Prostitution in Louisiana

August 25th, 2022

Is prostitution legal in Louisiana?

No. What surprises many of my clients is prostitution is only legal in Nevada and only under certain circumstances. For example, Nevada prohibits prostitution unless it takes place in a licensed house of prostitution, and only ten counties in Nevada allow these brothels to exist. Yet, people regularly argue and tell me it’s legal “everywhere,” believing they were wrongfully arrested. 

What is Prostitution

In Louisiana, prostitution encompasses more than hiring for sex. The definition is, quite literally, paying for sex or soliciting someone for sex in exchange for money. But many nuisances, like age restrictions and the potential of being charged with trafficking, make this statute complicated to navigate.

Penalties for prostitution in Louisiana

As a general rule, prostitution penalties are a fine of up to five hundred dollars, imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.

These penalties increase. A second conviction is a felony. The fine is not less than two hundred fifty dollars nor more than two thousand dollars or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than two years, or both.

The penalty for a third conviction is imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than four years and a fine of no less than five hundred dollars or more than four thousand dollars.

What can increase these penalties?

If the person is under the age of eighteen, the penalties increase. When the individual is under eighteen, the fine is up to fifty thousand dollars, imprisoned at hard labor for not less than fifteen years, more than fifty years, or both.

The most severe penalty is if the person is under fourteen. For example, suppose you are convicted of prostitution with a person under fourteen. In that case, the penalty is up to a seventy-five thousand dollar fine and imprisonment at hard labor for not less than twenty-five years or more than fifty years.

What else can impact the sentence?

There are cleansing periods for prior offenses and increased penalties if certain things occur. For example, there is a minimum jail time if the person is on a public road, highway, sidewalk, or walkway. There are also requirements to suspend a portion of the sentence.

Laws and interpretations are continually changing. If you or someone you know has a question about prostitution or has been arrested for solicitation of prostitution, do not hesitate to contact the law office of Larrion L. Hillman at 318-549-9810. Remember, items published in my Blog or Vlog are not intended to be formal legal advice or the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Larrion Hillman practices criminal defense in Caddo Parish, Webster Parish, Bossier Parish, Shreveport, and Bossier City, Louisiana. And remember, keep calm and let Hillman handle it.

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