Nevada Prostitution and Solicitation Laws
(NRS 201.354)

Prostitution is defined under Nevada law as the exchange of sexual favors for something of value, usually money. Contrary to popular belief, prostitution is a crime in Las Vegas and throughout the state except in a few rural, licensed brothels. Merely offering or agreeing to trade sex for a fee (called the solicitation of prostitution) is also illegal. 

Solicitation and prostitution are usually misdemeanors in Nevada. Both sex workers ("hookers") as well as their customers ("johns") may be prosecuted for it. For a first-time offense, Las Vegas judges typically impose a fine and a health education class instead of the maximum penalty of six (6) months in jail.

There are various ways to fight solicitation and prostitution allegations in Nevada. Three common defenses include taking the position that:

  1. The police entrapped the defendant,
  2. The incident was an innocent misunderstanding, or
  3. The defendant made no "overt acts" of solicitation or prostitution.

Note that pimping ("sex trafficking") is an entirely separate offense and carries heftier sentences.

Below our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys answer frequently-asked-questions about Nevada prostitution and solicitation laws, including potential punishments, defense strategies, and record seals. Click on a topic to go directly to that section:

1. What are prostitution and solicitation in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Prostitution is the act of trading sexual favors for a fee. Solicitation is offering or agreeing to commit prostitution. In short, solicitation is attempted prostitution.

Even though solicitation requires no sexual act like prostitution does, prostitution and solicitation are not separate crimes. People may be charged with violating NRS 201.354 whether they committed just solicitation or full-on prostitution.1

1.1. Legal definition of prostitution in Nevada:

Prostitution … also called “hooking” ... is defined as "engaging in sexual conduct with another person in return for a fee, monetary consideration or other thing of value."2 But this trade of sex for money does not have to include penetration to qualify as prostitution. Even groping over clothing counts as a sexual favor. And the fee can consist of anything of value such as jewelry or drugs. Las Vegas prostitution lawyer Michael Becker provides an illustration:

Example: Adam accosts Barbara at the Hard Rock Center Bar. She allows him to “cop a feel” if he gives her a cigarette. An undercover policeman from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department witnesses the act. The policeman then arrests Adam and Barbara and books them at the Clark County Detention Center on prostitution charges.

It does not matter in the above scenario that Adam and Barbara had no sexual intercourse. Nor is it relevant that Adam did not pay with cash. Prostitution comprises any type of sexual act regardless of penetration. And anything of value can constitute payment.

1.2. Legal definition of solicitation in Nevada:

Solicitation of prostitution is proposing to engage in prostitution or accepting an offer to engage in prostitution.3 However, solicitation is just as illegal as prostitution. It makes no difference if sex never takes place and money never changes hands.

Note that a prostitute can be criminally liable for solicitation even if he/she never intended to go through with the sex act. And a john can be criminally liable for prostitution even if he/she plans to go back on his/her promise to pay for the sex. A person's actions, not intent, is the key to determining whether solicitation takes place. Las Vegas solicitation lawyer Neil Shouse gives an example:

Example: An undercover cop posts a fake ad on Craigslist soliciting prostitution. Bradley answers the ad by agreeing to pay $400 for the night. Bradley then shows up to the agreed-upon motel room, where the cop arrests him. Bradley can be convicted of solicitation even though the cop clearly never intended to have sexual relations with him. Bradley's mere agreement to trade sex for money is sufficient to constitute a violation of Las Vegas prostitution laws. 

Typical solicitation settings in Las Vegas are street corners, bars, lounges, strip clubs, nightclubs, massage parlors, reflexology parlors, gentlemen's clubs, and casinos. In addition, people may solicit prostitution online over the phone, through print ads, or on such websites.

2. How do police make prostitution and solicitation arrests in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Prostitution arrests transpire in many different ways in Nevada. Sometimes police personally witness solicitation while patrolling and cruising in their cop cars. In other cases, witnesses tip the police off. And in many cases, hookers or johns get arrested by undercover vice squads carrying out Las Vegas prostitution “stings”.

2.1. What are prostitution stings?

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Many prostitution arrests in Nevada result from undercover stings.

Prostitution stings usually involve police disguising themselves as prostitutes or customers. They go to typical solicitation locations, like bars. Then they wait to be solicited, or else they solicit a suspected hooker or john. If an undercover cop gets someone to offer or agree to trade sexual favors for a fee, the cop then reveals him/herself and arrests the person.

It may seem like stings are unfair police practices. But they are completely lawful as long as the undercover cops never overstep their bounds when enticing people into committing solicitation.4 Las Vegas prostitution attorney Michael Becker explains how a sting can violate a suspect's rights:

Example: George is conducting a prostitution sting as an undercover cop. He dresses in plain clothes and walks into the bar at Jerry's Nugget on Friday night. He spies a suggestively-dressed woman he suspects of being a hooker. He tells her that he will pay her $100 in exchange for sex. She tells him to get lost. Then George shows her his gun and threatens harm unless she agrees to the trade. She relents, and George takes out his badge and books her at North Las Vegas Detention Center for solicitation of prostitution.

George in the above example went too far. The woman's rejection of George's first offer demonstrates that she had no intention to engage in prostitution but for George's threats. As discussed more fully below in question 3, police are not allowed to “entrap” suspects into illegal activity they would not otherwise do. Had the woman consented to George's first offer without being threatened, then he would be acting within his lawful powers as an undercover policeman.

2.2. What evidence proves prostitution or solicitation?

Common examples of evidence the D.A. may try to introduce to show that a defendant has committed prostitution are:

  • Video- or audiotape of the alleged hooker or john soliciting prostitution. In many prostitution stings, undercover officers are bugged.
  • The alleged prostitute's client book.
  • Large amounts of cash belonging to the alleged prostitute that may be payments from johns.
  • Condoms belonging to the defendant, indicating that he/she was planning to have sex.
  • Eyewitness accounts by the arresting officer who witnessed the solicitation.
  • Witnesses who may have seen or overheard the alleged hooker and john agreeing to trade sexual favors for a fee.
  • Witnesses who saw the alleged hooker and john driving or walking to an agreed-upon location, which suggests that they were meeting to carry out the prostitution.
  • The suspected prostitute's sexually provocative clothes, which suggests she was turning tricks.

Note that a person can be charged with prostitution even if the parties used seemingly-innocent code words to solicit prostitution, such as:

  • “party” instead of "sex"
  • “escorts” or “escort services” instead of "prostitutes"
  • “ASP” instead of "adult services provider"
  • “donation” instead of "payment for sex"

Defendants in all criminal cases are presumed "not guilty" until the prosecution proves guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The sole evidence in many prostitution cases is the police report. So if there are no eyewitnesses or recordings to back up the police's story, a jury may be reluctant to convict.

2.3. Can strippers and exotic dancers get busted for prostitution or solicitation?

Stripping and exotic dancing are legal in Nevada as long as the dancers obtain the proper work cards and abide by municipal codes. But note that cops often go incognito to strip clubs in order to catch strippers or johns soliciting prostitution. For more about Las Vegas strip club arrests, read our informational article on Las Vegas strip club arrests.

3. How can I fight prostitution or solicitation charges in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Three of the most common defenses to Nevada prostitution charges include entrapment, mistake, and lack of overtness:

3.1. Entrapment defense

Entrapment is when police deceive someone to act out criminal activity that he/she is not predisposed to doing.5 An example of entrapment is a decoy policeman purchasing drinks for a female patron and then suggesting he give her cash for oral sex. By making the woman inebriated, the policeman is “entrapping” her into the solicitation of prostitution. So even if the woman consents to the prostitution, charges should not stand because of the illegal police tactics.

Entrapment is an “affirmative defense.” This means that the defendant has the initial burden of demonstrating to the court that the cops instigated the solicitation.6 If the defense attorney can show that the cop suggested the solicitation, the burden shifts to prosecutors to demonstrate that the defendant was predisposed to engage in solicitation anyway.

If the prosecutor cannot show that the defendant was predisposed to engage in solicitation, the charges should be dropped. Note that the state might try to introduce evidence of the defendant's past actions in order to suggest a predisposition to prostitution.7 But if the defendant has no criminal record of soliciting or similar crimes, there is a decent chance that the case will be dismissed.

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Police entrapping a person to trade money for sex is a defense to prostitution charges.

3.2. Mistake/ misunderstanding defense

Prostitution's underworld is extremely confusing. In order to escape suspicion, sex workers employ coded language and unusual settings. This may result in genuine misunderstandings where innocent people are falsely accused of trading sexual favors for a fee. Las Vegas solicitation attorney Neil Shouse provides an illustration:

Example: Travis walks into a massage parlor for what he thinks will be a back rub. He does not realize that the parlor is just a front for a brothel. As Travis is getting undressed, cops suddenly bust the parlor and arrest Travis and his masseuse. The masseuse might be convicted of prostitution because she believed Travis was paying for a massage with a happy ending. But Travis did not violate Las Vegas solicitation law because he honestly believed he was paying for just a massage.

In short, the Nevada defense of mistake is applicable to situations where the defendant never agreed to commit prostitution even though the other party truly thought there was an agreement. If the court finds that the prostitution charge followed from an innocent mistake, the case should be thrown out.

3.3. Lack of overtness defense

Nevada prostitution laws require that solicitation be “overt” in order for it to be a crime.8 The most common example of overt solicitation is a verbal agreement to trade a specific amount of money for certain sexual acts. In these cases, a defense attorney may try to argue that the defendant's words were too unclear and ambiguous to qualify as solicitation.

Another possible defense is that the alleged prostitute and john never formally agreed to trade sex for money. Maybe the defendant consented to have sex for free. Or perhaps the defendant offered to lend a prostitute money for reasons that had nothing to do with sex. Either way, a charge for solicitation should not stand if the prosecution cannot show the court that there was an overt agreement.

4. Can I go to jail for prostitution or solicitation in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Probably not for a first offense.9 But the law demands harsher punishments for prostitutes with HIV and johns who solicit underage prostitutes.

4.1. General penalties

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Prostitutes often face harsher penalties than customers of prostitutes in Nevada.

A first-time prostitution offense rarely carries jail.10 Note that prostitutes and customers are punished differently.

4.1.1. Penalties for prostitutes

Prostitutes busted for solicitation or prostitution face a misdemeanor charge, carrying:

  • Fines of up to $1,000, and/or
  • Up to 6 months in jail11

4.1.2. Penalties for customers

Meanwhile, customers convicted of solicitation or prostitution face steeper penalties for each successive conviction.

A first-time conviction is a misdemeanor, carrying:

  • fines of up to $1,000 and/or up to 6 months in jail, and
  • an additional fine of $400, and
  • a civil penalty of $200 (or community service if the customer cannot pay)

A second-time conviction is a gross misdemeanor, carrying:

  • fines of up to $2,000 and/or up to 364 days in jail, and
  • an additional fine of $800, and
  • a civil penalty of $200 (or community service if the customer cannot pay)

A third-time conviction is a gross misdemeanor, carrying:

  • fines of up to $2,000 and/or up to 364 days in jail, and
  • an additional fine of $1,300, and
  • a civil penalty of $200 (or community service if the customer cannot pay)

4.1.3. Penalties for prostitution with HIV

Note that anyone arrested for prostitution in Nevada has to submit to an HIV test.12 The state will then notify the arrestee of positive HIV test results either through certified mail to his/her address or via hand-delivery if the arrestee is in custody.

Also note that suspects who have been notified of having HIV are required to appear in court within 45 days to declare they know they are HIV positive.13 These court records will then be used as evidence against the suspects if they are ever busted for prostitution in the future.14

Soliciting prostitution after having tested positive for HIV is a category B felony in Nevada if the person has been given notice of his/her HIV-positive status. Penalties include:

People who have no reasonable way of knowing they are HIV positive face only misdemeanor penalties.15

4.2. Plea Deals

In some cases, prosecutors may be amenable to dismissing a first-time offender's prostitution charge in exchange for the following plea bargain:

  • Paying a $250 fine or performing 25 hours of community service (some prosecutors mandate community service to preclude the defendant from covering the fine with prostitution earnings); and
  • Completing an AIDS Awareness class or a prostitution education class (the prostitution education class is commonly called the First Offender Prostitution Program, or “FOPP,” or “John School.”); and
  • Avoiding any other arrest or citations (other than for minor traffic violations) until the case is closed. This requirement is referred to as “stay out of trouble,” or SOOT.

If the court agrees to dismiss a first-time offender's prostitution case upon completion of a treatment program, the court will also seal the records. However if the person is arrested for prostitution again, the court will know that it is not the defendant's first charge and can punish the defendant more harshly.

Sometimes the prosecutor will refuse to dismiss a prostitution case. In this situation, the defense attorney may be able to get the charge changed to something that does not sound as bad. Two typical misdemeanors that prostitution charges can be lessened to are “trespass” and “disorderly conduct.”

  • The Nevada crime of trespass occurs when a person enters or loiters on another's property without the owner's permission. Oftentimes cops arrest prostitutes for trespass merely for going on casino property, where solicitation frequently occurs.16
  • The Nevada crime of disorderly conduct is a very subjective “catch all” crime for making disruptive outbursts or causing a disturbance.17

It is preferable to plead to trespass or disorderly conduct than to prostitution. They are vague crimes that lack the stigma inherent in prostitution. They are not as damning to have on one's criminal record and are less likely to turn off potential employers.

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Sometimes prostitution charges may be lessened to the more minor offense of trespass.

4.3. Repeat Offenders:

Nevada law has a specific crime for people with three (3) prior soliciting convictions in the last five (5) years. If they get caught soliciting prostitution in a casino, they face charges for repeated casino solicitation in Nevada. This crime of repeated casino solicitation is a misdemeanor carrying:

  • Fines of up to $1,000, and/or
  • Up to 6 months in jail

Las Vegas Metro's Vice Detectives maintain a most-wanted list they call VETO (Vice Enforcement Top Offenders). It includes the most frequently-arrested prostitutes, some of whom have more than 100 arrests.18

The Las Vegas City Attorney's Office attempts to achieve full-out solicitation convictions in most VETO cases. Therefore prosecutors are less agreeable to reducing charges for repeat offenders. But prosecutors sometimes offer VETO defendants the following plea bargain:

  • A suspended sentence (no jail unless the defendant fails to complete the other sentencing terms),
  • 100 hours of community service,
  • An AIDS awareness class, and
  • Refraining from entering casinos for several months.19
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Some repeat prostitution offenders may be able to avoid jail if they take an AIDS awareness class and do 100 hours of community service.

4.4. Prostitution with Children

A first offense of a customer soliciting a minor (child under 18) for prostitution is prosecuted as a category E felony in Nevada.20 The punishment is:

  • 1 to 4 years in Nevada State Prison (which may be probationable), and
  • maybe up to $5,000 in fines

A second offense of soliciting a child for prostitution in Nevada is a category D felony in Nevada carrying:

  • 1 to 4 years in Nevada State Prison, and
  • maybe up to $5,000 in fines.

A third or subsequent offense of soliciting a child for prostitution in Nevada is a category C felony in Nevada carrying:

  • 1 to 5 years in Nevada State Prison, and
  • maybe up to $10,000 in fines.

Probation or suspended prison sentences are not available for third or subsequent offenses.21

Note that customers suspected of soliciting a child for prostitution may face more serious felony charges including the statutory sexual seduction,22 lewdness with a child under 16,23 or the Nevada crime of sex trafficking (which includes pimping).24 Lewdness and sex trafficking carry potential life sentences and requirements to register as a sex offender in Nevada.25 (See question 10 for more information about pimping penalties.)

5. Can I get my prostitution or solicitation criminal records sealed in Las Vegas, Nevada?


People convicted of prostitution in Nevada are required to wait at least one (1) year after the case is closed to begin the record seal process. But if the defendant's prostitution charge got dismissed with no conviction, then he/she can petition the court immediately to seal the arrest record.26

Note that the waiting period to seal a record extends to 5 years if the person was aware he/she had HIV. And if the prostitution involved a minor, it might be impossible to get the record sealed at all.

Note that if the defendant is applying for certain licenses (such as a gaming license), Nevada law says that the defendant should tell the truth if the board asks him/her about past prostitution charges.

A prostitution conviction is embarrassing and stigmatizing. A prostitution conviction also appears on background checks, and employers may pass over qualified job applicants because of their criminal record. Therefore, it is advisable that anyone with solicitation convictions try to get their records sealed.27

6. Is prostitution a federal crime?

Federal law does not prohibit trading sex for money. But federal law does prohibit prostitution that involves importing aliens, interstate or foreign travel, or the armed forces...

6.1. Federal prostitution crimes

  • Aliens: Federal law forbids importing aliens into the U.S. for the purpose of them engaging in prostitution. The penalty is up to 10 years of federal prison and/or a fine.28
  • Interstate/ foreign travel: Federal law forbids knowingly transporting a person in between states or in between the U.S. and a foreign country for the purpose of them engaging in prostitution. The penalty is up to 10 years of federal prison and/or a fine.29 The penalty increases to up to 20 years for knowingly coercing a person to travel in interstate or foreign commerce to engage in prostitution.30
  • Armed forces: Federal law forbids engaging in prostitution close to any military or naval camp, state, base, or other mobilization place. The penalty is up to one (1) year and/or a fine.31

6.2. Federal v. state court systems

Federal court procedures in Nevada are more formal and drawn-out than in Nevada state court...

In state court, prosecutors usually determine whether sufficient evidence exists to prosecute a suspect for prostitution. In federal court, prosecutors often rely on a grand jury to decide. A grand jury consists of 16 to 23 randomly chosen people.

If at least 12 grand jurors agree there is probable cause that the suspect committed prostitution, the prosecutor submits an "indictment" to the court. At that point, the court may arraign (formally charge) the defendant.32

Note that federal criminal cases are prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office. A federal prosecutor is called an AUSA, short for Assistant United States Attorney. Nevada has two federal courthouses: Lloyd George Courthouse in Las Vegas, and Bruce Thompson Courthouse in Reno.

7. Can I be deported for prostitution or solicitation?

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Non-citizens charged with prostitution in Nevada may be deported.

Yes. Prostitution may be considered a crime involving moral turpitude in Nevada.33 This means that aliens who are convicted of prostitution may be deported.

Furthermore, prostitution may be considered an inadmissible offense in Nevada.34 This means that foreigners suspected of prostitution may not even be permitted into the U.S.

Consequently, it is important that non-citizens charged with prostitution in Nevada retain legal counsel who has experience in immigration law. They may be able to orchestrate a defense strategy that would result in the charges getting changed to non-removable offenses, such as disorderly conduct. Learn more about the criminal defense of immigrants in Nevada.

8. Where is prostitution legal in Nevada? The licensed brothel system.

The only place prostitution may occur is in licensed brothels. Currently, eight Nevada counties have licensed brothels. They are:

  • Humboldt
  • Elko
  • Lander
  • White Pine
  • Nye
  • Mineral
  • Lyon
  • Storey

There are four other counties that do not prohibit prostitution; however, no legal prostitution occurs there because there are no licensed brothels. These counties are:

  • Esmerelda
  • Eureka
  • Pershing
  • Churchill 

Nevada is the only state that permits some form of legalized prostitution. However, state and local government heavily regulate it.35

Nevada law outlaws prostitution in counties with 400,000 or more residents, which automatically disqualifies Clark County and therefore Las Vegas.36 Meanwhile, the local governments of Douglas, Lincoln, and Washoe Counties (including Reno) and Carson City have also outlawed prostitution.37

8.1. Brothel rules

Just some of the rules that licensed brothels are required to abide by include:

  • Brothel prostitutes are required to submit to regular HIV and STD testing.38
  • Brothel prostitutes are required to use condoms.39
  • Brothels are not allowed to be located close to a school or a church.40
  • Brothels are not allowed to be located on a principal street.41
  • Brothels are not allowed to advertise in counties that prohibit prostitution.42

In addition, all sex workers employed by brothels must be legal adults, have work cards, get paid fair wages, and work by their own free will.43

Currently, about two-dozen brothels operate throughout eight rural Nevada counties. The nearest legal brothels to Las Vegas are located in Pahrump (in Nye County). State law now allows male prostitutes to work in licensed brothels as well, but it rarely happens.44

9. Can I be charged with other crimes if I am arrested for prostitution or solicitation in Las Vegas, Nevada?

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Solicitation is often charged alongside other crimes in Nevada.

Prostitution suspects can face additional criminal charges depending on the circumstances of the case. For example, an act of prostitution that ceases to be consensual may rise to the level of rape. A john who hits a hooker commits battery. And a hooker who steals from a john may be charged with theft.

Below are some Nevada crimes that are commonly associated with NRS 201.354 violations:

9.1. Open and gross lewdness

Nevada open and gross lewdness laws typically comprise exposing one's body or having sex in public. If an act of prostitution occurs in public, the prostitute and customer could be arrested for open and gross lewdness.

A first-time offense is a gross misdemeanor in Nevada carrying up to 364 days in jail and/or up to $2,000 in fines. Otherwise it is a category D felony in Nevada carrying 1 to 4 years in Nevada State Prison and maybe a fine of $5,000.45

9.2. Indecent exposure

Nevada outlaws the “open and indecent or obscene exposure” of a person's body. "Flashing” or making other suggestive gestures while soliciting prostitution can qualify as indecent exposure.

A first-time offense is a gross misdemeanor with a sentence of up to 364 days in jail and/or up to $2,000 in fines. Subsequent offenses are a category D felony carrying 1 to 4 years in Nevada State Prison and maybe a fine of $5,000.46

9.3. Battery

Knowingly touching another person in an unlawful manner is the Nevada crime of battery. The most common examples are punching, slapping and pushing. But battery can also include ripping clothing off, throwing objects at, and spitting on a person.

Many encounters between prostitutes and customers turn violent. Battery can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on whether the victim sustains substantial bodily harm.47

9.4. Sexual assault

Nevada sexual assault (rape) laws outlaw nonconsensual sex. This applies to not only vaginal intercourse but also anal and oral intercourse. Customers who rape prostitutes may face up to life in prison.48

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Sex workers or johns may be convicted of prostitution even if no sex takes place.

9.5. Trick-rolling (theft)

Nevada trick-rolling laws concern hookers who steal cash or other valuables from johns. A defendant can be convicted of trick-rolling regardless of whether sexual relations took place.

Trick-rolling may be prosecuted as robbery49 if the prostitute employed threats or force. Otherwise, the prostitute faces charges for the less serious crime of larceny from a person50. The punishment for robbery and larceny from a person can include high fines and years of incarceration.

10. What is the penalty for pimping in Las Vegas, Nevada?

The punishment for pimping depends on the victim's age when the offense occurred...

Pimping a child carries a life sentence with the possibility of parole as well as possible fines. Pimping an adult (18 or older) carries 3 to 10 years in prison and possibly a fine. Defendants also have to register as sex offenders in Nevada.

To pimp or pander means to sell someone for prostitution. Prostitutes often give all their earnings to their pimp, and pimps usually subjugate their prostitutes by abusing them and denying them enough money to escape.

Note that pimping in Nevada is prosecuted as "sex trafficking." Nevada sex trafficking laws prohibit people from either:

  • causing children to be sex workers, or
  • forcing or threatening adults to be sex workers.51

11. California prostitution law distinguished 

As with Nevada, the California crime of solicitation & prostitution in Penal Code 647(b) is punished as a misdemeanor. But unlike Nevada, California's definition of solicitation is more complicated. Its sentencing structure is different as well:

11.1. California definition of solicitation:

Solicitation in California under Penal Code 647(b) is a specific intent crime. This means the defendant is guilty of solicitation in California only if he/she intended to go forward with the sex.52 Contrarily, Nevada solicitation suspects may be convicted of solicitation even if they never intended to go through with the sex. The only thing relevant under Nevada law is that the suspects offered or agreed to trade money for sex.53 

Also in contrast to Nevada solicitation laws, offering to engage in prostitution is a separate crime in California from agreeing to engage in prostitution.54 For a defendant to be liable for “agreeing to prostitution” in California, he/she must have executed an “act in furtherance” of prostitution such as paying a fee.55 

11.2. California penalties for prostitution:

As opposed to Nevada, prostitution in California is a prioriable crime…in other words, the penalties increase with each successive offense:

  • A first-time conviction is punished with up to 6 months in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine.
  • A second-time conviction is punished with 45 days in jail.
  • A third-time conviction is punished with a minimum of 90 days.56 

Also as opposed to Nevada law, California Penal Code 647(b) hands down harsher penalties if the solicitation happened in the defendant's car and within 1,000 feet of a home: The DMV may suspend his/her license for up to a month or give him/her a restricted license for six (6) months.57 In Los Angeles, the police are allowed to seize the vehicle.58 

12. Helpful resources

Several national, state, and local organizations exist that are committed to aiding sex workers:

Arrested for solicitation of prostitution in Nevada? Call a lawyer for help…

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Call us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673).

If you have been accused of “solicitation of prostitution” in Nevada, call our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a FREE consultation. We may be able to get the charge reduced or dismissed so your record stays clean.

Go back to our Nevada sex crimes page.

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We represent clients throughout Nevada, including Las Vegas, Henderson, Washoe County, Reno, Clark County, Carson City, Laughlin, Mesquite, Bunkerville, Moapa, Elko, Pahrump, Searchlight and Tonopah.

Legal References

  1. NRS 201.354. 

    CCO 12.08.015. It is unlawful for any person to accost, solicit or invite another in any public place or in or from any building or vehicle by word, gesture, publication or any other means to commit, offer, agree to afford an opportunity to commit an act of prostitution.

  2. NRS 201.295(5).
  3. See NRS 201.354.
  4. Foster v. State, 116 Nev. 1088, 1092-1093, 13 P.3d 61, 64 (2000) ("'The function of law enforcement is the prevention of crime and the apprehension of criminals. Manifestly, that function does not include the manufacturing of crime...The entrapment defense is made available to defendants not to excuse their criminal wrongdoing but as a prophylactic device designed to prevent police misconduct.”).
  5. Foster, 116 Nev. at 1095-1096, 13 P.3d at, 66 (“Therefore, we hold that when a defendant raises the entrapment defense at trial, evidence of a prior crime may be admitted to show that the defendant was predisposed to commit the instant offense where: (1) the other crime is of a similar character to the offense on which the defendant is being tried; (2) the other crime is not too remote in time from the offense charged; and (3) the probative value of the other crime is not substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice.”).
  6. Foster, 116 Nev. at 1091, 13 P.3d at 63 (“As we have often recognized, entrapment is an affirmative defense . . . The defendant bears the burden of producing evidence of governmental instigation … Once the defendant puts forth evidence of governmental instigation, the State bears the burden of proving that the defendant was predisposed to commit the crime.”).
  7. Foster, 116 Nev. at 1094, 13 P.3d at 65 (“When a defendant raises the defense of entrapment, he places his predisposition to commit the crime in issue.”).
  8. Glegola v. State, 110 Nev. 344, 348, 871 P.2d 950, 952 (1994) (“[W]e conclude that solicitation for prostitution is a general intent crime. A person commits the crime of solicitation for prostitution if the person offers, agrees, or arranges to provide sexual conduct for a fee.”); Dinitz v. Christensen, 94 Nev. 230, 234, 577 P.2d 873, 875 (1978) (“The legislative purpose in proscribing solicitation for prostitution is to eliminate this type crime. The crime requires overt solicitation for purposes of prostitution.”).
  9. Salaiscooper v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court ex rel. County of Clark, 117 Nev. 892, 904-905, 34 P.3d 509, 517 - 518 (2001) (“Because the State presented evidence that the purpose of the policy's buyer/seller distinction was to deter acts of prostitution, the justice court's findings that the policy did not run afoul of the Equal Protection Clause is supported by substantial evidence. People v. Superior Court of Alameda County, 19 Cal.3d 338, 138 Cal.Rptr. 66, 562 P.2d 1315, 1320 (1977). Other jurisdictions have reached an analogous conclusion, holding that it is constitutionally permissible to treat prostitutes differently than the customers who patronize them.”).
  10. NRS 201.354(2).
  11. NRS 193.150.
  12. NRS 201.356. (Defendants who are ultimately arrested of prostitution must pay the $100 HIV testing fee.)
  13. NRS 207.200.
  14. Glegola v. State, 110 Nev. 344, 348, 871 P.2d 950, 953 (1994) (“Our review of the record on appeal reveals sufficient evidence to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt as determined by a rational trier of fact … In particular, Officer Blair testified that appellant offered to perform sexual acts in exchange for money. Several witnesses testified that appellant had knowledge of her HIV positive status. The jury could reasonably infer from the evidence presented that appellant committed the crime of solicitation for prostitution after notice of testing positive for HIV.”).
  15. NRS 201.358.
  16. NRS 207.200.
  17. CCO 12.33.010.
  18. NRS 207.203.
  19. Alan Maimon, Vice Enforcement's Top Offenders: Police are taking unprecedented steps to keep prostitution offenders off the Strip, Las Vegas Review-Journal (February 15, 2009).
  20. NRS 201.354(3).
  21. NRS 193.130.
  22. NRS 200.368.
  23. NRS 201.230.
  24. NRS 201.300.
  25. NRS 179D.
  26. NRS 179.245(f).
  27. NRS 179.245(a); Nevada Assembly Bill 260 (2017).
  28. 8 U.S. Code § 1328.
  29. 18 U.S. Code § 2421.
  30. 18 U.S. Code § 2422.
  31. 18 U.S. Code § 1384.
  32. Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 6.
  33. INA § 237(a)(2)(A).
  34. 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(D).
  35. Princess Sea Industries, Inc. v. State, Clark County, 97 Nev. 534, 537, 635 P.2d 281, 283 (1981) (“Prostitution is an activity which the State of Nevada may choose either to regulate or to prohibit entirely.”). Kuban v. McGimsey, 96 Nev. 105, 111, 605 P.2d 623, 627 (1980) (“The nature of the businesses [houses of prostitution], coupled with the burden of policing and regulation upon the county, are alone sufficient reasons for limiting the number of such businesses or, as here, the complete proscription of the businesses.”). State v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court of State of Nev. In and For Clark County, 99 Nev. 614, 616, 668 P.2d 282, 283 (1983) (“It is generally accepted that while the Due Process Clause does protect many aspects of intimate sexual relations privately engaged in between consenting adults, a state may nevertheless constitutionally regulate and prohibit commercialized sexual activities, such as prostitution and solicitation.”).

    Note Nye and Lyon Counties will have referendums in the upcoming election that may result in brothel prostitution being banned outright in those counties. Jim Carlton, Is the Party Over for Nevada's Legal Brothels? Possibility of a Ban Looms, Wall Street Journal (June 16, 2018).
  36. NRS 244.345.
  37. Guy Louis Rocha, Presentation by Nevada State Archivist of the History of Prostitution in Nevada (August 4, 1999).
  38. NAC 441A.800.
  39. NAC 441A.805.
  40. NRS 201.380.
  41. NRS 201.390.
  42. Id.
  43. Barbara Brents & Kathryn Hausbeck, State-Sanctioned Sex: Negotiating Formal and Informal Regulatory Practices in Nevada Brothels, 44 Soc. Persp. 307, 324 (2001).
  44. Marshall Allen, New Era: Health authorities open brothels to male prostitutes, Las Vegas Sun (December 11, 2009).
  45. NRS 201.210.
  46. NRS 201.220.
  47. NRS 200.481.
  48. NRS 200.366.
  49. NRS 200.380.
  50. NRS 205.270.
  51. NRS 201.300.
  52. People v. Love, 111 Cal.App.3d Supp. 1, 15 (1980). (“By contrast, the trial court's instruction that the specific intent required was 'to communicate to another an offer of sex for money or other consideration' would make the crime of solicitation a general intent crime. Under the Hood, definition of the act would be accomplished and completed as soon as the words of solicitation were spoken. The 'communication' of the offer is only one element of the crime and the trial court's definition thus leaves out an essential element of the offense. A defendant is not guilty of the offense unless he or she seriously intends to carry through by performing an act of prostitution. A mere speaking of the words of solicitation is not enough for conviction of this offense.”).
  53. Glegola v. State, 110 Nev. 344, 348, 871 P.2d 950, 952 (1994) (“After reviewing other state statutes, reviewing ordinances from counties within the state, and inferring the legislature's intent, we conclude that solicitation for prostitution is a general intent crime. A person commits the crime of solicitation for prostitution if the person offers, agrees, or arranges to provide sexual conduct for a fee.”).
  54. Kim v. Superior Court, 136 Cal.App.4th 937, 941 (2006). (“The provision expanding section 647(b) to permit conviction for an agreement to engage in an act of prostitution was added by the Statutes of 1986, chapter 1276, section 1, pages 4457-4459 (Sen. Bill No. 2169). Senator David Roberti sponsored the bill on behalf of the City of Los Angeles. (Assem. Com. on Pub. Safety, Analysis on Sen. Bill No. 2169 (1985-1986 Reg. Sess.) as amended Aug. 11, 1986, p. 1.) At the time of the bill's introduction, unlike 24 other states with prohibitions against agreements to engage in lewd acts for money, California law barred only prostitution and its solicitation. (Ibid.) According to the proponent, “most prostitutes kn[e]w that if they wait[ed] until a customer mention[ed] money or sex, and then simply approve[d] the conditions, they [could not] be found guilty of soliciting prostitution. Consequently, street-wise prostitutes rarely 'solicit [ed]” prostitution, and undercover officers posing as customers often [were] unable to make arrests for prostitution.” ( Ibid.) The legislation was, therefore, “intended to give police another enforcement tool” on “prostitution laws that [were] difficult to enforce.” ( Ibid.)”).
  55. Kim v. Superior Court, 136 Cal.App.4th 937, 942 (2006). (“Senate Bill 1276 initially prohibited only the agreement to engage in an act of prostitution. (Sen. Bill No. 2169 (1985-1986 Reg. Sess.) as introduced Feb. 20, 1986.) To minimize false arrests, entrapment and use of the entrapment defense, however, the bill was amended prior to passage to include the language requiring an act in furtherance of the commission of an act of prostitution by the person agreeing to engage in that act. (Sen. Bill No. 2169 (1985-1986 Reg. Sess.) as amended Aug. 11, 1986; Sen Com. on Judiciary, Analysis on Sen. Bill. 2169 (1985-1986 Reg. Sess.) as introduced Feb. 20, 1986, pp. 4-5; Assem. Com. on Pub. Safety, Analysis on Sen. Bill No. 2169 (1985-1986 Reg. Sess.) as introduced June 30, 1986, pp. 2-3; Assem. Com. on Pub. Safety, Analysis on Sen. Bill No. 2169 (1985-1986 Reg. Sess.) as amended Aug. 11, 1986, pp. 3-4.)”).
  56. California Penal Code 647 PC.
  57. Id.
  58. Los Angeles Municipal Code 41.70.










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