Is Prostitution Legal In Las Vegas?
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Is Prostitution Legal In Las Vegas?

OK we know that you have heard about prostitution in Las Vegas before, or at least you think you have heard. You probably assume a lot of things because of what you have heard from other people, or things that you have seen on TV. You have heard about brothels and seen reality television shows showing working girls earning money. You might have even been here before and seen the advertisements all along the strip showing “girls direct to your room.” You probably assumed from all of this that prostitution was legal in Las Vegas, just like gambling. It isn’t.

Here are the specifics about prostitution laws: Prostitution is illegal in all forms nationwide except in specific areas of Nevada. In our state, counties with less than 400,000 residents are allowed to have brothels, which is the only place in which prostitution is allowed to take place. In Nevada Revised Statute section 201.354 prostitution is defined as engaging in sexual contact or behavior with someone in exchange for money, a fee or anything else of value. Sexual contact is defined as sexual intercourse, oral-genital contact, or any touching of the sexual organs (or another intimate part) of a person for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of either party. Solicitation is defined as offering or agreeing to engage in prostitution. While there will always be methods that will attempt to create a situation where the act of prostitution is not clearly enough defined to make an arrest and conviction stick, for the most part prostitution arrests are going to end up with some form of punishment.  Even in areas where prostitution within a brothel setting is legal, it is still illegal to engage in any form of solicitation or prostitution outside of that setting. Yes, that means that if you meet a woman on the street in Pahrump and she agrees to have sex with you for money, you can be arrested for solicitation even though it might be legal in a brothel only one block away.

In order to work as a prostitute in a legal Nevada brothel, the following criterion must be met:

  • Prostitutes must be at least 18 years old and must be employed by their own free will
  • Prostitutes must submit to regular HIV and STD testing
  • Prostitutes must use condoms
  • Brothels can’t be located within 400 yards of a school or a place of worship
  • Brothels can’t be located on a principal street, and
  • Brothels may not advertise in in a public theater, on a public street or highway, or in any county, city, or town where prostitution is prohibited

Even though there are currently only seven counties in Nevada that allow brothels, and there are twenty-one active brothels in operation, the vast majority of prostitution that happens within the state occurs in Las Vegas and Reno. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that so many people do not understand that soliciting a prostitute is illegal in Clark County and Las Vegas. Because there are potential customers, there are prostitutes who are willing to sell to them.

Soliciting a prostitute in Las Vegas is a misdemeanor, but will come with some punishment if convicted. It will also come with the embarrassment of your family and friends back home if you are found out, along with a potential return trip to Las Vegas for court.¬† You know that you don’t want people back home to find out about this, and the only way you are going to avoid the court appearance is by having your attorney appear on your behalf. If the person you solicited is under 18, then it is a Class E felony with a potential of up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine. In that case, you definitely need a lawyer.

If you have been busted for prostitution or solicitation in Las Vegas, call THE VEGAS LAWYERS today.