice and representation. Although the results of each case differ and past results are not a guarantee of results that may be obtained in your case, Nathaniel Pitoniak has successfully tried several prostitution cases. He has also received pre-trial intervention deals, an agreement where the client can avoid pleading guilty and the case is dismissed following a reset in which the client may not get into trouble for a set period of time. Whether such agreements are awarded depends, in part, on whether the lawyer you hire can tell a compelling story about what kind of person you are.
As a former prosecutor in his tenth year of practice, Nathaniel Pitoniak has handled many prostitution cases and will be able to create a strategic defense for your case. Call Nathaniel Pitoniak at (832) 315-6283 for a free consultation today.