Hawaii prostitution law

Hawaii’s laws prohibiting prostitution are not that much different from the laws in the other 49 states. Prostitution, the advancement of it and travel for it are strictly prohibited by state statutes. While prostitution itself is only a petty misdemeanor offense, other extenuating circumstances make it as serious as a class B felony.

Definition of prostitution

Prostitution in Hawaii is defined as agreeing to, offering to or engaging in sexual conduct with another person in exchange for money or a fee of some sort. Sexual conduct includes, but is not limited to, sexual contact, sexual penetration and deviate sexual intercourse.

Prostitution sentences

Convicted of a first offense, a defendant may expect to pay a mandatory $500 fine and receive probation. Depending on the defendant’s record, imprisonment of no more than 30 days may take the place of the probation. In certain instances, a judge may order community service in place of the fine or the jail sentence.

When a defendant is convicted of subsequent offenses, he or she is subject to a mandatory $500 fine and a 30-day jail sentence that has no chance of suspension.

The code specifies that this law does not apply to any police officer, law enforcement officer or sheriff’s deputy who is acting in the scope of his or her duties.

Promotion of prostitution

The act of advancing prostitution is illegal. State laws restrict someone from:

  • Causing or aiding someone in committing or engaging in prostitution.
  • Providing persons for acts of prostitution.
  • Procuring or soliciting patrons for prostitutes.
  • Assisting or operating a prostitution enterprise or house of prostitution.
  • Allowing one’s premises to be used for prostitution.

Three degrees separate the seriousness of this offense. Someone who promotes prostitution in the third degree simply benefits or profits from acts of prostitution. This is considered a misdemeanor. A second degree offense is when someone operates or runs a house of prostitution or prostitution enterprise or involves individuals under the age of 18 years old. This is a class C felony. Promoting prostitution in the first degree is a class B felony and is when coercion or violence is used or when an individual younger than 16 years of age is involved.


Hawaii statutes provide for the arrest and punishment of individuals who assemble in public places and attempt to solicit patrons fro or advance prostitution by offering it to passers-by or those driving by in vehicles.

One unique aspect about Hawaii laws about prostitution is that they define specific geographic regions that are high-prostitution areas. Any convictions related to these areas may result in a ban from the geographic region daily from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. in addition to any other sentences. Individual municipalities and cities may define their own regions.

Promoting travel for prostitution

Anyone who sells or offers travel arrangements within the state that offers acts of prostitution as part of the package may be found guilty of a class C felony.

The following Nevada counties have their own laws and regulations on prostitution:

Prostitution laws in US cities:

Prostitution laws in Canada