Prostitution laws in Dallas

Texas has been the home to prostitutes since before it even became a state. Dallas, one of the first large cities in Texas, found that prostitution was very much a way of life for many of its residents and in 1910 created an ordinance to attempt to regulate it to some degree.

Regulation of prostitution

From 1870 to 1910, many Texas towns passed ordinances to assist in the regulation of prostitution. Dallas followed suit in 1910, with a statute that helped to create “Frogtown.” As an official red-light district, “Frogtown” was situated with a few blocks of the courthouse and near the railroad depot. Prostitutes conducted business out of two-room cribs or fancier parlor houses. Customers included cowboys, ranch hands, laborers, businessmen, politicians, soldiers, gamblers and drifters.

In 1913, due to external pressures citing that that the government was promoting immorality and the “despoiling of virtue,” the county attorney ordered that all prostitutes must leave “Frogtown.”

Prostitutes may have moved on from “Frogtown,” but they didn’t leave Dallas. The 1950s and 1970s found Dallas to be relatively tolerant to prostitution, partly due to inadequate numbers of police officers to enforce the laws.

Prostitution laws in Texas

No ordinances exist that are specific to the suppression of prostitution in Dallas. All laws regarding prostitution and its prohibition stem from the state statutes that indicate that prostitution and patronization are both class B misdemeanors.

Prostitution is defined as engaging in or offering to engage in sexual conduct for a fee. Patronization is the solicitation of another in a public place for sex for hire services.

Offenders may face sentences of jail for up to 180 days and/or a fine up to $2,000. This sentence is for first offenses, only. Future offenses receive much harsher sentences.

Promotion of prostitution is a serious offense in Dallas. With many immigrants and illegal immigrants living in Dallas, it has become a hot bed of promotion crimes. Prostitutes who cannot speak English, do not have any money or are living in the country illegally are often subjected to compulsion in order to force them into prostitution. Compulsion charges result in 2nd degree felony charges and very strict sentences. Furthermore, underage prostitution is quite a problem in Dallas. Anyone found to be promoting the prostitution of someone underage will face 2nd degree felony charges, as well.


The following Nevada counties have their own laws and regulations on prostitution:

Prostitution laws in US cities:

Prostitution laws in Canada