Prostitution is illegal in Ohio. Courts treat prostitution charges seriously. If you are facing prostitution charges or have been arrested for related criminal offenses, you need to understand the following facts about Ohio prostitution charges.

What Are the Main Prostitution Laws in Ohio?

You could be charged with several prostitution-related offenses in Ohio. Some of the primary prostitution laws in the state include:


Ohio Revised Code §2907.25 makes it illegal to engage in sexual activity for hire. Furthermore, it also makes it illegal to engage in prostitution after a positive HIV test. 

Prostitution is a third-degree misdemeanor. If the person has tested positive for HIV, the charge increases to a third-degree felony.

Compelling Prostitution

It is illegal to compel another person to engage in sex for hire under Ohio Revised Code §2907.21. Typically, an offense of compelling prostitution is a third-degree felony. However, the charges are more severe if a minor is involved.


It is illegal to solicit another person to engage in sexual activity for hire under Ohio Revised Code §2907.24. “For hire” means money or anything of value. The offense is a third-degree misdemeanor, but increases to a felony if the person knows they tested positive for HIV.

Promoting Prostitution 

Ohio Revised Code §2907.22 makes it a crime to:

  • Manage, supervise, or control a prostitute’s activities
  • Operate, establish, manage, control, supervise, maintain, or have an interest in a brothel or similar business
  • Incur or procure someone to engage in sex for hire
  • Cause someone to be transported or transport someone to engage in prostitution

Promoting prostitution is generally a fourth-degree felony charge. However, under certain conditions, it can be charged as a third-degree felony.

Solicitation or Enticement To Patronize a Prostitute

Ohio Revised Code §2907.23 makes it illegal to entice or solicit someone to patronize a brothel or prostitute. It is also illegal to procure a prostitute for someone else or take/direct someone to any place to patronize a prostitute.

Loitering To Engage in Solicitation 

It is illegal to try to stop or attempt to stop someone to solicit prostitution while in or near a public place under Ohio Revised Code §2907.241. The charge for loitering to engage in solicitation is a third-degree misdemeanor, but increases to a fifth-degree felony after testing positive for HIV.

What Are the Penalties for Convictions on Ohio Prostitution Charges?

The punishment a person faces for a prostitution conviction depends on the severity of the charge. Ohio has five degrees of misdemeanors and felonies. The first degree is the most severe, and the fifth degree is the least severe. 

In addition to the specific charges, your criminal history and aggravating factors can impact your sentence for a prostitution conviction. On the lower end of the scale, a third-degree misdemeanor prostitution charge can result in a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail. The penalty increases to a $10,000 fine and up to five years in prison for a conviction of third-degree felony prostitution.

Other potential penalties for prostitution charges depend on the case. They include:

  • Suspended driver’s license if using a vehicle during the commission of the crime
  • Mandatory testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases
  • Being required to register as a sex offender
  • Not qualifying to be a foster caregiver
  • Ineligibility to be employed as an Ohio law enforcement officer
  • Being subject to deportation for certain sexual offenses
  • Loss of public housing benefits for felony sex offense convictions

Convictions for sex crimes can have far-reaching consequences. They could negatively impact child custody cases, adoptions, and professional licensing. Being convicted of prostitution offenses could also negatively impact personal relationships.

Are There Defenses to Prostitution in Ohio?

The prosecutor must prove all elements of a prostitution charge for a conviction. A Dayton prostitution defense lawyer can help you build a defense based on the evidence against you and the circumstances of the case. Potential defenses to prostitution include:

  • Entrapment by law enforcement officers
  • You did not engage in sexual activity
  • It was a case of mistaken identity
  • You have an alibi for the alleged offense
  • Law enforcement violated your constitutional rights
  • There was no intent to commit prostitution 
  • There was a misunderstanding of the relationship

You might be tempted to try to talk your way out of prostitution charges. However, do not give in to the temptation. Talking with the police can make it more difficult to defend yourself against prostitution charges.

Instead, call a Dayton sex crimes attorney as soon as possible for advice. An attorney can help you fight the charges to avoid a conviction or harsh sentence. 

Contact the Dayton Criminal Defense Attorneys at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers For Help Today

For more information, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers give us a call today at (937) 531-0435 or visit us at our Dayton law office.

Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers – Dayton
130 West Second Street #17-129
Dayton, OH 45402
United States