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North Carolina Prostitution and Solicitation Laws

In North Carolina, prostitution and solicitation are illegal. North Carolina's prostitution laws prohibit several different activites, including: engaging in sexual acts for payment or services, seeking or actually engaging in sexual acts with a prostitute for money (solicitation), abetting, pimping, or pandering, and promoting or participating in child prostitution.

The following table highlights the main provisions of North Carolina's prostitution and solicitation laws.

See also Pimping and Pandering Laws.

Code Section

North Carolina General Statutes § 14-203 et seq. (PDF)

Prostitution: § 14-204

Solicitation: § 14-205.1

Pimping/Pandering: § 14-205.3

Child Prostitution: § 14-190.13

What is Prohibited

Prostitution: Engaging in sexual activity for money or payment

Solicitation: Seeking and/or engaging in sexual services for hire.

Pimping/Pandering: Compelling a person to become a prostitute, receiving a portion of the earnings from a prostitute for arranging or offering to arrange sexual services.

Keeping a Place of Prostitution: Knowingly granting or permitting the use of a place for the purpose of prostitution.

Child Prostitution: Encouraging, forcing, supervising, or supporting the prostitution of a minor.

Penalties

Prostitution: Class 1 Misdemeanor, penalties depend on the nature of the act and prior criminal history, including jail, fine, community service, probation, sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing, and more.

Solicitation: Class 1 misdemeanor for a first offense. Higher penalties for second and subsequent offenses and/or soliciting a minor for sexual activity.

Punishment under this section may include participation in a program devised for the education and prevention of sexual exploitation (if.e. "John School"), where available.

Pimping/Pandering/Keeping House of Prostitution: Felony; punishment depends on the nature of the act and prior criminal history.

Child Prostitution: Felony; punishment depends on the nature of the act and prior criminal history including being required to register under North Carolina's sex offender registry .

Who Can Be Prosecuted The prostitute, the customer (or "John"), the pimp, and anyone running a house of prostitution
What is Considered Payment? Money, gifts, favors, and other compensation

What is the Definition of a "Minor"

Any person who is less than 18 years of age

Immunity from Prosecution

Minors cannot be prosecuted for prostitution. Instead, they are taken into protective custody.

Because prostitution laws can sometimes get complicated, it may also be a good idea to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney if you have questions about your specific situation.

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  • Complex cases usually require a lawyer
  • Experienced lawyers can seek to reduce or eliminate criminal penalties
  • Sexual assaults & sex crime convictions often have long sentences and lifelong consequences

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