Prostitution Crimes

Regulated, licensed brothel prostitution is legal in 21 licensed brothels across 10 rural counties. In the counties where prostitution is legal, specific guidelines must be followed. Prostitution is illegal in Clark County (Las Vegas).

Defining Key Terms

In Nevada, streetwalking, escort services, and “happy ending” massage parlors are considered illegal prostitution. Prostitution is defined as the trading of a fee for sexual favors, such as intercourse, oral sex, or anal sex. The fee can include anything of value, such as cash, drugs, or jewelry.

Solicitation of prostitution, or attempted prostitution, is defined as offering or agreeing to commit prostitution. An individual may be charged with solicitation even if the sexual act never actually occurred.

Solicitation can occur in a variety of settings, including street corners, lounges, bars, strip clubs, night clubs, reflexology parlors, massage parlors, gentlemen’s clubs, and casinos. Solicitation can also occur online, over the phone, on websites, and through print ads.

The Penalties For Prostitution & Solicitation

If the defendant is the alleged prostitute, the crime is a misdemeanor punishable by fines of up to $1,000 and/or up to six months in jail.

If the defendant is the alleged customer, then the first offense is a misdemeanor punishable by fines of up to $1,000 and/or up to six months in jail. In addition, the defendant may need to pay another fine of $400 and a civil penalty of $200.

A second offense of agreeing to receive or receiving a sexual favor is a gross misdemeanor punishable by fines of up to $2,000, up to 364 days in jail, another fine of $800, and a civil penalty of $200. A third offense is a gross misdemeanor punishable by fines of up to $2,000, up to 364 days in jail, another fine of $1,300, and a civil penalty of $200. Defendants may have the option of doing community service instead of paying the civil fine.

If the defendant is an alleged prostitute who is aware that he/she has HIV, the crime is a category B felony that is punishable by two to 10 years in prison and/or $10,000 in fines.

Soliciting a child (anyone under 18 years of age) is a category D felony punishable by one to four years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. A second offense is a category C felony punishable by one to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. A subsequent offense is a category B felony punishable by one to six years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. Defendants do not have the option of probation or a suspended prison sentence.

If the defendant has three prior soliciting convictions in the last five years and gets caught soliciting in a casino, the crime is a misdemeanor punishable by fines of up to $1,000 and/or up to six months in jail.

Fighting Prostitution Charges

In Las Vegas, a prostitution defense attorney can fight charges through the following arguments:

  • Entrapment. Law enforcement tricked a person into committing a crime he/she was not predisposed to.
  • Illegal Police Search. If police overreach the bounds of the Fourth Amendment and obtain evidence illegally, the case may be thrown out.
  • Lack of Overtness. Solicitation must include a clear verbal agreement.

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