Many visitors believe that Las Vegas is a town where anything goes. With its glitzy casinos and exotic nightclubs, it’s easy to find opportunities for a bit of innocent debauchery wherever you go. But even Sin City has its limitations – especially when it comes to the sex industry. Unfortunately, some people don’t learn those boundaries until they’re slapped with charges for prostitution or solicitation in Las Vegas.
A conviction for prostitution, solicitation or other related sex crimes can damage your reputation and have lasting effects on your personal and professional life, including your ability to get or maintain a job. With so much at stake, it’s crucial to get an experienced prostitution defense lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected.
The Law Office of Joel H. Mann handles all types of sex crime cases in Las Vegas and Clark County, including those involving prostitution, solicitation, pandering and human trafficking. As an experienced trial court veteran, I know the strategies that prosecutors could use to push for a conviction and can provide a vigorous defense on your behalf.
Our law office delivers professional and experienced legal services in a caring and confidential environment. To learn how we can help, call us or contact us by completing our online form. All initial consultations are free.
Prostitution Laws in Las Vegas
There is a widespread belief that prostitution is legal in Las Vegas. Not true. Nevada law (NRS 201.354) states that prostitution is allowed only in licensed brothels or houses of prostitution in counties with fewer than 700,000 people. Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, is home to over 2 million residents.
Most licensed brothels and houses of prostitution are located at least an hour’s drive from the Vegas strip. That can be confusing for people who see ads for escorts, strip bars and massage clubs throughout the city. Many mistakenly assume that if those erotic services are readily available, then prostitution must be OK, too.
Prostitution and solicitation arrests often occur during police sting operations, where undercover officers try to catch people who agree to engage in sexual acts for compensation. But not everything is always as it seems. Unknowing people have been charged for offering or accepting a sex offer made jokingly after having too much to drink during a wild night in Las Vegas. Still, depending on the evidence, a savvy prosecutor could successfully argue that the offers were genuine and no mistake at all.
Las Vegas has a thriving sex industry that can make it difficult for people to identify what types of erotic acts are permitted and which are prohibited. Understanding the legal definitions of prostitution and similar sex crimes is an important first step.
- Prostitution: Nevada law (NRS 201.295) defines a prostitute as someone who engages in a sexual act for a monetary fee or other form of compensation of value. Note that the Las Vegas prositution laws do not specify that the means of exchange must be money. If you agree to perform an act for anything of value – jewelry, a watch or an iPad, for example – then you could be charged with engaging in prostitution.
- Solicitation: If you offer or agree to engage in prostitution with someone else, you could be charged with solicitation in Nevada, even if no sexual favors or money was ever exchanged. Simply making the agreement is enough.
- Pandering: Pimps and madams are typically charged with pandering, which involves persuading someone to become a prostitute. It does not matter if no force was used to encourage the prostitution, or even if no sexual act occurred. Transporting someone with the intent to perform prostitution may also count as pandering under NRS 201.300.
Are Escorts Legal in Las Vegas?
An escort is someone who is paid to accompany someone in public or private settings. Although advertisements for escort services in Las Vegas are often splashed with naked women, they should never include an offer for sex. Escorts must be licensed and have a work card. It is illegal for an escort to perform any sort of sexual act with a customer and can result in a prostitution charge. Similarly, it is illegal to hire an escort with the intent of having sexual relations and may be considered solicitation.
What About Massages and Body Rubs?
When the law limits what types of sexual favors can be performed legally, there are inevitably people who try to bend the law to fit their own whims and desires. In Las Vegas, this can happen when adult services marketed as “sensual massages” or “body rubs” are actually masquerades for prostitution. Any type of massage that involves touching of the genitals or breasts for arousal could result in prostitution or solicitation charges. Legitimate massage parlors in Las Vegas are licensed institutions. Those that are not may be covers for houses of prostitution.
Questions to Ask a Prostitution Defense Lawyer
In Nevada, prostitution and all prostitution-related offenses are punishable by jail time and significant fines that increase depending on whether you are a first-time offender. Law enforcement in Las Vegas and Clark County is tough on sex crimes, so you need to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to handle your case.
Here are some examples of important questions to ask a prostitution defense lawyer:
- What possible defenses are available to me?
- What are the weak points of my case, and how will you address them?
- What is my potential sentence?
- Are there any sentencing alternatives?
- How much do you charge for your legal services?
- Is there anything I can do to help my case?
If you’ve been charged with a crime such as prostitution, drug trafficking, or if you need a DUI lawyer in Las Vegas, let The Law Office of Joel H. Mann help you now. Call us or fill out our brief contact form to get started.