Arizona’s Prostitution Laws: A.R.S. 13-3214

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Prostitution Laws in Arizona: A.R.S. 13-3214

Arizona’s prostitution laws, as defined in Arizona Revised Statute 13-3214, aim to address and deter activities related to prostitution while providing safeguards for vulnerable individuals. This statute outlines the essential elements and penalties associated with prostitution offenses in the state. While the full statute can be read here, we have summarized it below:

Engaging in Prostitution: A.R.S. 13-3214 declares it unlawful for any person, whether a “Jane” or a “John,” to knowingly engage in prostitution. This prohibition encompasses both those who actively participate in prostitution and those who promote it.

Local Ordinances: The statute acknowledges the authority of Arizona cities and towns to combat prostitution within their jurisdictions. Local governments can create and enforce ordinances aimed at suppressing and prohibiting prostitution. However, these ordinances must carry penalties that are at least as severe as those outlined in A.R.S. 13-3214.

Previous Violations: A.R.S. 13-3214 establishes a link between violations of local ordinances and state law. It stipulates that a previous violation of a city or town ordinance with elements similar to those in the state statute will be treated as a prior offense under state law when determining sentencing.

Affirmative Defense: This statute introduces an affirmative defense against prostitution charges. If an individual can prove that they engaged in prostitution as a direct result of being a victim of sex trafficking, this serves as a valid defense in court.

Penalties: In general, prostitution is classified as a class 1 misdemeanor in Arizona. However, the severity of penalties escalates with subsequent convictions:

  1. First Offense: A first-time offender faces a minimum of fifteen consecutive days in jail, with no eligibility for probation or sentence suspension until the entire term is served.
  2. Second Offense: A second offense results in a minimum of thirty consecutive days in jail, similarly without probation or sentence suspension until completion.
  3. Third Offense: For a third offense, the minimum jail time is sixty consecutive days, with no possibility of probation or sentence suspension until the full term is served. Additionally, individuals must complete a court-ordered education or treatment program.
  4. Fourth or Subsequent Offenses: Those with three or more prior convictions who commit another violation of this statute are charged with a class 5 felony. The minimum jail time is one hundred eighty consecutive days, with no probation or sentence suspension until the entire term is served. This provision may also lead to incarceration in the state department of corrections.

Rideout Law Group has provided skilled legal defense in prostitution cases throughout Arizona, including Mesa, Scottsdale, Chandler, Phoenix, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, and Kingman. Rideout Law Group CEO and Attorney Brad Rideout has also served as an expert on TV in such cases. You can see what Brad had to say here regarding the following cases:

Flagstaff Case

Department of Homeland Security Case

With a wealth of experience in handling hundreds of prostitution cases, the Rideout Law Group stands ready to assist clients facing these legal challenges.



With offices in Lake Havasu City and Scottsdale, our firm serves the entire state of Arizona, with a particular focus on criminal defense, family law, and juvenile cases.

Our goal is for the best outcome for your criminal case, which can include:

  • charges that are reduced or dropped.
  • top experts reviewing your case.
  • aggressive negotiations with the prosecution for plea bargains.
  • fines or probation in lieu of jail time.

At Rideout Law Group, our attorneys are able to expertly examine the evidence in your case to provide a strong strategy for argument that leads to an outcome that is most favorable to you. We have experience in all types of criminal cases for both adults and juveniles, with positive outcomes both in plea negotiations as well as jury trial settings.

Call us today for a free consultation at 480-584-3328.


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