Asked in Criminal Law for Arkansas

Q: What activities if engaged in can make one liable for the offence of obscenity

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kathryn L Hudson
Kathryn L Hudson
  • Little Rock, AR
  • Licensed in Arkansas

A: The crime of obscenity is often challenged under the First Amendment because the definition of what is obscene depends on the standards of the community. The US Supreme Court definition of obscenity is "we know it when we see it." Any form of child pornography is the most obvious and carries very serious criminal penalties. Arkansas Code Annotated 5-68-303 says a person commits the felony crime of promoting obscene materials “if he or she knowingly promotes, or has in his or her possession with intent to promote, any obscene material.” This overly broad definition would include legal pornography covered under the First Amendment. So to answer your question, the answer is "it depends" on the activity, if the activity would offend the sensibilities of the reasonable person it could be a violation of the statute.

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