Are Undercover Solicitation “Stings” Considered Entrapment in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Nov 11, 2013 | 0 Comments

Not unless the undercover cops overstep their bounds…

Entrapment is when police trick people into committing crimes they are not predisposed to commit.  Since entrapment is illegal, it serves as an effective defense to criminal charges.

An example of entrapment is a cop threatening to beat a suspected prostitute unless she agrees to accept his money in exchange for having sex with him.  If the prostitute agrees, she should not be criminally liable for the Nevada crime of solicitation of prostitution because the cop “entrapped” her into engaging in solicitation of prostitution.

Note that Nevada police are legally permitted to go undercover and pose as prostitutes or prostitution customers in an effort to catch actual hookers and “johns.”  These “solicitation stings” do not in and of themselves qualify as entrapment.  However, undercover cops have to abide by strict rules during solicitation stings:

Police MAY go undercover and pretend to solicit sexual favors for a fee.  But police may NOT pressure, threaten, or otherwise force someone else to solicit prostitution if that person is not otherwise predisposed to solicit prostitution.

In short, an undercover solicitation sting is considered entrapment if the suspect would not have solicited prostitution BUT FOR the police's pressure.  But as long as the police do not coerce someone into soliciting prostitution, the Nevada defense of entrapment will not prevent that person from being convicted of solicitation of prostitution. Read our article, "Can I get my solicitation charge dismissed in Nevada?"

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.


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