Subscribe to receive our Floor Reports covering all the action on the Texas House and Senate floor!
HB 1363 would amend the Code of Criminal Procedure’s chapter entitled “Dismissing Prosecutions” to reflect that dismissal of certain prostitution offenses is eligible prior to trial if the defendant agrees to participate in a prostitution prevention program. The defendant may also defer court proceedings until after entering the prostitution prevention program. If the defendant successfully completes the program within a year the court may dismiss the proceedings against the defendant and discharge the defendant.
This bill would also amend the Penal Code’s chapter entitled “Public Indecency” to give a lighter sentence to those offering sexual services rather than those buying sexual services. This would allow a first time conviction of prostitution to be eligible for a fine not to exceed $500 and to be given no jail time. Currently, first time offenses are subject to a fine not to exceed $2000 and/or confinement in jail not to exceed 180 days.
HB 1363 supports individual liberty and limited government because it is the least restrictive way to address the problem of prostitution and the fiscal note suggest that this bill could also save the state a significant amount of money. This bill would save the state money by eliminating the state’s financial liability for incarcerating prostitutes for first-time offenses. This bill would clear up the court’s dockets by allowing the court to dismiss the proceedings and discharge the defendant related to certain prostitution offenses. Furthermore, this approach would, beyond merely punishing prostitutes, help to get them on a path to recovery which will allow them to be more self-sufficient in the future and mitigate the potential for more costly state interventions later on down the road. We support this bill for preserving individual liberty and limited government.