Federal Obscenity Laws
Federal Obscenity Defense Attorneys located in Michigan
Title 18, Chapter 71 of the United States Code is the federal law section that regulates federal sex crimes under the category of obscenity.
What is obscenity?
What constitutes "obscenity" is not clearly-defined under federal law. There are some works of art depicting full nudity that are not considered obscenity, while some images of children in clothing could be considered sexually obscene. The United States Supreme Court has created a 3-part test, often called the Miller Test, to determine whether something is obscenity under the law. This test guides the judge or jury to look at the following factors as they relate to the specific material: (1) whether the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest; (2) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law; and (3) whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
If something is determined to be obscene, there are certain things one cannot do with that material. This page discusses the various federal sex crimes dealing with obscenity. These same standards apply in both Federal Districts in Michigan - - - the Eastern District of Michigan as well as the Western District of Michigan.
What are the federal obscenity crimes?
The lawyers at Kronzek & Cronkright, PLLC are experienced at defending federal sex crimes. Convictions for obscenity crimes can have serious long-lasting consequences, and we meet that challenge in defending our clients. We have many strategies that we use when defending obscenity crimes, including the use of expert witnesses and the challenging of any Constitutional violations against you.
18 USC §1460
Possession with intent to sell, and sale, of obscene matter on federal property
A person who knowingly sells, or possesses with the intent to sell, an obscene visual depiction on federal property or an Indian reservation, if found guilty of this crime, will be imprisoned for up to 2 years, fined, or both.
18 USC §1461
Mailing obscene or crime-inciting matter
A person who knowingly uses the mail system to circulate material that is obscene, promotes abortion, or meant to incite another to commit an illegal act, is guilty of this crime. They could be imprisoned for up to 5 years, fined, or both for a first offense and imprisoned for up to 10 years and fined for any subsequent offense of a similar sex crime.
18 USC §1462
Importation or transportation of obscene matters
Whoever brings into United States or uses a shipping company to bring into the United States, or whoever knowingly receives matter that is obscene or promotes abortion, is guilty of this crime. If found guilty, they will be imprisoned for up to 5 years, fined, or both for a first offense and will be imprisoned for up to 10 years, fined, or both for any subsequent offense of a similar sex crime.
18 USC §1463
Mailing indecent matter on wrappers or envelopes
It is illegal to knowingly use the mail to circulate material with obscene matter written or printed on a postcard or the outside envelope or wrapper. A person who is found guilty of this crime will be imprisoned for up to 5 years, fined, or both.
18 USC §1464
Broadcasting obscene language
Just like the name of this crime suggests, it is illegal to say any obscene language on the radio. Penalties are imprisonment for up to 2 years, a fine, or both.
18 USC §1465
Production and transportation of obscene matters for sale or distribution
Whoever produces with the intent to transport, or transports with a computer, any obscene material designed for sale or distribution, if found guilty will be imprisoned for up to 5 years, fined, or both. It is presumed that the material is for sale or distribution if there is a certain amount of the material involved.
18 USC §1466
Engaging in the business of selling or transferring obscene matter
It is illegal to produce with the intent to sell, and to sell, obscene matter. A person found guilty of this federal sex crime will be ordered to prison for up to 5 years, to pay a fine, or both.
18 USC §1466A
Obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children
It is illegal to knowingly produce, distribute, receive, or possess with intent to distribute a visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct or any other obscenities. People found guilty of this crime will be fined and imprisoned for 5 to 20 years or 15 to 40 years for a second similar sex crime conviction.
It is also illegal to knowingly possess such visual depictions, and a person found guilty of this will be fined and imprisoned for up to 10 years or for 10 to 20 years for a second similar sex crime conviction.
18 USC §1468
Distributing obscene material by cable or subscription television
It is illegal to use obscene language or distribute obscene matter though cable or subscription television. A person found guilty of this federal sex crime will be ordered to go to prison for 2 years, pay a fine, or both.
18 USC §1470
Transfer of obscene material to minors
It is illegal to use the mail or other interstate commerce system to send obscene material to someone who you know is under 16 years old. This crime carries punishments of up to 10 years in prison, payment of fines, or both.
If you think you are being investigated for, or have been charged with, any of these federal obscenity crimes, you need an aggressive, experienced federal sex crime lawyer. At Kronzek & Cronkright, PLLC, we have over 80 years of combined experience fighting state and federal sex crimes. We have successfully represented many clients who have been charged with sex crimes. We will put that experience to use when defending our clients.
Call us today about any federal sex crime matter: (866) 7-NoJail. That’s (866) 766-5245.