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 Obscenity 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 Obscenity Attorneys in Georgia 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: Film previews have ratings and not all previews can be shown to general audiences. Previews that are restricted to adults or minors with a parent should not be presented during movies with general audiences.
- Distributing Obscene Material: A person can be guilty of violating this statute when they distribute obscene material of any description. They must have the intent to distribute knowing that the material is obscene. Knowledge can be actual or constructive.
- Electronically Furnishing Obscene Materials to Minors: In Georgia, a minor describes a person under 18 years of age. It is illegal for a person to electronically provide obscene material to a minor.
- Obscene Telephone Contact: There are multiple offenses that prohibit adults from acting in obscene ways with minors. Another crime is through telephone contact. Georgia law criminalizes telephone contact with a child where the contact involves any sexual matter.
- Selling, Loaning, Distributing or Exhibiting Obscene Materials to Children: Obscene materials is heavily regulated in Georgia especially when it comes to children and minors. Along with not discussing sexual material over the phone, it is illegal to loan, sell, distribute, or exhibit obscene materials to a child.
- Sexual Exploitation of Children: Unfortunately, there are a number of ways a person can be guilty of sexual exploitation of children. Ultimately, it occurs when a person engages a minor for the purpose of sexually explicit conduct. Sexual exploitation of children can be treated as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances. It is critical to your case to hire a Georgia Obscenity Lawyer if charged with sexual exploitation of children.
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 Obscenity 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 Obscenity 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 Obscenity Lawyer in Georgia can help get you a more favorable outcome. Every case is different therefore there is no defense that works for every crime. Your Georgia Obscenity Lawyer 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 Obscenity 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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