Prostitution laws in Arizona

The laws regarding prostitution in Arizona are not unlike other states, but they do clearly define sexual conduct and other acts and strictly prohibit persuading a spouse to become engaged in a professional career of prostitution. Many of the laws are fairly general, but this rundown of the Arizona statutes should help to more clearly define them.


Unlike some other states, Arizona has a law that specifically prohibits transporting someone within the state for the purpose of acts that are defined as prostitution. Considered a Class 5 Felony, anyone found guilty of breaking this law will be prosecuted in the county in which he or she was apprehended. The crime is considered to have occurred not where it started but where it is detected.

Definition of prostitution

In Arizona, prostitution is considered to be the engagement in or agreeing to or offering to engage in sexual conduct with another person in exchange for a fee or an item of value. The item of value may be anything that both persons involved in the exchange put a significance on. Always a tangible item, money, drugs, clothing, vehicle, shelter, food, the “fee” is agreed upon prior to any sexual acts being performed. Sexual conduct is considered to be sexual contact, sexual intercourse, oral sexual contact or sadomasochistic abuse, according to the Arizona legislature.

Prostitution in Arizona as a felony/misdemeanor

There are several aspects of prostitution that are considered felonious. Class 5 and Class 6 felony convictions are possible if convicted of specific prostitution charges.

  • If you entice or encourage any individual to engage in prostitution, either by up-front means or fraudulent or false representation, you may be charged with a Class 6 Felony.
  • Providing a place (building, house, apartment, condo, etc.) for the purpose of prostitution may land you in jail with a Class 5 Felony conviction.
  • If you receive money or other valuables or earnings from someone engaged in the prostitution industry, you may be held on Class 5 Felony charges.
  • Any time that you cause your spouse to become engaged in prostitution or acts of prostitution through fraud, force or intimidation, it may be a Class 5 Felony.
  • Pandering, putting an individual in the custody of another for the intent of committing acts of prostitution or convincing one to engage in prostitution, may result in a guilty conviction of a Class 5 Felony.
  • Being an employee or simply residing in a house of prostitution can result in being charged with a Class 1 Misdemeanor.
  • Class 5 felonies are typically punishable with prison time of 18 months and/or a fine of up to $150,000.
  • A Class 1 misdemeanor sentence is 15 days jail time on the first offense. The second offense gets the convicted party 30 days. A 60-day stay in jail is earned with a third offense, and a fourth offense ends in the conviction of a Class 5 felony, receiving 18 months in prison.

While the laws stipulated by the Arizona statutes are very clear, cities and towns are allowed by the legislature to pass more stringent laws concerning prostitution. Many of these laws have harsher sentences. It’s a wise idea to check with individual city’s codes and statutes to avoid any misunderstanding of the law in Arizona.

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

Prostitution laws in US cities:

Prostitution laws in Canada