If you are arrested and charged with prostitution or solicitation in Las Vegas, Henderson, or elsewhere in Clark County, you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney to represent you. Even though most prostitution offenses are misdemeanors, they can lead to fines and prison time, as well as permanently affect your record. At The Gersten Law Firm, we know the law and also know local law enforcement and court practices and procedures.
Las Vegas criminal defense attorney Joseph Gersten is more than just a criminal justice attorney. He holds a Master of Forensic Sciences degree and formerly worked for the Intelligence Division of the U.S. Secret Service, as well as the Office of Criminal Investigations at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He will put his substantial criminal defense experience and local knowledge to work in assessing the full circumstances, asserting a vigorous defense, and exploring all avenues for resolving the charges.
While Nevada is the only state in the United States that allows legal prostitution, many people do not realize that prostitution and solicitation of prostitution are not legal in Las Vegas. There currently are only eight counties in the state that permit prostitution in the form of regulated brothels — and Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, is not one of them. Every day, individuals are arrested on prostitution charges in Las Vegas because they do not realize that prostitution is illegal in Clark County.
All acts related to prostitution are illegal in Clark County, including soliciting, engaging, and pandering (procuring). Especially in Las Vegas, where there are many legal forms of erotic entertainment, as well as legal escort and massage services, there can be a fine line between legal activity and illegal prostitution.
Throughout the county, and in Las Vegas in particular, law enforcement actively targets all prostitution and often uses elaborate sting operations to target illegal operations and activities. The police arrest both prostitutes and their clients. Often, law enforcement targets legal operations that are suspected to be fronts for illegal activity.
There are several types of activity that can result in prostitution-related charges in Nevada:
Prostitution is trading sexual acts for money or something else of value. The sexual activity does not need to be intercourse. In Nevada, prostitution is legal only in licensed houses of prostitution in certain counties. It is not legal anywhere in Clark County, including Las Vegas.
Solicitation means encouraging someone else to engage in prostitution. Nevada law specifically makes it illegal "to engage in prostitution or solicitation therefor." Even if money is not exchanged or the sexual activity does not occur, the act of trying to arrange the exchange is illegal as solicitation. That means that the person who solicits the sexual act can be charged with a criminal offense.
Pandering involves arranging a situation for individuals to engage in prostitution or recruiting individuals to be prostitutes. Pandering is also referred to as pimping. A conviction for pandering can result in stiff fines and extensive prison time.
A person convicted under the state prostitution law is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six (6) months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Soliciting a person under the age of eighteen (18) to commit prostitution is a category E felony. Harsher fines and more prison time can be imposed for subsequent offenses, as well as for pandering and for soliciting a person under age eighteeen (18). Nevada law also requires anyone arrested for prostitution or solicitation to take an HIV/AIDS test. If the person is convicted, he or she must pay the $100 cost for the test, in addition to other punishments.
If you are charged with prostitution or solicitation, you want a tough criminal defense attorney to represent you. There are defenses that can be asserted in some cases. For example, an individual charged with solicitation can assert defenses such as insufficient evidence or ambiguity, entrapment, and mistake. In addition, other terms — like community service — can often be negotiated for a prostitution or solicitation charge. If you are a Las Vegas visitor or tourist, your attorney can frequently arrange for your case to be handled without requiring you to return to appear in a Las Vegas court.
Attorney Joseph Gersten will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the charge, zealously defend you, and explore every opportunity for resolving the charges, including alternative programs for first time offenders.
If you have been charged with prostitution or solicitation in Las Vegas, Henderson, or elsewhere in Clark County, Las Vegas criminal defense attorney Joseph Gersten will discuss and evaluate your case based on his extensive experience. Your initial consultation is free-of-charge. Call 702.857.8777 or complete our online form to schedule an appointment.