New Jersey Public Obscenity Charge

Our Former County Prosecutors & Accomplished NJ Criminal Attorneys Are Ready To Discuss Your Obscenity Offense

New Jersey lawmakers have sought to combat public displays and communications of obscenity by making it a fourth degree crime to violate N.J.S.A. 2C:34-4(b). If you have been charged with violating this law, it is crucially important that you take this offense seriously since it can not only leave you with a felony criminal record but also result in 18 months in prison. An accomplished New Jersey criminal attorney like those on the team at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can protect you against these potential ramifications. Our qualifications include:

  • Over 200 years of collective experience defending sex related charges throughout the state
  • Former county prosecutors that have served in key positions like Director of Major Crimes, the Drug Task Force, Juvenile Unit and an entire Trial Division
  • 11 lawyers whose practices are dedicated exclusively to representing clients accused of violating the law
  • Certified criminal trial attorneys
  • Offices conveniently located in Jersey City, Camden, Mays Landing, Somerville, Trenton, New Brunswick, Mount Holly, Freehold, Toms River, Woodbury, Morristown and Flemington New Jersey

For an immediate free consultation with an attorney who can help you escape a conviction, call 877-450-8301. Lawyers are available 24/7 to assist you.

Public Obscenity Offense in New Jersey

Although this charge sounds extremely similar to a lewdness offense, there are major differences in terms of the elements of proof. In order to convict you for public obscenity, the county prosecutor must establish, beyond reasonable doubt, that:

  1. The material was obscene;
  2. It was displayed, posted, exhibited, given away or vocalized in a manner that it would be easily recognized in a public place; and
  3. The defendant must have engaged in the conduct knowing of the nature of the content and that it would be readily appreciated by the public.

There are some logical questions that naturally arise after reviewing these elements. The headings that follow address these common questions.

When Is Conduct in Public? Conduct is in public when it is readily observable through unaided vision or hearing from a public street, road, recreation area, shopping center, public transportation facility or other venue open to the public.

How Is Obscene Defined? Obscene means any depiction, display, account or material of an anatomical area or 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 or animated sensual details emits sensuality with sufficient impact to concentrate prurient interest on the area or activity.

When Is Conduct Knowing? The defendant must knowingly communicate material that they know is obscene and with full knowledge that their conduct is in public.  A presumption of knowledge is triggered once the state proves that the accused made a public communication of the obscene material.

New Jersey Public Obscenity Penalties

Since a 2C:34-4b offense is a fourth degree crime, the charge can only be heard at the New Jersey Superior Court. Jurisdiction to decide an indictable crime such as this is outside the authority of a local municipal court. A defendant faces a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 18 months in prison in event of conviction for fourth degree public obscenity.

Public Obscenity Defense Lawyers in New Jersey

If you were arrested based on allegations that you committed the offense of public obscenity, you need to hire an attorney with the talent to avert a finding of guilt. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall possess the attributes needed to achieve this goal. Call us at 877-450-8301 anytime 24/7 to speak to a lawyer who decades of experience representing clients in situations like yours.