Nevada Laws against Prostitution and Solicitation
The laws of prostitution and solicitation in Nevada are a complex subject matter. For the most part, prostitution and solicitation can lawfully happen in the state but can also be illegal under particular conditions.
Nevada counties with population under 700,000 can operate several brothels albeit under certain laws and restrictions. It might sound surprising but prostitution and solicitation is actually illegal in Las Vegas as the city is part of Clark County which has more than 700,000 residents.
If you are accused of prostitution or solicitation of prostitution in Las Vegas, here is a rundown of information that you can discuss with your Las Vegas criminal defense attorney to prove your innocence!
Nevada Revised Statutes on Prostitution and Solicitation
Nevada State Laws define prostitution as the “act or practice of engaging in promiscuous sexual relations especially for money” and solicitation as “the crime of soliciting someone to engage in prostitution.” Simply put, both activities involve sex in exchange for money and both are actually allowed in Nevada—the only state in the United States jurisdiction that does so. And while prostitution and solicitation are accepted in some parts of the state, there are tight guidelines that should be strictly adhered to.
According to Chapter 201 of the Nevada Revised Statutes, a person cannot prostitute or solicit in public places except in licensed brothels and house of prostitutions.
Breaking this law can earn a person a misdemeanor charge that is comprised of:
- Jail time of at least six months
- $1000 of fine
- Community services
Prostituting a child or someone under 18 years old is a Class E felony and has charges of:
- 1 to 4 years of jail time at the Clark County Detention Centers (CCDC)
- Fine of at least $5,000
For reference, here are the counties that legally operate brothels throughout the state of Nevada:
- White Pine County
- Storey County
Nevada Brothel Laws
Aside prohibiting prostitution and solicitation outside the boundaries of a brothel, the state of Nevada also holds a number of laws that brothels should follow if they want their business to keep running such as:
- Prostitutes should be of legal age, working on their own will, and regularly tested for any transmittable diseases
- Brothels should not be placed 400 yards from a school or a house of worship
- Brothels and prostitution as a whole cannot be advertised in any place that it is prohibited
- Condoms must be used by prostitutes
Pandering or pimping is an act of procuring someone to be a prostitute and arranging deals with people looking for prostitutes. Usually, pimps gain a commission whenever a transaction is successful. This is illegal in Las Vegas and the entirety of Nevada.
Anyone caught pandering can be charged with a Category D felony charge that usually consists of:
- 1 to 4 years in prison
- A fine of $5,000
Pandering with the use of physical force is Category C felony and has:
- 1 to 5 years of prison time
- A fine of $10,000
If a child is pandered, it is Category B felony and one can face:
- 1 to 10 years of prison time
- A fine of at least $10,000
When force or physical violence is involved in child pandering, it is still Category B felony with charges of higher magnitude such as 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of $20,000.
Difference from Escort Services and Strip Clubs
While prostitution is illegal in the city of Las Vegas, other related engagements are allowed. One might confuse escorts as prostitutes but escorts are only meant to accompany certain people in private or public places without the occurrence of sex. According to the Chapter 8.32 of Clark County Code, escorts can lose their work license if they engaged in prostitution.
Similarly, dancers working in Las Vegas strip clubs are wholly tolerated by the law as long as the dancers remain professional and are not brought out for prostitution.
Defending Yourself from Accusations
Being caught violating prostitution and solicitation laws in Las Vegas can be tough as the city completely prohibits such activities despite its preceding reputation. If it happens that you are falsely accused of prostituting, soliciting, or hiring prostitutes, know that you can use effective defenses to counter false allegations. Defenses that you can work on are as follows:
- Entrapment (i.e., you were unlawfully lured by an agent covering as a pimp)
- You were mistaken as someone looking for a prostitute
- No final agreements were made
- Money is not involved
Despite being legal under regulations, engaging in such acts could be dangerous especially for those who are not knowledgeable about the laws in the state of Nevada.
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