While it may not be charged frequently, New York does have charges against obscenity. They further have offenses that include distributing or making available obscene or indecent content to minors. All but one of the degrees of these charges are charged as a felony, meaning significant issues for the person charged. If you or someone you know have been charged with obscenity or the distribution of obscene or indecent material, call now for a free consultation with our experienced New York criminal attorneys.
It is important to know what obscene material is defined as for the purpose of these charges. The definition is not necessarily concrete as the standard is that if the material is found to predominately appeal to an interest in sex when the contemporary community standards are applied upon review. What this means is that while the statute defines specific offense manner line sadism, masochism, lewd exhibition of genitals or sexual bestiality, if the content is offensive to the general community, it will also be considered obscene. An example of this would be the change in community view of the display of women’s bodies, in the sense that historically they needed to be fully covered but contemporarily they are only unable to expose their genital regions.
The offense of obscenity is charged in three degrees, the lowest being a class A misdemeanor. This charge applies when a person possesses with the intent to promote or promotes any obscene material or produces, directs an obscene performance or participates in portion that is obscene. While this is the lowest charge and is a misdemeanor, the charge becomes a class E felony when they commit the offense of obscenity in the third, having been previously convicted of the same charge. In its highest degree, the offense is a class D felony when a person promotes or possesses with intent to promote obscene material knowing its content is obscene.
If a person sells or loans material that is any book, picture, drawing, magazine, sculpture, file or other such material to a minor for money, knowing the content includes obscene material, they can be charged with disseminating indecent material to minors in the second degree which is a class E felony. If they distribute the material knowing that it contains material that depicts actual or simulated nudity, sexual conduct and intentionally uses computers to communicate the data, or uses such communication to induce or invite a minor to engage in sexual conduct for the offender’s benefit, they can be charged with a class D felony.
Any charge that deals with minors, the courts are most likely to use their discretion to enact the highest level of sentencing as well as enforcing the SORA if it applies to the situation at hand. If SORA is involved, the person accused could be compelled to register as a sex offender which limits their future abilities to exist normally. Call now for a free consultation with our experienced New York criminal attorneys to discuss what options are available to you in facing these charges.