Prostitution, Pimping, and Pandering Laws in Arkansas
In Arkansas, it is against the law to buy or sell sex, or promote or make money from prostitution.
For more information on prostitution laws generally, see Prostitution.
A person commits the crime of prostitution in Arkansas by engaging in (or agreeing or offering to engage in) sexual contact (oral, anal, or vaginal sex, or fondling) in exchange for a fee.
(Ark. Code § 5-70-102.)
Both people who buy and sell sex can be prosecuted for prostitution in Arkansas.
Arkansas also has a specific law criminalizing sexual solicitation -- offering to pay for or requesting payment for sexual contact.
(Ark. Code § 5-70-103.)
In Arkansas, someone who offers to pay for sex or have sex for money can be convicted of sexual solicitation orprostitution.
In some states, pimping (making money from prostitution) and pandering (facilitating or advancing prostitution) are two different crimes.
For more information, see Pimping and Pandering.
In Arkansas, a person who advances or profits from prostitution has committed the crime of promoting prostitution.
A person commits the crime of advancing prostitution in Arkansas by:
- causing or helping another engage in prostitution
- finding or soliciting “johns”
- finding or providing a prostitute
- operating, assisting in, or providing premises for a house of prostitution
- operating or assisting a prostitution enterprise (a group of two or more prostitutes), or
- doing anything to aid or facilitate prostitution.
A person commits the crime of profiting from prostitution by receiving money from prostitution services that the person did not personally perform.
These laws target third parties, and the defendant must be aware that prostitution is occurring in order to be guilty of promoting prostitution. In Arkansas, prostitutes and “johns” cannot be convicted of the crime of promoting prostitution.
(Ark. Code § 5-70-101.)
For example, someone who offers to find a prostitute for people traveling for business can be convicted of promoting prostitution.
First degree promoting prostitution
A person is guilty of first degree promoting prostitution if he or she:
- advances prostitution by compelling another by force, confinement, or threats of force or confinement to engage in prostitution; or profits from such conduct by others, or
- advances or profits from the prostitution of a person under the age of 18 years.
(Ark. Code § 5-70-104.)
For example, anyone who profits from child prostitution or makes a prostitute work against his or her will is guilty of first degree promoting prostitution.
Second degree promoting prostitution
In Arkansas, advancing or profiting from prostitution by owning, controlling, or managing a house of prostitution or organization of two or more prostitutes is second degree promoting prostitution.
(Ark. Code § 5-70-105.)
Third degree promoting prostitution
Under Arkansas’ laws, a person commits the crime of promoting prostitution in the third degree by:
- advancing or profiting from prostitution, or
- failing to make reasonable efforts to stop prostitution occurring on his or her property.
(Ark. Code § 5-70-106.)
A couple who knows that their tenants are prostituting themselves in a building they own and does nothing to stop it could be prosecuted for third degree promoting prostitution.
Promoting prostitution in the first degree is a Class D felony, punishable by up to six years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000. People who are convicted of first degree promoting prostitution are also required to register as sex offenders.
Promoting prostitution in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
Promoting prostitution in the third degree is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Prostitution and sexual solicitation are class B misdemeanors. Second and subsequent offenses are class A misdemeanors.
(Ark. Code §§ 5-4-401, 5-70-102, 5-70-103, 5-70-104, 5-70-105, 5-70-106, 12-12-903, 12-12-905.)
In many states, a conviction for prostitution, sexual solicitation, or promoting prostitution can disqualify a defendant from holding certain jobs or obtaining certain professional licenses. For example, in Arkansas, a person convicted of prostitution or a related crime is prohibited from being employed by a child care facility or home health care program.
(Ark. Code §§ 20-38-101, 20-38-105.)
Similar laws may apply to other positions.
Getting Legal Advice and Counsel
A conviction for prostitution or a related crime can result in time in prison or jail, a fine, and could jeopardize your job prospects. A conviction that requires sex offender registration can have a lasting impact on your ability to work or even live in certain places. If you are charged with prostitution or a related crime, you should contact an Arkansas criminal defense attorney immediately. An attorney can tell you how your case is likely to fare in court and help you navigate the criminal justice system.