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New York Penal Law § 235.07: Obscenity in the First Degree

Obscenity in the First Degree is a criminal offense under New York law that prohibits the wholesale promotion or possession of obscene material with the intent to wholesale promote it. In this context, "wholesale promotion" means the dissemination of obscene material to a large number of people or to the general public.

To be charged with Obscenity in the First Degree, a person must know the content and character of the material that they are promoting or possessing, and they must have the intent to promote it wholesale. It is important to note that the law does not require the material to involve a child or children, unlike other related offenses such as Disseminating Indecent Material to Minors.


People v. Molina, 821 N.Y.S.2d 194 (N.Y. App. Div. 2006). In People v. Molina, the defendant was convicted of Obscenity in the First Degree for possessing multiple images of child pornography with the intent to wholesale promote them. The defendant argued that the statute was overbroad and violated the First Amendment's protection of free speech, but the court rejected this argument.

The court noted that the New York statute was narrowly tailored to address the government's compelling interest in protecting children from sexual exploitation. The court also found that the defendant's possession of the material demonstrated his intent to wholesale promote it, as he had a large collection of images that he had collected over time.

The court further rejected the defendant's argument that the statute was unconstitutional because it did not require the state to prove that the material lacked any artistic or literary value. The court found that the statute did not violate the First Amendment, as it only criminalized material that met the definition of obscenity, which has been narrowly defined by the courts to exclude material with serious literary, artistic, or scientific value. As a result, the court upheld the defendant's conviction for Obscenity in the First Degree, which is a class D felony in New York.

Related Offenses
  1. Obscenity in the third degree. Section 235.05
  2. Obscenity in the second degree. Section 235.06
  3. Disseminating indecent material to minors in the second degree. Section 235.21
  4. Disseminating indecent material to minors in the first degree. Section 235.22

New York Penal Law Section 235.07, Obscenity in the first degree, is a class D felony. The sentence for this offense can include a term of imprisonment of up to 7 years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

Obscenity in the First Degree: New York Penal Law Section 235.07

A person is guilty of obscenity in the first degree when, knowing its content and character, he wholesale promotes or possesses with intent to wholesale promote, any obscene material. Obscenity in the first degree is a class D felony.

Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

New York Penal Law § 235.07 is a serious crime that carries severe penalties including imprisonment and fines. It is essential for individuals facing such charges to seek legal representation from an experienced criminal attorney serving New York who can build a strong defense strategy and fight to protect their rights. Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Staten Island, Suffolk County, and Westchester County.

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