Columbia Obscenity Lawyer

Obscenity laws regulate or suppress things that can be considered obscene and not protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution. Every state has its own law addressing obscenity, and there are federal obscenity laws as well. Regardless of location, an arrest for obscenity charges can lead to invasive investigations, nosy neighbors, and loss of personal relationships. Even more importantly, it can lead to jail time or immense fines.

It is unlawful to be involved with the creation or delivery of obscene material. A conviction can jeopardize your future. You could lose job opportunities, scholarships, or custody of your children. You should not attempt to navigate these potential consequences without a sex crimes attorney. It is best to contact a Columbia obscenity lawyer immediately for assistance.

What is Obscenity?

The South Carolina Code § 16-15-305 defines obscenity, material harmful to minors, child exploitation, and child prostitution. A material is obscene when the following criteria are met. First, the material depicts or describes sexual conduct in a way that is patently offensive to the average person applying contemporary community standards. Second, material is obscene when it appeals to the lewd interest in sex per contemporary community standards relating to the depiction or description of sexual conduct. Third, the material taken as a whole must not have real literary, artistic, political, or scientific value to the average reasonable person. Finally, the material cannot be protected under the United States Constitution. A knowledgeable lawyer could determine when one of these standards are not met, and a court cannot find a person guilty of obscenity charges in Columbia.

It is unlawful to knowingly disseminate, procure, or promote obscenity. A person cannot sell, deliver, provide, offer or agree to sell, deliver, or provide any obscene writing, picture, record, digital electronic file, or other representation or description of the obscene. A person also cannot present or direct an obscene play, dance, or other performance or participate directly in the portion making it obscene. People cannot publish, exhibit, or otherwise make available anything obscene to any group or individual. The law also applies to the distribution of or agreement to distribute various forms of obscenity, including motion pictures, films, sound recordings, video tapes and recordings, or any form depicting the obscene.

What are the Potential Consequences?

Obscenity is a felony. When someone is convicted of obscenity, they are subject to jail time of no more than five years. Alternatively, a court could fine them no more than $10,000. A court cannot punish a person with both. A Columbia lawyer with experience will work to ensure a person receives the lightest sentence possible for an obscenity charge.

Sex-related crimes have some of the most severe consequences in the state. When minors are involved, the penalties become harsher. Mitigating circumstances can affect the penalties. The SC Code §§ 16-15-345 and 16-15-355 specifically address the consequences for disseminating obscene material to a minor. When the victim is younger than 18 but older than 12, a person faces up to 10 years in jail. When the victim is under 12, jail time can go up to 15 years.

Contact a Columbia Attorney Today for Help With an Obscenity Charge

Criminal charges can affect the rest of your life. They can influence the jobs you get or the neighborhoods you are able to live in. They are not to be taken lightly, especially when the crimes are sex-related. Do not risk your future by handling your obscenity case on your own. Contact a Columbia obscenity lawyer today to discuss your case.