Obscenity and Related Offenses in Georgia
There are a variety of crimes that fall under the category of obscenity. It is crucial to your case to retain a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer that knows the intricacies of the law and how to argue each crime. Whatever the crime, the Office of Lawson and Berry is here to help. With over 20 years experience exclusively in criminal defense, we will ensure you receive the best defense possible. Contact one of our highly knowledgeable Georgia Criminal Defense Attorneys today.
What is Considered Obscene?
Since the early 19th century, there have been laws in the United States prohibiting the sale and distribution of obscene materials. Courts found that obscene material is not protected under the First Amendment and States are allowed to enact their own statutes making exhibition of obscene material illegal. In the 20th Century, the Supreme Court started hearing more and more cases involving obscenity and the Court had to address the issue. In 1973, the Supreme Court defined obscenity in the case of Miller v. California. 413 U.S. 15. Miller pertained to the mailing out of printed materials of a graphic sexual nature. The Court adopted a three-step test that must be met for an item or act to be subject to regulation by state laws.
The Miller test elements are as follows:
- Whether the average person, applying contemporary community standards, taken as a whole, it predominately appeals to the prurient interest, that is, a shameful or morbid interest in nudity, sex, or excretion
- Whether the material taken as a whole lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value; and
- Whether the material depicts or describes in a patently offensive, way sexual conduct, as specifically defined by applicable state law. O.C.G.A. §16-12-80
Obscenity and Related Crimes in Georgia
Some offenses included under this code section include:
- Display of Restricted Film Previews to General Audiences: Occurs when a film preview that is restricted is shown to a general audience
- Distributing Obscene Material: Occurs when a person disperses in any way materials that are obscene
- Electronically Furnishing Obscene Materials to Minors: Occurs when a person sends material to a minor through electronic means
- Obscene Telephone Contact: Occurs when a person has inappropriate telephone contact with a minor
- Selling, Loaning, Distributing or Exhibiting Obscene Materials to Children: Occurs when a person gives or shows obscene materials to a minor child
- Sexual Exploitation of Children: Occurs in a plethora of ways but ultimately when a person engages a minor for the purpose of sexually explicit conduct
Penalty for a Conviction for Obscenity and Related Crimes in Georgia
Most of the crimes under obscenity and related offenses will be charged as a misdemeanor, possibly at a high or aggravated nature. Misdemeanor convictions in Georgia carry a penalty of up to 12 months in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, or both.
There are a few crimes that can result in a felony conviction. Having a felony conviction on your record can make it difficult to find employment, obtain credit, buy a house, and will result in a loss of voting rights.
Because of the wide range of penalties, it is crucial that you retain a Criminal Defense Attorney in Georgia to help you through the process.
It was accidental: Evidence proving that the distribution was unintentional without would be greatly beneficial to your case.
Lack of evidence: The State must have sufficient evidence tying the defendant to the crime. If there is not enough evidence proving that the suspect did it beyond a reasonable doubt, then they cannot be guilty.
How Can a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer Help
One of the major benefits to having a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney is that they can try to work out a better deal with the prosecutor than you would get on your own. Whether it is trying to get the charges lowered or argue your innocence, your Lawyer can help get you a more favorable outcome. Every case is different therefore there is no defense that works for every crime. Your Criminal Defense Lawyer in Georgia will examine your case to determine what your best arguments are and seek to create gaps in the prosecutor's case.
After practicing for 20 plus years throughout Georgia, the Office of Lawson and Berry know how to work out deals with the prosecutor. Don't try to handle it on your own. Your Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney will investigate all the details surrounding your case and evaluate your options. They will be available all the time to you – even nights and weekends – because your case is important. Lawson and Berry and their team of Lawyers will work with you to fight your charge and avoid a conviction. Call today to schedule a free case evaluation.
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