The National TOP 100 Trial Lawyers
America's Top 100 - Criminal Defense Attorneys
Avvo Reviews
Avvo Ratting 10.0 Top Attorney
Avvo Clients' Choice Award 2018
The University of Texas at Austin School of Law

Solicitation Arrest: 5 Things To Ask When Hiring A Defense Attorney

The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski

Police sting operations in Texas are on the rise. While these operations are intended to catch people engaged in illegal sex crimes, it’s common for innocent people to get caught in the crosshairs. Defending against false allegations of solicitation or online sex crimes can be very difficult even for the innocent. Having an aggressive, experienced, and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney is critical to having online solicitation charges dropped or reduced.

Empowered by strict Texas prostitution laws, Montgomery county law enforcement officers have ramped up their efforts against prostitution in 2022 and continue this effort through 2023 and beyond. A new Texas prostitution law took effect on September 1, 2021 which increases the Class B misdemeanor charge for purchasing or buying sex to a state jail felony. This means Texas is among the first states to turn the crime of buying sex into a felony.

While these may be new enhanced laws, law enforcement is wasted no time targeting those who engage in prostitution and using undercover sting operations to infiltrate possible illegal activity online. They are supposed to target anyone who is attempting to purchase sex or offering to sell sex. Therefore potential “johns” and the person offering to sell sex can both face felony charges. This new law also applies to first-time offenders.

This new focus by Texas law enforcement is not without controversy. Increasingly, more and more innocent men and women, and sometimes teens, have found themselves charged with online solicitation or other sex crimes. A simple text exchange, conversation, or photo swap can easily be misinterpreted and unknowingly used against someone by an over-zealous police officer. The widespread use of dating apps and other social media provide an easy platform for undercover officers and detectives intent on getting an arrest.

The new Texas sex crime laws are intended to reduce sex-trafficking in the state and protect against underage sex-trafficking and sex crimes against minors. However, the definition of what constitutes online solicitation and online sex crimes is vague and subject to a wide array of interpretation. It’s these “gray areas” that continue to be a problem for innocent people who may not realize they were breaking the law.

In Texas, ignorance of the law doesn’t protect someone from facing the full consequences if caught engaging in an illegal act. So, for those charged with online solicitation, claiming “I didn’t know” isn’t a defense.

Adding to the confusion is the issue of “intent”. Texas law punishes those who may not have committed a sexual act but “intended” to engage in a sexual act. Texas Penal Code 43.021 states:

“(a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly offers or agrees to pay a fee to another person for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with that person or another.”

Many first-time offenders are stunned to find themselves facing felony charges for something that had been a misdemeanor for decades. This “intent” part of the law can be seen as punishing a thought crime or simply engaging in hypothetical conversation. Once again, defending against these charges takes an experienced and skilled criminal defense attorney who’s familiar with these many controversial statutes.

Being charged with prostitution in Texas is more serious than ever. It can be a devastating situation for anyone involved.

If you or a loved one is facing legal trouble, don’t gamble with your future. It’s essential to get an experienced Montgomery prostitution defense attorney on your side. Criminal defense attorney Andrea M. Kolski specializes in defending those charged with online solicitation and other sex crimes. Still, before you decide who to hire, it’s important to understand how to find the best Montgomery criminal defense attorney for your situation.

5 Crucial Questions to Ask Your Defense Attorney

Texas is cracking down on online sex crimes. Montgomery county is no exception as they continue to allocate more resources to undercover sex sting operations and other methods to enforce the new laws. No prostitution or solicitation charge should be taken lightly. They are now considered felony offenses and punishable by jail time. One can be charged even if no physical contact was made.

The right online solicitation lawyer can do more than help you simply argue your case. They will also serve as your guide through the Texas legal system and can fight for the best possible outcome for your case.

Take time to read through this guide carefully so you can make the best informed decision.

1. How Many Prostitution Cases Have You Handled?

Going to a lawyer that specializes in prostitution won’t be helpful if they aren’t familiar with handling similar cases. This is why it’s important for you to find a lawyer that’s intimately familiar with cases like yours.

Don’t make the mistake of holding back details of your case when you’re talking to lawyers. Most criminal defense attorneys understand the sensitive nature of their business and will usually offer to keep your discussion confidential.

The more information you give them about your current charges the better they’ll determine if they can help you. Be sure to mention important details of your case. Mention other matters that may affect your cases like having an existing criminal record, your job, and your current family situation.

2. How Often Do Your Cases Go to Trial?

Over 90% of criminal cases are settled out of court. However, having a criminal defense attorney who’s experienced in court and willing to go to court if needed can be an immense benefit to you and the outcome of your trial. Going to trial is usually a last resort but it may be the right move depending on your case. You don’t want a defense attorney with little trial experience who may be secretly terrified of the courtroom. You won’t know this until it happens, and then it’s too late to undo a disaster.

Protect yourself by asking how often they are in trial and what were the results? Do this early in the selection process to avoid wasting time.

While most prostitution or solicitation charges may be considered felonies, you still have the ability to get a plea deal. A plea deal could mean less jail time and less harsh sentences. This requires skillful negotiation by your lawyer and not all lawyers are good at it.

Once they’re familiar with cases like yours ask how often they’ve been able to get plea deals and how those cases may be similar to yours. It’s possible that cases like yours are unlikely to get plea deals and that you may need to adjust your expectations. An experienced prostitution defense lawyer can easily lay out the possible outcomes.

3. Will You Be The One Working on My Case?

Sex crime and online solicitations charges are very serious and have the potential to destroy your future. Don’t trust your future to an inexperienced lawyer, or worse, a big firm that hands your case to a lesser attorney. Sadly, larger law firms often will sell you on their “team” or the skills of a senior partner only to pass your case along to a junior in the firm. This can be disastrous for you and your outcome.

Unfortunately, mid-size and larger firms will rarely admit they do this “bait and switch” unless you specifically demand from the outset who you want handling your case. Remember, it’s your future on the line, not theirs, so make sure you know exactly who will be assigned your case from start to finish.

Confirm who will be handling your case from day one. The best criminal defense attorneys handle cases themselves and take great pride in personally working a case from start to finish. The best criminal defense attorneys are usually skilled litigators who never back down from a fight. .

Sex crime and online solicitation charges can take an emotional toll on the accused as well. The stigma surrounding these crimes can have a very real negative effect on your mental health, your relationships, your ability to work, and other areas of life.

Regardless of innocence or guilt, sex crime charges can cause immense trauma and having a criminal defense attorney who understands these struggles can make a major difference during and after the case is resolved. Larger law firms rarely have the time or resources to help with the emotional side of a sex crime defense. This is where an independent or smaller firm can provide the compassion and guidance to help navigate these difficult times. Personal attention, in addition to legal skill, can help relieve much of the anxiety as you defend against sex crime charges.

Having a skilled lawyer at a small or independent firm can give your case the personal attention it deserves. They also keep the number of people aware of your case to a minimum so there’s less chance of someone discussing it outside the office. You’ll work closely with your criminal defense attorney so it’s important you feel you can personally trust them and they have your emotional and legal well being at heart.

4. Are You Familiar With The Court Handling My Case?

Location, location, location. You want a lawyer who is a familiar face in the court where your case is being tried. Judges and prosecutors are people and people prefer working with familiar lawyers rather than strangers. They are also more inclined to rule in favor of an attorney they know well rather than an unfamiliar lawyer they’ve never seen before. It’s simply human nature.

There’s an old saying in the legal business, “there are lawyers that know the law and there are lawyers who know the judge”. Many lawyers know the law, but it’s wise to get a lawyer who’s very familiar with the court, the judge, and the prosecutors for your case. Their inside knowledge could make all the difference in your case.

Be careful with any criminal defense attorney who isn’t local to the court assigned to your case. You want a lawyer who knows everyone there and work every angle possible. Knowing the personalities of all the folks involved in your case could give you an edge when it comes to the final outcome.

5. Were You Ever a Prosecutor?

There are a few, elite criminal defense attorneys who worked on the other side of the bench as either prosecutors or district attorneys. This experience can be a real advantage to you and your case.

Imagine a football coach who has an opponents’ playbook. That’s going to be a real advantage at game time. A defense attorney who has experience working for the court has unique insights about the inner workings of the court and what goes on behind the scenes.

In addition to being familiar with your defense attorney, it can be a great advantage when your defense attorney can relate to the judge and prosecutors deciding your fate. It helps when they feel your defense attorney was once “one of us”.

When it comes to prostitution charges, your future is on the line. Having a lawyer with experience on the other side could be a tremendous advantage to your case.

Don’t Settle For Less Than The Best Defense Attorney For Your Case

A prostitution charge doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Finding the right Montgomery criminal defense attorney is key to getting the best outcome. Depending on your case, your lawyer could fight for a complete dismissal or massive reduction in charges. There’s no guarantee that will happen, but having the right lawyer by your side certainly gives you the best fighting chance.

Don’t let a prostitution charge jeopardize your future without a fight. Consider what you want to ask your lawyer and make sure you’re comfortable with your decision. If you’d like to confidentially discuss your case with a top Montgomery criminal defense attorney, contact us today . Montgomery criminal defense attorney Andrea M. Kolski has over 20+ years experience defending the accused including prostitution, solicitation, and other sex crime charges. As a former prosecutor and skilled criminal justice attorney, Andrea is among Montgomery’s most sought after defenders of the accused.

Visit Us

By Appointment Only - Contact Us

The Woodlands Office
8505 Technology Forest Pl #104

The Woodlands, TX 77381

Phone: 832-381-3430

Get in Touch

Free Consultation 832-381-3430

What Our Customers Say

"Andrea is a fantastic attorney versed in many fields. I've retained her services for criminal defense, nondisclosure orders, and family law. She has always provided a...

Steven Street Texas

"Andrea and her staff are definitely one of the greatest of all time. Their professionalism and knowledge of the law and how the system works is unparalleled. I have her...

Dwight Osteen Texas

“Andrea is the most amazing attorney I have ever had in my corner.” — Vincent, client facing 2nd DWI charge, CASE DISMISSED