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Arizona Brothels Laws

A brothel is a place used for prostitution or other sexual acts. In Arizona, the law refers to a brothel as a “house of prostitution.” Arizona has a series of detailed laws that prohibited buy or selling sex, or otherwise profiting from prostitution. For instance, the act of prostitution is defined as offering sexual services or agreeing to provide those services in exchange for money whether or not any act is provided. The law punishes the prostitute and one soliciting in a equal manner.

Arizona Brothel Laws at a Glance

Arizona criminalizes several offenses that are related to the operation of a brothel, including promoting prostitution, compelling prostitution, sex trafficking, and profiting from prostitution. Most of these crimes are considered a class 5 or class 6 felony. The following chart provides a general overview of the elements, defenses, and penalties related to a criminal charge from operating a brothel.

Arizona Statutes

Statutory Definition

  • Prostitution enterprise means any corporation, partnership, association or other legal entity, or group of individuals engaged in providing prostitution services.
  • House of prostitution defines any building, structure or place that is used for the purpose of prostitution, lewdness or where acts of prostitution occur.
  • Operate and Maintain a house of prostitution means to organize, design, perpetuate or control, and includes providing financial support by paying utilities, rent, maintenance costs or advertising costs, supervising activities or work schedules, and directing or furthering the aims of the enterprise.

Penalties and Sentences

· Operating a brothel is a class 5 felony punishable by up to 18 months in jail and/or $150,000 in fines.

  • Use False Pretenses to Lure a Person for Prostitution: Charged as a class 6 felony, carries a maximum punishment of 2 years in prison, 3 years of supervised probation and a $150,000 fine.

· Pandering or Pimping is a class 5 felony punishable by up to 18 months in jail and/or $150,000 in fines.


  • Insufficient Evidence means that the prosecutor can’t prove the criminal case because there is not enough evidence to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Mistake of Fact: Defendant asserts the mistaken belief prevents proving the accused had the required intent to commit the offense.
  • Entrapment: Entrapment can exist when a defendant was coaxed into committing a crime by an officer. This type of defense is difficult to prove.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. It’s important to verify the laws you’re researching by conducting your own research or consulting with a qualified Arizona criminal defense attorney.

Related Charges of Pimping and Pandering

Arizona law criminalizes various acts related to prostitution, including pimping and pandering. Pimping refers to the act of receiving a percentage of a prostitute’s earnings. Pandering, on the other hand, refers to the procurement, or recruitment, of an individual to be used for prostitution. Both crimes are charged as felonies, with penalties of up to 18 months in state prison.

The state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused engage in certain acts, including:

  • Recruiting a person for the specific purpose of working as a prostitute, and
  • A specific intent to encourage, promote, or facilitate prostitution.

Research the Law

Related Resources

Get  Legal Help With Your Arizona Criminal Charges

Criminal charges for operating a brothel or profiting from prostitution can carry significant fines and exposure to jail time. There is also a significant social stigma that's hard to avoid when there’s a conviction on your record. An attorney can help evaluate the evidence against you and develop a strong defense on your behalf. Get in touch with an Arizona defense attorney in your area to learn more about Arizona prostitution laws and defense strategies.

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