NRS 201.300(1) is the Nevada law that prohibits pandering, defined as enticing or persuading another adult to engage in prostitution. Pandering is a category C felony carrying 1 to 5 years of prison time even if no money changes hands. But if the defendant uses violence or panders a child, then the state may bring more serious charges for sex trafficking (NRS 201.300(2)).
The statute states that:
A person who without physical force or the immediate threat of physical force, induces an adult to unlawfully become a prostitute or to continue to engage in prostitution, or to enter any place [house of prostitution] within this State in which prostitution is practiced, encouraged or allowed for the purpose of sexual conduct or prostitution is guilty of pandering.
In this article, our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys discuss:
- 1. What is pandering in Nevada?
- 2. How is pandering different from pimping?
- 3. What is the sentence under NRS 201.300?
- 4. How can a defense attorney help?
- 5. What are the immigration consequences?
- 6. How soon can the record be sealed?
1. What is pandering in Nevada?
Under NRS 201.300(1), the legal definition of pandering is inducing another adult – without violence or immediate threats of violence – to engage in prostitution.
Example: Jeremy is a pimp in Las Vegas, NV. One day he sees an 18-year-old girl Shelley begging for money. Jeremy invites her in his Porsche and takes her to his illegal brothel Downtown. There Jeremy shows her all the money, jewelry, and drugs she could get if she worked as a prostitute. Shelley is wowed by the lifestyle Jeremy is showing her and agrees to become a hooker. Here, Jeremy is guilty of pandering because he induced Shelley to engage in prostitution.
Had Jeremy in the above example threatened Shelley with violence – or had Shelly been under 18 years of age – then Jeremy would instead face charges for sex trafficking. That carries heftier penalties than pandering in the state of Nevada.1
Note that panderers do not include customers of prostitutes. “Johns” instead face misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor penalties for the patronizing or solicitation of prostitution (NRS 201.354).
Also note that prostitution is illegal throughout Nevada except for in licensed brothels. The state’s few legal brothels are located in rural counties. Any act of prostitution must occur inside the brothel and in abidance with state and local laws.
2. How is pandering different from pimping?
Pimping (NRS 201.320) is knowingly taking earnings of a prostitute. Pandering is inducing someone to engage in prostitution, whether the person takes any money or not. In many cases, defendants face state law charges for both pimping and pandering.
Example: Peter flags down Nelly on the street. Peter encourages her to become one of his sex workers by giving her a place to sleep. Nelly agrees and starts working as a hooker. Peter takes most of Nelly’s earnings for himself. Here, Peter first pandered Nelly by inducing her to become a sex worker. Then he pimped her by knowingly taking the money she earned from prostitution.
Pimping is punished less harshly than pandering unless the pimping involves violence or threats thereof. Then both crimes are prosecuted as category C felonies.2
3. What is the sentence under NRS 201.300?
Pandering is a category C felony in Nevada. The punishment is:
- 1 – 5 years in Nevada State Prison, and
- Up to $10,000 in fines and victim restitution (at the judge’s discretion)3
In addition, people who allegedly violate Nevada pandering laws face asset forfeiture of their money or property that may have been obtained through prostitution.4
4. How can a defense attorney help?
How best to fight NRS 201.300(1) charges depends on the unique facts of each case. Potential defense arguments include:
- The defendant did not induce the sex worker. Perhaps the sex worker approached the defendant and asked to work for the defendant. In this case, the D.A. could bring pimping charges if the defendant takes money from the sex worker. But no pandering occurred.
- The defendant was falsely accused. Sometimes people bring false accusations against each other out of anger, revenge, or a misunderstanding. If the defense attorney can show that the accuser was motivated to lie about the defendant being a panderer, the charge may be dismissed.5
- The police committed misconduct. Law enforcement is obligated to follow the Fourth Amendment when conducting searches and seizures. If the police overstepped their bounds, the defendant can file a motion to suppress all the illegally obtained evidence. If the court grants this motion, then the D.A. may be forced to drop the pandering charge for lack of proof.
5. What are the immigration consequences?
Enabling prostitution is usually an aggravated felony, which is deportable. Therefore, non-citizens charged with pandering may lose their visa or green card if they get convicted.6
Any non-citizen charged with criminal offenses is advised to consult with an experienced lawyer. An attorney may be able to fight the charge and win a dismissal or substantial charge reduction that does not threaten the defendant’s resident status.
6. How soon can the record be sealed?
There is a five-year waiting period after a Nevada pandering case closes to seal the conviction. But if the pandering charges gets dismissed, then the defendant can petition for a record seal immediately.7
In California? Go to our article on California pandering laws (Penal Code 266h & 266i PC).
In Colorado? Go to our article on Pandering a prostitute in Colorado (CRS 18-7-203).
- Nevada Revised Statute NRS 201.300(1), listed under Crimes Against Public Decency and Good Morals; also see Ford v. State, 127 Nev. 608, 262 P.3d 1123 (2011).
- NRS 201.320.
- NRS 201.300; NRS 201.325. Note that Nevada also has a vagrancy statute (NRS 207.030) that makes it a misdemeanor to “be a pimp.” A first offense carries up to 6 months in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines. A second offense in three years carries at least $250 and 30 days in jail. And a third offense in three years carries at least $250 in fines and 6 months in jail.
- NRS 201.351.
- See also Sheriff, Clark County v. Gordon, 96 Nev. 205, 606 P.2d 533 (1980) and Sheriff, Clark County v. Horner, 96 Nev. 312, 608 P.2d 1106 (1980).
- 8 U.S. Code § 1101(a)(43)(K).
- NRS 179.245; NRS 179.255.