Nevada Revised Statute 201.354 makes it a crime to commit prostitution – or solicitation of prostitution – except in a licensed brothel. Prostitution is typically a misdemeanor for a first-time offense. But prostituting a child is always a felony carrying prison.
NRS 201.354. 1. It is unlawful for any person to engage in prostitution or solicitation therefor, except in a licensed house of prostitution.
2. Any person who violates subsection 1 by soliciting for prostitution:
(a) A child;
(b) A peace officer who is posing as a child; or
(c) A person who is assisting in an investigation on behalf of a peace officer by posing as a child,
is guilty of soliciting a child for prostitution.
3. A prostitute who violates subsection 1 is guilty of a misdemeanor. A peace officer who:
(a) Detains, but does not arrest or issue a citation to a prostitute for a violation of subsection 1 shall, before releasing the prostitute, provide information regarding and opportunities for connecting with social service agencies that may provide assistance to the prostitute. The Department of Health and Human Services shall assist law enforcement agencies in providing information regarding and opportunities for connecting with such social service agencies pursuant to this paragraph.
(b) Arrests or issues a citation to a prostitute for a violation of subsection 1 shall, before the prostitute is released from custody or cited:
(1) Inform the prostitute that he or she may be eligible for assignment to a preprosecution diversion program established pursuant to NRS 174.032; and
(2) Provide the information regarding and opportunities for connecting with social service agencies described in paragraph (a).
4. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 6, a customer who violates this section:
(a) For a first offense, is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.150, and by a fine of not less than $400.
(b) For a second offense, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.140, and by a fine of not less than $800.
(c) For a third or subsequent offense, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.140, and by a fine of not less than $1,300.
5. In addition to any other penalty imposed, the court shall order a person who violates subsection 4 to pay a civil penalty of not less than $200 per offense. The civil penalty must be paid to the district attorney or city attorney of the jurisdiction in which the violation occurred. If the civil penalty imposed pursuant to this subsection:
(a) Is not within the person’s present ability to pay, in lieu of paying the penalty, the court may allow the person to perform community service for a reasonable number of hours, the value of which would be commensurate with the civil penalty.
(b) Is not entirely within the person’s present ability to pay, in lieu of paying the entire civil penalty, the court may allow the person to perform community service for a reasonable number of hours, the value of which would be commensurate with the amount of the reduction of the civil penalty.
6. A customer who violates this section by soliciting a child for prostitution:
(a) For a first offense, is guilty of a category D felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130, and by a fine of not more than $5,000.
(b) For a second offense, is guilty of a category C felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130.
(c) For a third or subsequent offense, is guilty of a category B felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 1 year and maximum term of not more than 6 years, and may be further punished by a fine of not more than $15,000. The court shall not grant probation to or suspend the sentence of a person punished pursuant to this paragraph.
7. Any civil penalty collected by a district attorney or city attorney pursuant to subsection 5 must be deposited in the county or city treasury, as applicable, to be used for:
(a) The enforcement of this section; and
(b) Programs of treatment for persons who solicit prostitution which are certified by the Division of Public and Behavioral Health of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Not less than 50 percent of the money deposited in the county or city treasury, as applicable, pursuant to this subsection must be used for the enforcement of this section.
8. If a person who violates subsection 1 is ordered pursuant to NRS 4.373 or 5.055 to participate in a program for the treatment of persons who solicit prostitution, upon fulfillment of the terms and conditions of the program, the court may discharge the person and dismiss the proceedings against the person. If the court discharges the person and dismisses the proceedings against the person, a nonpublic record of the discharge and dismissal must be transmitted to and retained by the Division of Parole and Probation of the Department of Public Safety solely for the use of the courts in determining whether, in later proceedings, the person qualifies under this section for participation in a program of treatment for persons who solicit prostitution. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, discharge and dismissal under this subsection is without adjudication of guilt and is not a conviction for purposes of employment, civil rights or any statute or regulation or license or questionnaire or for any other public or private purpose, but is a conviction for the purpose of additional penalties imposed for a second or subsequent conviction or the setting of bail. Discharge and dismissal restores the person discharged, in the contemplation of the law, to the status occupied before the proceedings. The person may not be held thereafter under any law to be guilty of perjury or otherwise giving a false statement by reason of failure to recite or acknowledge the proceedings in response to an inquiry made of the person for any purpose. Discharge and dismissal under this subsection may occur only once with respect to any person. A professional licensing board may consider a proceeding under this subsection in determining suitability for a license or liability to discipline for misconduct. Such a board is entitled for those purposes to a truthful answer from the applicant or licensee concerning any such proceeding with respect to the applicant or licensee.
9. Except as limited by subsection 10, if a person is discharged and the proceedings against the person are dismissed pursuant to subsection 8, the court shall, without a hearing, order sealed all documents, papers and exhibits in that person’s record, minute book entries and entries on dockets, and other documents relating to the case in the custody of such other agencies and officers as are named in the court’s order. The court shall cause a copy of the order to be sent to each agency or officer named in the order. Each such agency or officer shall notify the court in writing of its compliance with the order.
10. A professional licensing board is entitled, for the purpose of determining suitability for a license or liability to discipline for misconduct, to inspect and to copy from a record sealed pursuant to this section.
11. If, at any time before the trial of a prostitute charged with a violation of subsection 1, the prosecuting attorney has reason to believe that the prostitute is a victim of sex trafficking, the prosecuting attorney shall dismiss the charge. As used in this subsection, “sex trafficking” means a violation of subsection 2 of NRS 201.300.
NRS 201.354 prohibits the act of trading sexual favors for money or anything of value. And Nevada law draws no distinction between prostitution and offering or agreeing to engage in prostitution (solicitation).
Sex workers convicted of prostitution face misdemeanor charges carrying up to six months in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines. Meanwhile, prostitution customers face additional penalties:
Prostitution / solicitation conviction
|First offense||Misdemeanor: |
|Second offense||Gross misdemeanor: |
|Third or successive offense||Gross misdemeanor: |
Finally, customers who prostitute a child (under 18 years old) face felony charges. And the court may not grant probation or a suspended prison sentence.
Soliciting a minor conviction
|First offense||Category D felony: |
|Second offense||Category C felony: |
|Third or successive offense||Category B felony: |
See our related articles on Counties where prostitution is legal in Nevada and Can I still be arrested for prostitution in Nevada even if there was no sex?
- NRS 201.354 – Engaging in prostitution or solicitation for prostitution: Provision of certain information; criminal penalties; civil penalty; discharge and dismissal. Glegola v. State, (1994) 110 Nev. 344, 871 P.2d 950, 110 Nev. Adv. Rep. 43. Stanifer v. State, (1993) 109 Nev. 304, 849 P.2d 282, 109 Nev. Adv. Rep. 43.