West Virginia Prostitution and Solicitation Laws

West Virginia prohibits prostitution (having sex for money) and a number of prostitution related crimes such as solicitation (patronizing a prostitute), pandering (recruiting prostitutes), and pimping (receiving support from prostitution). Penalties include prison times of up to 1 year and fines of up $500. These penalties may be increased for subsequent offenses and some prostitution related crimes which involve minors. The following is a brief summary of West Virginia's prostitution and solicitation laws.

West Virginia Prostitution and Solicitation Laws

The following table outlines West Virginia's prostitution and solicitation laws.

Code Sections W. VA. CODE ยง 61-8-5 et seq.
What is Prohibited?

Prostitution and solicitation:

  • Engaging in prostitution
  • Soliciting, inducing, or enticing another person to commit prostitution
  • Residing, entering, or remaining in a place of prostitution for prostitution purposes
  • Otherwise aiding or participating in any of the above acts

Maintaining a place of prostitution:

  • Keeping, establishing, maintaining, or operating a place of prostitution
  • Knowingly allowing or renting a place, premises or conveyance (such as a car) for prostitution purposes
  • Soliciting or receiving a patron for a place of prostitution or allowing a person to stay for such purposes
  • Directing, taking, or transporting a person to a place of prostitution or assisting with the directing, taking, or transportation.

Detaining a person in a place of prostitution:

Directly or indirectly keeping, holding, detaining, or restraining a person in a place of prostitution or attempting to do any of the above acts in an effort to force the person to remain a prostitute and pay off so-called debts.

Pandering:

  • Recruiting or securing a spot for a prostitute in a place of prostitution
  • Causing a person to become an inmate of a place of prostitution through promises, threats, violence, or any other means
  • Causing a person to come into or leave the state for prostitution purposes
  • Receiving money for doing or attempting any of the above

 

Pimping:

Knowingly receiving support from prostitution proceeds.

Penalties

Prostitution is punishable by up to 6 months in prison and up to $100 in fines. A second offense is punishable by up to 1 year in prison and up to $250 in fines. Any third or subsequent offenses by a pimp, solicitor, operator or person otherwise benefiting financially from prostitution are punishable by up to 3 years in prison.

Maintaining a place of prostitution is punishable by up to 1 year in prison and up to $250 in fines. A subsequent offense is punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

Pandering or detaining a person in a place of prostitution is punishable by up to 1 year in prison and up to $500 in fines. A subsequent offense is punishable by up to 3 years in prison. If the person recruited or detained was a minor, it is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.

Pimping is punishable by up to 1 year in prison and up to $500 in fines. For subsequent offenses, the crime is punishable by up to 3 years in prison. If the prostitute was a minor, the crime is a felony punishable by at least 2 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.

West Virginia Prostitution and Solicitation Laws: Related Resources

If you or someone you know has been charged with prostitution or a prostitution related crime, you may want to consult with a West Virginia criminal defense attorney. You can also visit Findlaw's sections on Prostitution, Solicitation, and Pimping and Pandering Laws for more articles and information on these topics.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.