Although prostitution is illegal in most parts of the United States, the rules are different in the state of Nevada. In fact, prostitution is legal when it occurs in a brothel.
However, despite the legality of prostitution in the Silver State, there are many circumstances in which prostitution is considered unlawful. It is critical to understand the rules for brothels and the circumstances in which prostitution can lead to criminal charges.
Where is Prostitution Against State Law?
In Nevada, counties which have a population of fewer than 700,000 people are allowed to authorize the operation of brothels within the county where lawful prostitution can occur. Since Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, has over 700,000 residents, prostitution is considered illegal in Las Vegas and the surrounding areas.
Furthermore, there are several counties that have laws banning brothels. For instance, Washoe County, where Reno is located, prohibits brothels and prostitution.
While most popular tourist destinations in Nevada do not permit lawful prostitution, there are currently 19 brothels operating within the state that are spread across eight different counties. Legal brothels must adhere to strict safety regulations—such as the use of condoms and monthly blood testing for STDs—established by Nevada law.
What About Escorts?
Visitors of Las Vegas will often notice flyers circulating the strip offering escort services. Although these flyers may strongly imply that sexual activities are an option, they never explicitly state that the escort is willing to provide such services. In fact, it is against the law to advertise prostitution services.
However, escort services are legal within Clark County. Compared to prostitution, escorts are defined as individuals who accompany others for hire in either private or public settings. They must be licensed and carry work cards, and are not allowed to engage in prostitution. If an escort engages in sexual conduct for money, they could potentially lose their license and even face criminal charges.
Attempting to purchase sex from an escort could lead to solicitation charges. On the other hand, escorts offering sex for money could be charged with prostitution. It is not uncommon for undercover stings to take place in order to catch people attempting to solicit escorts for sex or catch escorts who provide sexual services.
If you have been arrested for prostitution or solicitation, you need experienced legal counsel from a skilled criminal defense attorney. A lawyer can thoroughly review your case and determine your legal options to help you either get your charges dismissed or reduced.
Contact Turco & Draskovich and schedule a free consultation with our Las Vegas criminal defense attorney for more information today.