Prostitution arrests in Nevada do not have to result in a conviction. Our Las Vegas prostitution attorneys fight to get the charges totally dismissed so that you stay out of jail and your background check remains clean.
1. What is the worst-case scenario for a prostitution conviction in Nevada?
Our Las Vegas prostitution lawyers can usually achieve the best-case scenario where the charges get completely dismissed once you pay a fine and complete an online AIDS Awareness class. But if you do not fight the charges, the judge can impose the following penalties.
Sex workers convicted of solicitation of prostitution face a misdemeanor sentence of up to $1,000 in fines and/or up to 6 months in jail. But if the sex worker is HIV-positive (and knows it), solicitation is a category B felony carrying 2 to 10 years in prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines.
Meanwhile, the penalties for prostitution customers (“johns”) increase with each successive conviction:
Solicitation of prostitution by a customer
|Second offense||Gross misdemeanor:
|Third of subsequent offense||Gross misdemeanor:
Note that soliciting a child under 18 years old for prostitution is always a felony: A first-time offense carries 1 to 4 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. A second offense carries a maximum 5 years and up to $10,000. And a third or subsequent offense carries a maximum 6 years and up to $15,000.
Also note that penalties are the same whether or not any money changed hands or any sex acts took place. The act of offering or agreeing to engage in prostitution is punished the same as prostitution itself.1
2. Isn’t prostitution legal in Las Vegas?
No. Contrary to popular opinion, prostitution is illegal in Clark County (which includes Las Vegas) and most of Nevada. The only places where trading sex acts for money remains legal are licensed brothels in a few rural counties.2
3. How can an attorney fight the charges?
A typical defense to Nevada prostitution charges is to argue that you only offered – or agreed to – an escort service, which is perfectly legal in Las Vegas. Unless you made an overt verbal or written offer or agreement to exchange sexual favors for something of value, prosecutors may be unable to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Another potential defense is that you were entrapped by law enforcement. Undercover police posing as hookers or johns are not allowed to unduly pressure people into criminal acts they are not predisposed to commit. If the undercover police threatened you or put you under duress, the charges should be dropped.
Depending on the case, we can also argue that you were falsely accused. Perhaps the accuser wanted to get you into trouble out of revenge or anger. Or maybe there was a genuine misunderstanding about what you offered or agreed to, which is common since most people are unfamiliar with the underground lingo sex workers use.3
4. How soon can the record be sealed?
If our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers can get your solicitation of prostitution charge dismissed, we can begin the Nevada record seal process immediately. That is why we fight so hard to get your charges dropped as soon as possible.
Otherwise, there is a 1-year wait time after the case ends before you can seal a misdemeanor conviction. And if you get convicted of a gross misdemeanor, the wait time to get a record seal is 2 years after the case ends.
Note that a conviction for solicitation with HIV carries a 5-year waiting period. And convictions of soliciting minors can never be sealed.4
5. Do I need an attorney?
Nevada prosecutors take prostitution cases very seriously, even for first-time offenders. Your best chance of getting a solicitation charge dismissed and avoiding a conviction completely is by hiring an experienced Las Vegas prostitution lawyer.
Prosecutors always believe they have an open-and-shut case, but the police often make mistakes. Our legal team conducts an intensive investigation of everything that happened in search of all the “weak links” in the prosecution’s arguments.
We also conduct relentless settlement talks with the D.A. to show that we refuse to back down until we get the best resolution possible. Prosecutors do not want to go to trial, and we can often persuade them to agree to a plea deal where they dismiss the charges.
The consequences of having a criminal record can cost you work, housing, and professional licenses. So it is imperative you retain an experienced Las Vegas prostitution attorney to fight to keep your record clear.
- NRS 201.354. NRS 201.358.
- NRS 244.345.
- LVMC 6.36. Dinitz v. Christensen, (1978) 94 Nev. 230, 234, 577 P.2d 873. Foster v. State, (2000) 116 Nev. 1088, 1092-1093, 13 P.3d 61.
- NRS 179.245. NRS 179.255.