Promoting Obscene Material in New Jersey
Promoting Obscene Material was a relatively unknown statute up until recently. Nowadays, the statute has gained popularity with police and they are charging it more and more. The steady increase is directly related to the increase in cell phone use and cell phone cameras, especially among teenagers and young adults. For example, one of the more common scenarios involves teenagers sending unsolicited explicit images back and forth to each other with the use of their cell phones, email, or social media. Based on these circumstances we often see promoting obscene material charged with harassment, cyber harassment, invasion of privacy and even possession of child pornography under the statute for endangering the welfare of a child. This goes to show you that something that could have started out as joke or been done after a brief lapse of judgement could have long last effects.
What is Promoting Obscene Material?
Although many young offenders think that is nothing more than a prank or harmless fun, the truth is that these acts often lead to serious criminal charges. In New Jersey, promoting obscene material is considered a third degree indictable crime which is punishable by up to 3 – 5 years in state prison. Moreover, even juvenile defendants can be exposed to incarceration or detention depending on the circumstances. However, with the help of an experienced criminal attorney, you can often avoid incarceration through probation or even have the charges dismissed completely through a diversionary program or legality issue. At Proetta & Oliver, we are experienced in handling promoting obscene material charges for our clients in New Jersey. If you or a loved one has been charged under 2C:34-3, contact our office today at (201) 793-8018 for a free consultation with one of our lawyers.
For your convenience, we have provided the New Jersey statute on Obscenity for Persons under 18, in pertinent part below.
2C:34-3 Obscenity for Persons under 18
Definitions for purposes of this section:
(1) “Obscene material” means any description, narrative account, display, depiction of a specified anatomical area or specified sexual activity contained in, or consisting of, a picture or other representation, publication, sound recording, live performance or film, which by means of posing, composition, format or animated sensual details, emits sensuality with sufficient impact to concentrate prurient interest on the area or activity.
(2) “Obscene film” means any motion picture film or preview or trailer to a film, not including newsreels portraying actual current events or pictorial news of the day, in which a scene, taken by itself:
(a) Depicts a specified anatomical area or specified sexual activity, or the simulation of a specified sexual activity, or verbalization concerning a specified sexual activity; and
(b) Emits sensuality sufficient, in terms of the duration and impact of the depiction, to appeal to prurient interest.
(3) “Specified anatomical area” means:
(a) Less than completely and opaquely covered human genitals, pubic region, buttock or female breasts below a point immediately above the top of the areola; or
(b) Human male genitals in a discernibly turgid state, even if covered.
(4) “Specified sexual activity” means:
(a) Human genitals in a state of sexual stimulation or arousal; or
(b) Any act of human masturbation, sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse; or
(c) Fondling or other erotic touching of covered or uncovered human genitals, pubic region, buttock or female breast.
b. Promoting obscene material.
(1) A person who knowingly sells, distributes, rents or exhibits to a person under 18 years of age obscene material is guilty of a crime of the third degree.
(2) A person who knowingly shows obscene material to a person under 18 years of age with the knowledge or purpose to arouse, gratify or stimulate himself or another is guilty of a crime of the third degree if the person showing the obscene material is at least four years older than the person under 18 years of age viewing the material.
c. Admitting to exhibition of obscene film.
(1) Any person who knowingly admits a person under 18 years of age to a theatre then exhibiting an obscene film is guilty of a crime of the third degree.
(2) A person who knowingly shows an obscene film to a person under 18 years of age with the knowledge or purpose to arouse, gratify or stimulate himself or another is guilty of a crime of the third degree if the person showing the obscene film is at least four years older than the person under 18 years of age viewing the film.