In this section, our attorneys explain Nevada’s criminal laws and legal concepts, A to Z
No. Brothels – as well as any other forms of prostitution (NRS 201.354) – are not allowed in Las Vegas or elsewhere in Clark County under NRS 244.345. Prostitutes and customers face misdemeanor charges merely for offering or agreeing to trade sexual favors for money – if even no money ends up changing hands and no sex acts take place. And pimps face more serious charges of pimping (NRS 201.320) and pandering (NRS 201.300(1)).
Legal prostitution may occur only in licensed brothels in the state of Nevada. At this time, the only counties that permit licensed brothels are:
Three other counties do not outlaw licensed brothels but do not currently have any. These counties are:
Brothels are prohibited under state law in any Nevada County with a population of 700,000 or more residents. Therefore, all of Clark County (including the Las Vegas Strip) can never issue brothel licenses. In addition, the local governments of Douglas County, Lincoln, Eureka County, Pershing County, and Washoe County (including Reno and Sparks) as well as Carson City ban brothels.
At this time, there are about 21 lawful brothels in Nevada, and they are all in rural counties. The closest of Nevada’s legal brothels to Las Vegas are located in Pahrump (in Nye County). (However, brothels are currently closed due to the COVID-19 / coronavirus pandemic.)
Nevada is the only state in the United States with some form of legalization of prostitution.
The Nevada brothel sex industry is highly regulated. Some of the prostitution laws that the brothel industry must follow are the following:
Note that brothel workers are typically independent contractors.
Penalties for violating Nevada laws for prostitution turn on the specific offense:
|Being a prostitute (“hooker”) under NRS 201.354:
|Being a customer (“john”) under NRS 201.354:
|Prostitution when the defendant knew he/she had HIV under NRS 201.358||Category B felony:
|Pimping under NRS 201.320
There is no violence (or immediate threats of violence)
Category D felony:
There is violence (or immediate threats of violence)
Category C felony:
If the prostitute is a minor (under 18), then the judge may impose an additional $500,000 fine.
|Pandering under NRS 201.300(1)
||Category C felony:
In short, illegal prostitution – such as through streetwalking, escort service or strip club solicitations – is typically a misdemeanor. Judges usually do not impose jail for a first-time offense.
See our related article, Are prostitution and solicitation the same thing in Nevada?
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, 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.
No. Arizona law makes it a crime to knowingly engage in prostitution (ARS 13-3214), which is trading sexual favors for money or something of value. It is also a crime to solicit prostitution, which is offering or agreeing to trade sex acts for money or something of value. Prostitution is usually a class 1 misdemeanor, ...
Prostitution customers in Nevada face misdemeanor charges for a first-time offense. The penalty is up to six months in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines, plus an additional $600 in fines. Any successive offense of hiring a prostitute is a gross misdemeanor, carrying up to 364 days in jail and/or up to $2,000 in ...
Are Las Vegas prostitution stings legal or entrapment?Watch this video on YouTube What are prostitution stings in Las Vegas? This is when police set up suspected hookers to solicit prostitution. A common sting scenario begins with the police searching Craiglist or other sites for suspected prostitutes. These suspects typically advertise themselves as escorts. But they ...
Yes, as long as there is no trading of sex for money. It is perfectly legal to pay people for their company, even if the escorts are scantily clad. But escort services cross the line into prostitution (NRS 201.354) if there is an understanding that the payment is for sex, not merely company. The Vegas ...