Prostitution laws in Virginia

In Virginia, prostitution and related crimes are strictly prohibited by several statutes that define various parts of the law. Included in the statutes are prohibitions against prostitution and solicitation, unlawful status for residence in bawdy places, illegality of aiding prostitution, committing compulsion and testing for HIV and hepatitis C.

Prostitution and solicitation

Any person in Virginia who commits adultery or fornication in exchange for money or its equivalent is guilty of committing prostitution. Additionally, anyone who offers to commit prostitution is guilty of the offense. A person who offers money (or other valuables) to another person for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts may be convicted of solicitation. Both offenses of prostitution and solicitation carry potential sentences of jail time up to 1 year and/or fines up to $2,500. The offenses are classified as class 1 misdemeanors.

The use of a vehicle to commit prostitution or solicitation is considered punishable by law.

Testing for transmittable infections

All persons convicted of prostitution or solicitation in Virginia are required by law to submit to testing for HIV and hepatitis C. All individuals will be counseled about the infections and how they are transmitted. Test results will be reported to the subject of the test and the Department of Health. Results are never disclosed to the court, nor will they be used as evidence in trials.

Bawdy places

In Virginia, the laws make it unlawful for any person to reside in or visit or keep a bawdy place. A bawdy place is considered any location within or without the benefit of a structure or building which is used for prostitution or known to be used for prostitution.

Procuring or willfully taking a position of employment in a bawdy place is also considered illegal.


Anyone who is found guilty of aiding the crime of prostitution (or any crime related) is guilty of a misdemeanor. Transporting or providing transportation for anyone in order to help him or her engage in prostitution is illegal. Procuring patrons for prostitutes or prostitutes for patrons is unlawful. Finally, it is a crime to give directions to anyone who wishes to hire a prostitute or visit a house of prostitution.

Compulsion and pimping

The laws in Virginia take special attention to prohibit anyone from taking one against his or her will, detaining someone or forcing someone in order to cause a person to engage in prostitution. Included in this statute is the compulsion of one person to marry another in order to provide engagement in prostitution. Furthermore, the law punishes a parent or legal guardian who allows his or her child, dependant or ward to be taken for the purpose of prostitution.

Pimping (or pandering) is considered unlawful in Virginia, too. Anyone who is found guilty of taking or receiving money as a result of procuring a person for a house of prostitution will face a punishment that includes imprisonment. It is also illegal to receive money from the proceeds of a prostitute.

All of these crimes are class 4 felonies and punishable with prison time from 2 to 10 years and fines 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