Engaging in Prostitution Charges in Las Vegas
Most people mistakenly believe that prostitution is legal in Las Vegas. On the contrary, prostitution is only legal in licensed brothels in some areas of Nevada, and Las Vegas does not have any form of legal prostitution or licensed brothels. The nearest legal brothel to Las Vegas is located in Pahrump, Nevada, which is about 45 minutes from Las Vegas.
Being investigated, accused or charged with a sex offense in Las Vegas is nothing less than devastating in terms of the possible lifelong ramifications. People are arrested on as little evidence as a statement from an alleged victim or witness without any corroboration. If you are charged with engaging in prostitution, you must seek out an aggressive criminal defense attorney who will fight the charges.
Las Vegas Prostitution Defense Attorney
Joel Mann, an experienced Las Vegas criminal defense attorney, has been successfully defending clients who have been accused of these types of offenses for years. He understands that being found guilty of engaging in prostitution carries a social stigma that can make life difficult. Contact the Law Office of Joel M. Mann at (702) 474-6266 to help defend your rights.
Definition of Prostitution in Nevada
Under Nevada Revised Statutes 201.354, it is unlawful for any person to engage in prostitution or solicitation except in a licensed house of prostitution. Clark County Ordinance 12.08.015 also states that prostitution is illegal in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson and other cities.
Prostitution is the act of trading sexual favors for a fee. Money does not have to actually have to be used and sexual penetration does not have to actually occur. If there is an exchange of anything of value such as drugs, jewelry, clothes etc then that could count as the “fee.”
In addition, the sexual favor does not have to be sexual intercourse. As long as something of value is exchanged for anything that could arouse or titillate, it is possible to be accused of prostitution.
Loitering for the Purpose of Prostitution
Under Nevada law, loitering is defined as remaining or wandering around a public place. Sometimes an engaging in prostitution charge is lowered to the misdemeanor of loitering if law enforcement cannot conclusively prove that you were actually soliciting customers.
Circumstantial evidence is usually used to show that you were loitering with the intent to engage in prostitution. Police may use a person’s dress as evidence. Then if you stopped passers-by and spoke to them, the people you stopped and the things you said to them could be an indication of whether or not you were attempting to engage in prostitution.
It is important that you get legal assistance immediately if you are accused of prostitution. Law enforcement and prosecutors will take an innocent situation and turn it into a serious criminal offense. Contact Joel Mann at (702) 474-6266 for a free consultation if you are accused of engaging in prostitution.
Penalties for Prostitution
The penalties for prostitution are found in NRS 201.354. Generally, prostitution is a misdemeanor punishable by fines up to $1,000 and/or a maximum of 6 months in jail.
Judges tend to hand down harsher sentences to prostitutes because the person engaging in prostitution is usually a repeat offender.
Penalties for Prostitution with HIV/AIDS
The penalties for prostitution get enhanced if special circumstances are present. Under NRS 201.358, if the prostitute knows that she or he is HIV positive and still engages in prostitution the crime of prostitution rises to a Category B felony.
Prostitution is a Category B felony in Nevada if you solicit prostitution after you’ve already tested positive for HIV and you were given notice of the test results. The penalties are:
- 2-10 years in prison and/or
- A $10,000 fine
Defenses to Prostitution Charges
A Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer can tailor a defense specifically for your situation and criminal history. Typically, the defenses for prostitution are:
- Insufficient Evidence – Often, there is circumstantial evidence, such as “sexy attire,” that can make law enforcement charge you with engaging in prostitution. Sometimes the circumstantial evidence is not enough to prove that you committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Mistake – Sometimes a situation can be entirely misconstrued. There could be a genuine misunderstanding. Maybe a person approached you and offered to pay for sexual favors, but you were not actively engaged prostitution. If you have no prior criminal record and a good moral character then the charges should either be dismissed or reduced to a charge similar to disorderly conduct which does not have a sexual connotation to it.
- Entrapment – Sometimes police officers pose as customers or johns and try to make a prostitution arrangement. Undercover cops have to be very subtle so you may feel that the cop is genuinely flirting with you and then you flirt back and all of a sudden you are accused of being a prostitute. It is important to get experienced legal help if you feel that the police entrapped you.
In addition to providing you a defense to the prostitution charge, a Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer can take the following steps to help you with the case:
- Help you before the criminal charges are actually filed
- Deal with law enforcement on your behalf
- Work toward insulating and protecting you from criminal allegations
- Analyze the discovery and investigation plan for your case
- Come into a case at any stage and prepare for trial
- Make every effort to resolve your case without a trial
The Law Office of Joel M. Mann is dedicated to fighting the criminal charges and defending our clients’ freedom.
Law Office of Joel M. Mann | Nevada Prostitution Defense Attorney
The Law Office of Joel M. Mann has dealt with all categories of sex offenses in Nevada. Joel will guide you through this trying time and help you defend yourself against all levels of accusations.
Joel Mann is an experienced and aggressive Las Vegas criminal lawyer that will fight to protect your rights. If you have been accused of prostitution, then contact attorney Joel Mann at (702) 474-6266 for a free consultation.