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PANDERING / PIMPING

Pandering is the proper legal term for pimping, a common criminal offense in Las Vegas. If you have been charged with pandering, read about this charge below and learn how a criminal defense attorney can help you.

PANDERING DEFINED

NRS 201.300 defines the criminal offense of "pandering." According to this statute, a person is guilty of pandering if he "[i]nduces, persuades, encourages, inveigles, entices or compels a person to become a prostitute or to continue to engage in prostitution."

Let's break down this definition. First of all, all of the terms used in this definition are more or less self-explanatory, except for the somewhat obscure term "inveigles," which means to persuade by use of trickery or flattery.

Obviously, this definition covers situations where a person "turns out" a working girl and induces her to engage in prostitution. But it also covers situations where a person merely encourages a prostitute to continue to engage in prostitution. In other words, under Nevada law, you are a pimp if you meet a prostitute and encourage her to keep doing what she's been doing.

NRS 201.300 describes other situations where a person is guilty of pandering, such as situations where a pimp keeps soemone prostitute in brothel by using threats of violence, but most of these situations would already be covered under the general definition above.

However, NRS 201.300(1)(f) describes one addition to the definition of pandering worth discussing here. Specifically, this subsection of the statute says that a person is guilty of pandering if he agrees to take money or other valuable property "for procuring or attempting to procure a person to become a prostitute or to come into this state or leave this state for the purpose of prostitution." In other words, a person is legally a pimp if he takes money and attempts to procure the services of a prostitute for his client, regardless of whether a prostitute actually becomes involved in the transaction at any point.

PENALTY FOR A PANDERING CONVICTION

Pandering is a serious felony offense, but punishment ranges vary based on whether a threat of force was present and the person pandered (i.e. the prostitute) was an adult or a minor.

Pursuant to NRS 201.300(2), pandering an adult (i.e. a person at least 18 years old) is a category D felony, punishable by 1 to 4 years in a Nevada prison. However, if "physical force or the immediate threat of physical force" is used on the person pandered, then the crime becomes a category C felony, punishable by 1 to 5 years in a Nevada prison.

Pandering a child is a category B felony, punishable by 1 to 10 years in a Nevada prison. If physical threats are used, the crime is still a category B felony, but the potential punishment increases to 2 to 20 years in a Nevada prison.

Pandering is a probationable offense, meaning that the judge has discretion to suspend any prison sentence and place the convicted person on a period of probation up to five years. However, if a person is convicted of pandering, the chances that he will serve prison time are substantial. That is why it is important to have a criminal defense lawyer to help you if you are charged with this crime.

RELATED CHARGE: LIVING FROM THE EARNINGS OF A PROSTITUTE

In many instances, it is difficult for prosecutors to prove that a person is a pimp, because often, prostitutes are uncooperative witnesses. So the Nevada legislature has enacted several criminal statutes that help prosecutors convict people for offenses related to pimping. The most common of these pimp-related offenses is "living from the earnings of a prostitute."

According to NRS 201.320, a person who "knowingly accepts" money, "without consideration, from the proceeds of any prostitute," is guilty of a felony offense. In particular, living from the earnings of a prostitute is a category D felony, punishable by 1 to 4 years in a Nevada prison.

Note that the person must accept money from a prostitute "knowingly." This means that in order to obtain a criminal conviction, the state must prove that the person knew he was receiving proceeds of prostitution. If a person receives money from the proceeds of prostitution without knowing that's where the money came from, he has committed no crime.

Moreover, in order to be convicted of living off the earnings of a prostitute, the person accused must have received the money "without consideration." Consideration is a contractual term, meaning something of value that is exchanged for something else of value, such as goods or services. So if a cab driver accepts money from a prostitute, even knowing she is a prostitute and earned her money for cab fare by engaging in sex acts for money, he is providing consideration—a valuable service, transportation—in exchange for the money, and he is therefore not guilty of living from the earnings of a prostitute. Here's another example that may provide a defense in a "living from the earnings" case: a man rents a house or apartment. His roommate is a prostitute. He is aware of what she does for a living. She pays him some of the proceeds of her work for her half of the rent. The man is not guilty of living from the earnings of a prostitute, since he is providing a place to stay (valuable consideration) for the money provided.

RELATED CHARGE: FURNISHING TRANSPORTATION

Furnishing transportation is another pimp-related offense that provides the state a shortcut to a pandering conviction. According to NRS 201.340, a person who "knowingly transports or causes to be transported" a person with the intent that the person "become a prostitute or to continue to engage in prostitution" is guilty of the criminal offense of pandering. Because furnishing transportation for the purposes of prostitution allows the state to obtain a conviction for pandering, this crime is punishable in the same manner as any other pandering conviction, as explained above.

RELATED CHARGE: DETAINING

Detaining is another felony offense related to pimping, which provides the prosecutor a shortcut to a pandering conviction. According to NRS 201.330, a person who "attempts to detain another person in a… house of prostitution" because of any debt or alleged debts is guilty of pandering. Note that a person accused under this statute would most likely also face prosecution for kidnapping.

DEFENDING PIMPING CASES

If you have been charged with pandering or any other pimping offense, you should call a criminal defense attorney as soon as you can. I have defended many people accused of pimping and pandering in Las Vegas. I know that in many instances, these cases arise out of Las Vegas Metro's Vice unit pressuring prostitutes to "give up" their pimp, only to have the accused prostitute protect her real pimp by giving up someone else's name. Call me now to discuss your case.

By Michael Pandullo

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