Prostitution, Pimping, and Pandering Laws in South Dakota

South Dakota has laws against buying, selling, or profiting from the sale of sex. For more information on prostitution laws generally, see  Prostitution.

Prostitution and Patronizing

It is illegal to sell or buy sex in South Dakota. Prostitution (exchanging sex for money or other items of value) and patronizing (buying sex for money) are both Class 1 misdemeanors.

(S.D. Cod. Laws § 22-23-1.)

Pimping and Promoting

It is also illegal to pimp (make money from a prostitutes earnings) or promote (facilitate) prostitution in South Dakota.

In South Dakota, pimping is a Class 6 felony, and includes:

  • soliciting another person to patronize a prostitute
  • procuring a prostitute for a patron
  • transporting a person into or within the state to engage in prostitution, or procuring or paying for transportation for that purpose
  • knowingly permitting a place you own, manage, supervise, or control, alone, or in association with others, to be regularly used for prostitution or the promotion of prostitution; or failing to make reasonable effort to abate such use by ejecting the tenant, notifying law enforcement authorities, or using other legally available means; or
  • soliciting, receiving, or agreeing to receive any benefit for doing or agreeing to do any of these activities.

Promoting is a Class 5 felony, and includes:

  • encouraging, inducing, procuring, or otherwise purposely causing another to become or remain a prostitute
  • promoting the prostitution of a minor, or
  • promotes the prostitution of your spouse, child, ward, or other dependant person.

(S.D. Cod. Laws § 22-23-2 & 22-23-8.)


Prostitution and patronizing a prostitute are both Class 1 misdemeanors, and penalties include a fine of up to $2,000, up to a year in jail, or both.

Pimping is a Class 6 felony, and penalties include a fine of up to $4,000, up to two years in prison, or both.

Promoting is a Class 5 felony, and penalties include a fine of up to $10,000, up to five years in prisons, or both.

Sex Offender Registration

In South Dakota, if you are convicted of promoting or soliciting the prostitution of a minor (someone younger than 18), in addition to fines and prison time, you are required to register as a sex offender.

(S.D. Cod. Laws § 22-24B-1 & 22-24B-2.)

Getting Legal Advice and Counsel

If you are charged with prostitution or a related crime, you should contact a South Dakota criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you navigate the criminal justice system and obtain the best possible outcome in your case.