Prostitution, Pimping, and Pandering Laws in Utah

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

Prostitution, Soliciting, and Patronizing a Prostitute

Prostitution (exchanging sex for money or other items of value) and patronizing (paying someone for sex) is illegal in Utah. This is true even if you are caught merely offering to buy or sell sex (solicitation). These activities are Class B misdemeanors.

The offense increases to a Class A misdemeanor if you have previously been convicted two or more times. (Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-1302, -1303 & -1313.)

Furthermore, it is a third degree felony to engage in prostitution, soliciting, or patronizing if you know that you are HIV positive (even if you do not infect another person).

(Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-1309.)

Pimping and Promoting

It is illegal to pimp (make money from a prostitute’s earnings) or promote (facilitate) prostitution in Utah.

Pimping or aiding prostitution

Pimping is also known as “aiding prostitution” under Utah law. This includes:

  • soliciting a person to patronize a prostitute
  • procuring or attempting to procure a prostitute for a patron
  • leasing or otherwise permitting a place that you control, alone or in association with another, to be used for prostitution or the promotion of prostitution
  • providing any service or committing an act that enables another person to commit one of the violations listed above, or
  • soliciting, receiving, or agreeing to receive any benefit for committing any of these acts.

(Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-1304.)

Promoting or exploiting prostitution

In Utah, promoting is also referred to as “exploiting prostitution." This includes:

  • procuring an inmate for a house of prostitution or placing someone in a house of prostitution
  • encouraging, inducing, or otherwise purposely causing another to become or remain a prostitute
  • transporting a person into or within this state to promote that person's engaging in prostitution; or procuring or paying for transportation for that purpose
  • forming an agreement to share the proceeds of prostitution with a prostitute (does not apply to a child or legal dependent of a prostitute), or
  • owning, controlling, managing, supervising, or otherwise keeping, alone or in association with another, a house of prostitution or a prostitution business.

(Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-1305.)

It is an even more serious crime, called “aggravated exploitation of prostitution” if:

  • you exploit prostitution (described above) by the use of force (or threat of force)
  • the prostitute is younger than 18 years old, or
  • the prostitute is your wife.

(Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-1306.)

Punishment

The fines and jail (or prison) time that apply to your conviction depend on the offense.

Prostitution, soliciting, and patronizing

A first of second conviction for prostitution, soliciting, or patronizing is a Class B misdemeanor; penalties include a fine of up to $1,000, up to six months in jail, or both. If you have previously been convicted two or more times, your offense is a Class A misdemeanor. Penalties include a fine of up to $2,500, up to one year in jail, or both.

It is a third degree felony to engage in prostitution, soliciting, or patronizing if you know that you are HIV positive. Penalties include a fine of up to $5,000, up to five years in prison, or both.

Pimping and promoting

Aiding prostitution is a class B misdemeanor, and penalties include a fine of up to $1,000, up to six months in jail, or both. However, a person who is convicted a second or subsequent time is guilty of a class A misdemeanor, which incurs a fine of up to $2,500, up to one year in jail, or both.

Exploiting prostitution is a third degree felony, and incurs a fine of up to $5,000, up to five years in prison, or both. Aggravated exploitation of prostitution is a second degree felony, resulting in a fine of up to $10,000, at least one year (and up to 15 years) in prison, or both.

Getting Legal Advice and Counsel

If you are charged with prostitution or a related crime, you should contact a Utah 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.

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