Nevada is infamous for its prostitution laws. Of the sixteen counties in the state, prostitution is legal in ten of them. It is a highly regulated profession and sex workers are held to some very stringent requirements from where they can work to what they must do to maintain their certification.

Still, there are individuals who get arrested for prostitution, whether they are working on their own, which is illegal, or they simply got caught up in a situation that went south, which may or may not be illegal. Whatever the case, the penalties for illegal prostitution are harsh, even though it is a misdemeanor.

Prostitution is one of the most common sex crimes in Nevada.

If you’ve been arrested for prostitution in Nevada, here’s what you need to know.

What to Do if You are Arrested for Prostitution in Nevada

Nevada’s Prostitution Laws

Nevada’s prostitution laws are extensive, but there are three fundamental laws that anyone living in or visiting the state should be aware of, especially if they are or plan to engage in sexual activity.

Nevada Revised Statute 201.295(5) defines prostitution as “engaging in sexual conduct with another person in return for a fee, monetary consideration, or other thing of value.” This in itself is not illegal under the appropriate circumstances.

Nevada Revised Statute 201.353 provides the parameters for defining illegal prostitution. It is illegal for an individual to solicit for prostitution or engage in prostitution in any location other than a licensed brothel.

Nevada Revised Statute 201.354 makes it illegal for a “customer” to solicit prostitution or engage in prostitution unless they are in a licensed brothel.

It is NOT illegal to talk about sex. It becomes illegal when one of the parties puts a price tag on it.

Anyone can accuse you of prostitution, even a partner. And the police can arrest you on their testimony alone. They don’t need solid proof of prostitution to charge you with the crime. You need to know what to do if that happens to you.

Solicitation of Prostitution is a Crime in Las Vegas

It is illegal in Nevada to seek the services of a prostitute or to offer the services of a prostitute outside of a licensed brothel. To attempt to purchase or offer sexual services for a price is solicitation of prostitution.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police regularly run sting operations to catch individuals soliciting prostitution or who are actively engaged in illegal prostitution.

Solicitation is considered to be an inchoate crime or incomplete crime. The accused was seeking, planning, or preparing to commit criminal activity – in this instance, initiate the crime of prostitution. What makes it illegal, even if the crime was not completed, is that it was conducted with the intent to further that crime, or “target offense.”

It is important to understand though, that if solicitation leads to the target crime of prostitution, the person who is accused cannot be charged with both as long as it is with the same person. In other words, a person approaches someone and offers to pay them for sex, the individual agrees, and they engage in that activity. The crime of solicitation led directly to the target crime of prostitution so both parties could only be charged with prostitution, not solicitation and prostitution.

What to do if You are Arrested for Prostitution in Nevada

An arrest for prostitution in Nevada can lead to a lot of legal trouble for you, including steep fines and jail time. If you are arrested either as a prostitute or a customer, here’s what you need to do.

  1. Get an attorney. You need an experienced Las Vegas defense attorney who can review the circumstances of the arrest and create a strong defense for your case.
  2. Do not talk to the police and don’t sign anything. First and foremost, do not admit to anything. Do not offer any information, don’t beg to be let go, don’t try to bargain, and don’t try to explain yourself. If you find yourself face to face with an officer who may or may not have arrested you yet, the best thing you can do is keep your mouth closed and ask for your attorney. Remember, a defense attorney can’t do much to help you if you have already confessed to the crime or signed a plea agreement.
  3. You are not required to consent to a search of your body, car, or home. If police want to search you or your property they must either ask for your permission or get a search warrant. In some cases, they can override these requirements if someone’s life is in danger or if they have a reasonable suspicion that a crime is actively being committed. Most of the time the police will have to ask for your permission to search your property and your response should always be a respectful “No.” This will either force them to get a warrant or violate your rights by illegally searching you.
  4. Do not be intentionally obstructive and don’t resist. If the police choose to search you or your property even after you have said no, do not resist and do not be obstructive. Just pay attention to everything that is said and done so you can relay it to your defense attorney who will use it to defend you in court.



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