Prostitution & Solicitation

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Prostitution & Solicitation Charges Defense Lawyer Las Vegas

Are you facing prostitution charges?  Are you being accused of solicitation?  If you’ve been charged with prostitution or solicitation in Las Vegas, it’s in your best interest to consult with an attorney ASAP. A conviction could lead to jail time, fines, and more.

Nevada is the only state in the U.S. that allows prostitution and solicitation. However, it’s only legal in 10 counties, and there are many restrictions. That means that if you engage in prostitution or solicitation for prostitution in the six counties where it’s unlawful, you could face harsh penalties.   

In case you’re wondering, prostitution is illegal in Clark County (including Las Vegas). The city may advertise itself as “free and open” for you to do whatever you please in “Sin City,” but many people are shocked to discover there are limits when they find themselves facing criminal charges. 

Understanding the limits can keep you from being arrested and having your reputation ruined.  And now days, with the internet, what happens in Vegas doesn’t necessarily stay in Vegas.  The last thing you want is to have your arrest for prostitution or solicitation charges making the news.  You need a lawyer in your corner who understands the sensitivities involved and can make a case go away quietly.       

Contact The Vegas Lawyers today for your free initial consultation by calling (702) 707-7000.  In the meantime, you can get some valuable tips from Judge Tony.  Remember, if it looks to good to be true, it probably is.

What Is The Difference Between Prostitution And Solicitation?

Prostitution is the crime of exchanging sexual acts for money or something of value.  It’s important to note, the sexual act does not necessarily have to be intercourse.  Oral sex in exchange for money would constitute an act of prostitution.  Prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas, the Strip and Clark County. 

Solicitation is the crime of encouraging someone else to engage in prostitution.  Even if the sexual act never occurs or no money exchanges hands, a person can still be found guilty of solicitation just for attempting to accomplish the prostitution act.  Solicitation charges are generally brought against pimps and customers (i.e. “johns”) of the prostitute.   

Is Prostitution Legal In Nevada?

Yes and no.  Prostitution is legal in only 10 Nevada counties.  Even where it is legal, there are strict uniform regulations (that differ slightly from county to county).  For example, all legal prostitution in Nevada must take place in a licensed house of prostitution.

Furthermore, cities with a population of over 700,000 are prohibited from issuing brothel licenses. That includes Las Vegas. Take a look at the list of counties in Nevada where prostitution is allowed below:

  • Churchill County (currently no licensed brothels in operation)
  • Esmeralda County
  • Lander County
  • Mineral County
  • Nye County
  • Storey County
  • Elko County
  • Humboldt County
  • Lyon County
  • White Pine County

It’s important to note that prostitutes who legally operate in Nevada must register and pay for weekly “STD” tests. Essentially, they are their own small business within a regulated industry. That means no benefits, vacation pay, or retirement.

Is Prostitution Legal In Las Vegas?

No.  Anyone who engages in prostitution or solicitation in Las Vegas risks serious consequences. If you engage in prostitution in Las Vegas (in any capacity), you could go to jail, pay fines, and potentially have a lifelong criminal record (depending on the circumstances of your case).  Despite all the advertising relating to “strip clubs” and escort services, many tourists make the mistake of believing that prostitution is legal in Las Vegas.  It’s not, so be careful.       

Which Counties In Nevada Make Prostitution And Solicitation Illegal?

Aside from the ten counties where prostitution is legal, it is strictly prohibited everywhere else in Nevada. That includes anywhere in the following counties.

  • Clark County (including Las Vegas)
  • Washoe County
  • Carson City
  • Pershing County
  • Douglas County
  • Eureka County
  • Lincoln County

Understanding Nevada Prostitution, Pandering, Solicitation, & Sex Trafficking Laws

Outside of the counties where prostitution and solicitation are legal, Nevada’s prostitution, solicitation, and sex trafficking laws are on par with most other states.

Additionally, sex trafficking and related activities are strictly prohibited throughout Nevada. That’s true regardless of the county. Learn more about Nevada’s prostitution, solicitation, pandering, and sex trafficking laws below.

Pandering and Sex Trafficking – NRS 201.300

An individual who “induces” another to:

  • Engage in prostitution or become a prostitute
  • Enter a place where prostitution is practiced, encouraged, or allowed

Is guilty of pandering in Nevada – which is a category C felony. This law is mainly aimed at sex traffickers and pimps.  It typically does not apply to “customers.”

Additionally, a person is guilty of sex trafficking in Nevada if they engage in the following acts, but not limited to:

  • Persuading, recruiting, causing, providing, etc., a child to engage in prostitution or enter a place where prostitution is practiced, encouraged, or allowed for the purpose of sexual conduct in Nevada.
  • Causing, recruiting, persuading, etc., any person (by any means) to engage in prostitution or enter a place where prostitution is practiced while knowing that threats, violence, force, etc., will be used that forces the victim to comply.
  • Using threats, intimidation, force, etc. (while in a position of authority or having legal charge) to compel a person to engage in prostitution in Nevada.

It’s essential to know that consent of a victim to either of the crimes listed above is not a viable defense to pandering or sex trafficking charges in Nevada.

Facilitating Sex Trafficking – NRS 201.301

Facilitating sex trafficking charges are similar to those listed above. However, there are a few nuanced differences.

According to NRS 201.301, a person is guilty of facilitating sex trafficking in Las Vegas (or anywhere in Nevada) if they engage in the following, but not limited to:

  • Facilitates (in any way) the transportation of a person within Nevada with the intent to persuade the person to engage in prostitution, induce them to enter a place of prostitution, or violate any child sex trafficking laws.
  • Sells travel services that facilitate the transportation of an adult or child while knowing that their purpose is for illegal prostitution or sex trafficking purposes.
  • Travels on their own accord to engage in illegal acts of prostitution, pandering, or sex trafficking.

Those guilty of facilitating sex trafficking in Nevada face category B felony charges. If there are children involved, the penalties are harsher.

Living From The Earnings Of A Prostitute (“Pimping”) – NRS 201.320

Anyone who consciously accepts, receives, or appropriates any resource of value (without consideration) from a prostitute is guilty of living from the earnings of a prostitute.

Individuals who violate this statute without using force or threats of physical force face a category C felony. However, if the offender uses force or threats of force, they face a category B felony.

Engaging In Prostitution Or Solicitation For Prostitution – NRS 201.354

It’s illegal for anyone to engage in prostitution other than inside a licensed house of prostitution. However, solicitation is strictly prohibited regardless of where it occurs. That includes instances where an undercover peace officer or someone assisting a peace officer poses as a child to lure potential offenders.

Generally, prostitution is a misdemeanor crime. It can lead to fines and potential jail time after repeated offenses. However, Nevada treats customers engaging in acts of unlawful prostitution or solicitation a bit differently.

That’s especially true if the customer is caught soliciting a child for prostitution. In that case, they face a felony conviction, prison time, heavy fines, and lifetime registry on the Nevada Sex Offenders List.

It’s important to note that if the prosecution receives credible evidence that the individual charged with prostitution is a victim of sex trafficking, they are more inclined to drop the charges.

Engaging In Prostitution Or Solicitation After A Positive HIV Test – NRS 201.358

Anyone who tests positive for “HIV” (via a test approved by the State Board of Health) while working as a  prostitute (legally or illegally) can be charged with a category B felony.

The minimum prison sentence for category B felonies in Nevada is two years. Furthermore, convicted offenders face fines up to $10,000.

Placing A Person In House Of Prostitution – NRS 201.360

NRS 201.360 focuses on licensed and unlicensed prostitution houses in Nevada. It explicitly prohibits the following, but not limited to:

  • Placing a person in the custody of a third person with the intent that the third person engages in prostitution or compels the victim to live with them or someone else while engaging in prostitution.
  • Offering or receiving gifts, rewards, or other resources to place a person anywhere with the purpose of engaging in prostitution
  • Accepting earning from or living with a prostitute
  • Enticing or recruiting a person in any way to become enslaved in a house of prostitution

Individuals who violate this law can be charged with a category C or B felony. The exact charges depend on if the offender used physical force or the threat of physical force to place someone in a house of prostitution (and a few other factors).

Advancing Prostitution – NRS 201.395

According to NRS 201.395, anyone who owns, operates, manages, leases, or otherwise controls a business or private property and engages in the following (but not limited to) is guilty of advancing prostitution.

  • Knows or should know that illegal prostitution is happening on their premises or at their business
  • Knows or should know that illegal prostitution is occurring on their property or at their business and the person(s) engaged in the act are victims of involuntary servitude.
  • Neglects to take reasonable steps (after learning about the instances described above) to abate such acts of illegal prostitution within 30 days of finding out.

Advancing prostitution is a category C felony in Nevada that can lead to mandatory prison time and high fines.

Unlawful Advertising Of Prostitution – NRS 201.430

Advertising prostitution in Nevada is permissible, but licensed houses of prostitution must obey strict guidelines. For instance, owners, operators, managers, etc., are not allowed to advertise their houses of prostitution in counties where prostitution is illegal.   

Furthermore, they are prohibited from advertising their services in any public theater, highway, or public street of any city (even if the city permits prostitution). Individuals found guilty of unlawful advertising risk jail time and fines.

What Are The Penalties For Prostitution & Solicitation In Nevada?

Generally, prostitution and solicitation offenses incur misdemeanor charges, potential jail time (6 months to one year) and fines up to $1,300. However, if a customer solicits prostitution from a child, they face serious felony charges.

Due to the nature and implications of crimes like pandering, sex trafficking, and pimping, Nevada takes these charges more seriously and punishes them harshly. That’s especially true if a minor is involved.

Individuals convicted of the crimes mentioned in the previous paragraph could spend years behind bars (if not life), pay up to $10,000 in fines, and potentially pay restitution to the victims of their crimes.

Potential Defenses To Prostitution Charges

There are many potential defenses available to those charged with prostitution or solicitation in Nevada. Some of the most common defense strategies include:

  • The defendant engaged in prostitution in a location where it is lawful
  • There was no sexual contact during the encounter
  • The defendant didn’t intend to solicit sexual conduct
  • The defendant was unaware of the situation or made an honest mistake, and the police wrongly charged them anyway
  • Nefarious police activity (i.e., entrapment) or a denial of rights during the arrest

The caliber of attorney you hire will have a major impact on the success of your defense strategy and the eventual outcome of your case. In some cases, an attorney can advocate for their clients to complete a prostitution diversion program in Nevada.

If completed, the prostitution charge is dismissed, and their criminal record for prostitution is sealed to the public.

It’s important to note that prostitution diversion programs and the criminal record deferral are only available to first-time offenders. Any subsequent prostitution convictions won’t be deferred or dismissed on account of finishing a diversion program.

Can I Seal My Record If I’ve Been Convicted of Prostitution?

In most cases, individuals are eligible for an immediate record seal if they’re only charged with prostitution or solicitation, but not convicted.  If you’re in this situation, you’ll definitely want your record sealed to avoid long lasting consequences.  However, it’s important to understand that it can take a few weeks to months for the record seal process to conclude.   

Furthermore, individuals convicted of prostitution who are victims of sex trafficking (or similar) are typically eligible for an immediate record seal.

Suppose a person willingly engages in prostitution or solicitation with another adult. In that case, they may be eligible for a record seal 1-2 years after their case closes, depending on the circumstances of the case.

However, individuals charged with sex crimes, sex trafficking of minors, or any other crimes against children (including prostitution, solicitation, pandering, etc.) can never have their criminal record sealed in Nevada.

Best Lawyers For Prostitution Or Solicitation Charges In Las Vegas

Are you facing charges for prostitution or for soliciting a prostitute? If so, you need The Vegas Lawyers on your side.  Prostitution and solicitation are serious crimes that can lead to jail time and civil penalties.  A weekend in Las Vegas can quickly become a nightmare if you’re facing the embarrassment of prostitution or solicitation charges.  While the odds of jail time for a first-time offense are very low, the stigma and embarrassment from a conviction can last a lifetime.   Don’t let this happen to you.      


Our highly skilled team of legal professionals (led by a former judge) understand what’s at stake and we’ve helped many tourists and locals avoid the harshest penalties associated with prostitution and solicitation.

Let’s put it this way, when even off-duty cops hire us to avoid the consequences of questionable behavior, then you know you’re with the best!  Contact us through this website or give us a call at (702) 707-7000 for your free initial consultation today.

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