In the state of Nevada, there are regulations on materials that are considered to be obscene. While the First Amendment must be restricted, the state of Nevada still establishes rules for the surrender, seizure, or destruction of obscene items or materials The law also imposes penalties for certain conduct in connection with obscene behavior, such as for coercing the acceptance of obscene articles or publications or engaging in obscene, indecent or immoral shows.
Laws related to obscenity can be complicated to follow because of the need to balance individual rights, including the right to free speech and the right to privacy, with the need to uphold public decency. Because of the complexities associated with obscenity laws and the exemptions to criminal prosecution applicable under certain circumstances, anyone who is accused of an obscenity-related offense should reach out to a Vegas criminal lawyer as soon as possible after being accused of wrongdoing or after being charged with a crime.
LV Criminal Defense has extensive experience providing representation in criminal cases related to obscenity. Our legal team can help you to fight for your rights and defend your good name, so give us a call today for assistance.
Obscenity is a sub-category of offenses found within Chapter 201 of Title 15. Chapter 201 is the part of Nevada’s criminal code that defines crimes against public decency and good morals. There are many different subsections within this statute, including not just the obscenity subsection but also sections on making obscene phone calls or the exhibition and sale of obscene material to minors.
The Obscenity subsection of Chapter 201 includes Nevada Revised Statute 201.235 through Nevada Revised Statute section 201.254. These statutes include:
• N.R.S. 201.235, which includes definitions related to obscenity offenses. The definitions statute defines community, item, material, and obscene. Obscene means something that an average person of contemporary standards would find applies to the prurient interest while lacking serious artistic, literary, political, or scientific value. To be obscene, the material must depict or describe sex acts in an offensive way; depict or describe masturbation, excretory function, sadism or masochism in an offensive way; or lewdly exhibit the genitals.
• N.R.S. 201.235, which establishes exemptions. As the statute explains, schools, universities, museums, and libraries under the control of the state are exempt from the obscenity rules found within N.R.S. 201.235 through N.R.S. 201.254.
• N.R.S. 201.239, which makes clear the state rules do not prevent local communities from adopting their own rules related to obscenity.
• N.R.S. 201.241, which explains that the district attorney or a city attorney can file a complaint in court asking the court to declare material obscene if the attorney believes that it fits within the definition of obscene. The attorney can seek to enjoin the possessor from selling, renting, exhibiting, reproducing, manufacturing, or distributing the obscene material.
• N.R.S. 201.245, which establishes the rules for the surrender, seizure, and destruction of obscene items or materials.
• N.R.S. 201.247, which stipulates that if an item the court has declared obscene is sold after the judgement is entered, the court can order an accounting to determine the amount of money made in the sale. The defendant can be required to pay a sum of money equal to the value of the sale to the county or city that had brought the obscenity action.
• N.R.S. 201.249, which establishes penalties for the production, sale, distribution, exhibition, or possession of obscene materials. The offense is generally considered to be a misdemeanor if the defendant knowingly printed, produced, or reproduced obscene material for sale or commercial distribution. A defendant could also be convicted of a misdemeanor under N.R.S. 201.249 if the defendant published, sold, rented, or transported material in interstate commerce, or had obscene material in his or her possession with intent to sell, rent, transport, or make the material commercially available.
• N.R.S. 201.251, which establishes penalties for coercing accepting or publication of obscene material. Coercing the acceptance or publication of obscene material is considered to be a misdemeanor offense under the relevant statute.
• N.R.S. 201.253, which makes it a crime to knowingly cause to be performed an exhibition of obscene material or to knowingly participate in an exhibition of obscene material. The offense is considered to be a misdemeanor offense.
• N.R.S. 201.254, which exempts stagehands and movie projectionists from criminal liability for possessing or exhibiting obscene material that is directly related to their work. A stagehand or movie projectionist cannot be prosecuted in connection with laws against obscene material if they exhibit or possess the material as part of their employment and if they have no financial interest in the production of the obscene material except for earning wages from their employer.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
These rules together establish the circumstances under which a defendant could potentially be prosecuted for a crime in connection with obscene material and set limitations on when a prosecutor can make a case against someone for material that is considered to be obscene. An experienced attorney can provide assistance to defendants accused of obscenity crimes in understanding how these laws apply to their specific situation.
LV Criminal Defense can provide invaluable help to defendants who are fighting obscenity charges. Our Vegas criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience representing clients in cases where they have been accused of violating the provisions of Chapter 201 of Title 15. Whether you need an experienced attorney to negotiate a plea agreement for you, to help you avoid charges being brought against you, or to help you fight for an acquittal in court, we can provide the help and support you need and deserve.
To find out more about how our Nevada defense law firm can help you with any obscenity related criminal offenses, give us a call today.