NRS 207.203 is the Nevada law that prohibits people with three or more solicitation of prostitution convictions in the last five years from trespassing at a casino. This misdemeanor offense carries penalties of up to 6 months in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines. But first-time offenders can get the charge completely dismissed by completing counseling, an education program, or substance abuse treatment.
In this article, our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys discuss:
- 1. What is casino trespass by repeat “solicitation of prostitution” offenders in Nevada?
- 2. What are the penalties under NRS 207.203?
- 3. What are defenses to the charges?
- 4. How soon can the record be sealed?
1. What is casino trespass by repeat “solicitation of prostitution” offenders in Nevada?
NRS 207.203 prohibits trespass at Nevada casinos by anyone who has at least three convictions in the last five years for solicitation of prostitution.
In this context, trespass usually means going on casino grounds in order to commit an unlawful act – such as soliciting prostitution. But “trespass” can also mean entering or remaining on casino grounds after being asked to leave by the property owner, management or security guards.1
Therefore, this is a very narrow crime aimed to deter convicted sex workers and customers from hooking up at casinos.
But this law also serves to identify career prostitutes and compulsive johns who clearly need help. As discussed below, these defendants may be able to get the criminal charge completely dismissed as long as they complete an educational class, counseling or rehabilitation for drug- and alcohol addiction. And if this treatment has the intended effect, these defendants might never engage in prostitution again.
2. What are the penalties under NRS 207.203?
Casino trespass by repeat solicitation offenders is a misdemeanor in Nevada, punishable by up to six months of jail time and/or up to $1,000 in fines. The judge may allow defendants to perform community service in lieu of fines and incarceration.
However, defendants facing NRS 207.203 charges for the first time may be granted probation. Then if they complete the assigned classes, counseling, or rehab, the charge will get completely dismissed. But if the defendant ever gets convicted of trespassing in a casino again, the judge will consider the prior case as a conviction when imposing a new sentence. And the defendant will not get another chance to complete probation in exchange for a dismissal.
Note that defendants who enter counseling and rehab are expected to pay for the treatment as well as for any required supervision. But the court may place defendants who cannot afford treatment into programs that receive government funding to offset the costs.
Also note that defendants who go on probation and then fail to complete the requirements will get convicted and face the standard misdemeanor penalties under state law.2
3. What are defenses to the charges?
The crime of “casino trespass by repeat prostitution offenders” was only created in recent years and has no legal precedent by the Nevada Supreme Court. This allows defense attorneys to get creative in crafting strategies to fight charges. Possible defenses include the following:
- No trespass. Repeat offenders with prostitution convictions are allowed to enter the real estate of a gaming establishment as long as they do not intend to violate the law there or have not been banned from the grounds. Unless the district attorney can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to commit a crime or had been asked to leave, the charge should be dismissed.
- Mistaken identity. Casinos are often crowded, and it is easy for law enforcement to mistake innocent people for suspects. If the defense attorney can show that the defendant was not the suspect the police department was looking for, the case should be dropped.
- Entrapment. Police officers are allowed to go undercover as hookers or johns and trick suspects into offering to – or agreeing to – trade money for sex. But if the suspect was not predisposed to breaking the law – and would not have broken the law but for the police’s pressure – the case should be dismissed on entrapment grounds.
- False accusations. Sometimes people wrongly accuse others out of anger, revenge, or an innocent mistake. If the defense attorney can show that the accuser may have a motivation to lie or was not credible, the prosecutors may agree to drop the case.
4. How soon can the record be sealed?
If a Nevada court dismisses a charge of “casino trespass by repeat prostitution offender,” the defendant can pursue a record seal right away. But if the defendant gets a conviction, he or she must wait at least one year after the case closes to petition the court for a record seal.3
Sealed records do not show up on future background checks, and people with sealed records can legally deny ever having had a criminal past. However, a professional licensing board may consider an applicant’s past NRS 207.203 charge in determining suitability for a license or liability to discipline for misconduct. Therefore, the applicant is obligated to tell the board about the charge if asked about his/her criminal record.4
Learn more about sealing criminal records in Nevada.
See our related articles on loitering (often regulated by local governments), loitering near playgrounds or schools, including high schools (NRS 207.270), battery domestic violence (NRS 200.485), and sexual assault (NRS 200.366), which carries a prison sentence.
Arrested on prostitution charges in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California? See our article on Penal Code 647b PC. Arrested in Colorado? See our article on CRS 18-7-201. Arrested in Arizona? See our article on ARS 13-3214.
- Nevada Revised Statute 207.203. Unlawful trespass upon licensed gaming establishment by person previously convicted of prostitution or solicitation for prostitution.
1. Unless a greater penalty is provided pursuant to NRS 200.603, any person who commits a violation of NRS 207.200 by trespassing on the premises of a licensed gaming establishment and who has previously been convicted of three violations of NRS 201.354 within the immediately preceding 5 years is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by:
(a) A fine of $1,000;
(b) Imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 6 months; or
(c) Both fine and imprisonment.
In lieu of all or a part of the punishment which may be imposed pursuant to this subsection, the person may be sentenced to perform a fixed period of community service pursuant to the conditions prescribed in NRS 176.087.
2. The court, without entering a judgment of conviction and with the consent of the accused, may suspend further proceedings and place the person on probation upon terms and conditions that must include attendance and successful completion of:
(a) A counseling or educational program; or
(b) In the case of a person dependent upon substances, a program of treatment and rehabilitation pursuant to NRS 176A.230 if the court determines that the person is eligible for participation in such a program.
3. Upon violation of a term or condition, the court may enter a judgment of conviction and punish the person as provided in subsection 1.
4. Upon fulfillment of the terms and conditions, the court shall discharge the accused and dismiss the proceedings against him or her.
5. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 6, discharge and dismissal under this section is without adjudication of guilt and is not a conviction for purposes of this section or 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 second or subsequent convictions or the setting of bail. Discharge and dismissal restores the person discharged, in the contemplation of the law, to the status occupied before the arrest, indictment or information. 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 that arrest, indictment, information or trial in response to an inquiry made of the person for any purpose. Discharge and dismissal under this section may only occur once with respect to any person.
6. A professional licensing board may consider a proceeding under this section 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.
7. Before the court assigns a person to a program pursuant to this section, the person must agree to pay the cost of the program to which the person is assigned and the cost of any additional supervision required, to the extent of the financial resources of the person. If the person does not have the financial resources to pay all of the related costs, the court shall, to the extent practicable, arrange for the person to be assigned to a program at a facility that receives a sufficient amount of federal or state funding to offset the remainder of the costs.
8. As used in this section, “licensed gaming establishment” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 463.0169.NRS 207.200; NRS 201.354.
- NRS 207.203.
- NRS 179.245; NRS 179.255; see also Finley v. City of Henderson (In re Finley), (2019) 457 P.3d 263, 135 Nev. Adv. Rep. 63; Washoe Cty. DA’s Office v. Second Judicial Dist. Court, (2020) 473 P.3d 1039, 136 Nev. Adv. Rep. 67.
- NRS 207.203.