Montana prostitution law

Montana treats its prohibition on prostitution very seriously and has some extremely harsh sentences for offenders. Sentences range from a $500 fine to life in prison. While a few of Montana’s laws may be open to interpretation, the laws clearly state that prostitution and its promotion are illegal. The state statutes define prostitution, promoting prostitution and aggravated promotion of prostitution.

Prostitution definition

In Montana, prostitution is when one person engages in, agrees to engage in or offers to engage in sexual intercourse with another person in exchange for compensation. Whether or not the compensation is actually received or paid is immaterial to the law. Sentences for defendants found guilty of prostitution may include jail time up to 6 months or a fine that does not exceed $500 or both penalties.

A patron of a prostitute faces a more serious penalty if convicted. He (or she) may face a sentence of up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000 for a first conviction. Convictions that occur subsequently result in sentences of up to 5 years in prison and/or fines up to $10,000.

Promotion of prostitution

Several components and crime elements make up the various aspects of promotion, according to Montana laws. Someone who is guilty of promoting prostitution:

  • Owns, manages, supervises or controls a house of prostitution or prostitution enterprise, or
  • Procures individuals for a house of prostitution or a acquires place in a house of prostitution for an individual, or
  • Encourages, causes or induces another person to become or remain a prostitute, or
  • Solicits clients for a prostitute, or
  • Obtains and produces a prostitute for a patron, or
  • Transports individuals into or within the state for the purpose of committing prostitution acts, or
  • Pays for the transportation of individuals for the purposes of prostitution, or
  • Allows a place or residence to be used for prostitution, or
  • Fails to stop the use of a place for prostitution by evicting tenant, calling law enforcement or utilizing other legal means, or
  • Exists and benefits from the earnings of a prostitute, unless the individual is a minor child or other legal dependent.

Sentences for someone found guilty of promoting prostitution cannot exceed a prison sentence of up to 10 years and/or a fine up to $50,000.

Aggravated promotion of prostitution

This offense is much more serious than other prostitution-related crimes. One definition of aggravated promotion is when one individual compels another individual by force or other means to engage in prostitution. Additionally, anyone who promotes the prostitution of his (or her) spouse, child or anyone else for whom he (or she) is responsible for providing care and protection. Sentences for either of this situations include imprisonment for up to 20 years and/or a fine up to $50,000.

One last element to aggravated promotion is defined by Montana statutes. Someone found guilty of promoting the prostitution of someone under the age of 18 years old may be sentenced to prison for 4 to 100 years and a fine up to $100,000.


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

Prostitution laws in US cities:

Prostitution laws in Canada