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Obscene Publications

Possessing or publishing an ‘obscene’ article is a serious criminal offence. If you find yourself accused of an obscene publications offence, it is crucial that you seek out the support and representation of an expert criminal defence solicitor.

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These offences can be committed by engaging in, for example, chats by email, text, WhatsApp or other online platforms digitally. They tend to be discovered by the police when one has communicated with others who are being investigated for sex offences and chats come to the police knowledge. They also come to light when flagged up by online forums and platforms and are reported to the police.

At JD Spicer Zeb, we have many years of combined experience in handling a wide range of criminal and sexual offences, including those related to obscene publications. With a strong track record of success as evidence of our experience, your case will be in the safest pair of hands, no matter your circumstances.

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Why choose JD Spicer Zeb?

  • 1000's of Cases Dropped
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There is limited recourse for you if you are falsely accused. Click a selection of the cases we have covered. The best thing you can do is to instruct an excellent solicitor from the outset.

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The advice we provide is always clear, straightforward, and in plain English. You will clearly understand your position, what steps are being taken, and how your case is progressing.

Our obscene publication solicitors provide:

  • 24/7 legal support in person and over the phone, 365 days a year
  • Representation anywhere in England or Wales
  • Accredited Police Station Representatives to support you during a police interview
  • Clear, effective legal advice in any language (see our languages spoken)

Speak to our obscene publication solicitors now

For a free initial consultation subject to exceptions on your legal position and the available options with regards to an obscene publications offence please call 0207 624 7771.

For urgent advice at any time of day or night, please call our Emergency Number 07836 577 556.

You can also email: solicitors@jdspicer.co.uk or fill out our quick online enquiry form and we will get back to you quickly.

How can we help?

Common questions

We always work with the most experienced and best leading UK barristers, KCs (Kings Counsel). We cover all criminal cases 24/7 at the police station and court. Offices in London, Birmingham, and Manchester cover cases across England and Wales. We can offer Legal Aid and affordable Private fee agreements. We can see you the same day, including virtually. Our Senior Partners supervise all of our cases.

How quickly do you respond?

We respond quickly even during out of hours. We do not get our work by paying for online adverts but based on the fact that few criminal law firms can match our 45 years of experience. Most of our cases are still from word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied clients. We are called daily by dissatisfied clients from firms with less experience than us. We respond very quickly to new enquiries. We know what clients seek and so we update clients rapidly.

Can you get cases dropped?

Yes, read about the recent cases we've helped our clients with here.

We always keep you updated and give straightforward advice. We will get cases dropped early where the case is weak or should not be prosecuted. We will be upfront with you about where you can benefit from a good result with an early guilty plea, such as a discount on your sentence. As we work on cases across all levels with clients from all walks of life, we are excellent at giving clear, spot-on advice. As an established firm, we can allocate a whole team to your case often at short notice to secure evidence to minimise the damage to you. 

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"JD Spicer Zeb demonstrated a clear commitment to client service through their work with vulnerable and diverse individuals in what can be severely traumatic circumstances".

Do you offer free consultations?

Where it is possible, we aim to provide an initial consultation to you. If we can speak to you, we can if required inform you about  –

  • Whether we can take the case on and our relevant experience.
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  • Assistance in applying for legal aid where we are likely to accept instructions.
  • An outline of options in police interview only. We will not advise you on which option to adopt.
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  • The gravity of routine and day-to-day offences you face.
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  • Retaining any evidence in support of your case.
  • If possible an outline of the elements of the offence that the police or CPS must prove.
  • This consultation will normally be by telephone or email and will only be for as long as we deem necessary to establish if we can act for you. If we cannot usefully give you any advice in this manner then we will not continue with the consultation. We will not discuss the case in depth for you to be able to decide on your plea or any significant aspect of the case, as this cannot be undertaken informally.
  • Referring you, if possible, to other firms for matters out of our specialism or if we cannot help.

Consultations do not apply to the following cases –

  • If we do not intend to take the case on.
  • Road Traffic cases, drink driving, drug driving, driving bans, speeding, no insurance, mobile phone use, points etc.
  • In all cases where we do not have the capacity to take your case or the availability of suitably qualified staff to provide an initial free consultation. This is applicable in all cases but especially where a more senior lawyer is required because of your personal needs or the complexity of the case.
  • Harassment/stalking/ coercive behaviour/malicious communications or road traffic cases and most sensitive cases. These cases are often too complicated to assess in short consultations.
  • The locations concerned may be too distant to represent you adequately or it may not be cost-effective for you or us.
  • The case is too complicated to assess or raises various charges or facts, complexity, or history to be considered informally or in a short consultation.
  • In most Legal aid transfers where legal aid is granted to another firm except in very grave cases, we may assess the case and merits for a transfer.
  • If your relationship has broken down with your existing solicitor or several solicitors.
  • If you have been released under investigation and have already had a police station attendance. 
  • If you hold legal aid with another firm and seek a second opinion.
  • If you are calling on behalf of the client as a friend or family member unless you have full authority and full facts.
  • To businesses.
  • Advising whether you were given good advice by your other solicitor.
  • Whether to decide to plead guilty or not guilty.
  • Whether you have an arguable defence in law or factually complicated defences.
  • Any advice you have had after your first court appearance.
  • Any advice on appeal on conviction or sentence.
  • If we feel we are unable to communicate with you.
  • If we are likely to be conflicted or breach our professional rules.

Why choose JD Spicer Zeb’s obscene publication solicitors?

When accused of any offence relating to obscenity laws, seeking immediate legal counsel is essential. No matter what your case relates to, our team will be available to provide the support you require.

When instructed, our obscene publication solicitors will take the necessary actions to defend your case. We can help you to better understand your position, the allegations that you are facing, and what the potential outcomes of your case might be.

We are firmly established as one of the country’s leading criminal law firms, with specialist expertise in supporting clients who are facing a wide range of criminal and sexual offences, including those related to obscene publications.

When you work with our team, you can be certain that all forms of evidence will be explored to support your case, including digital forensics.  As specialists in this area, we work closely with leading digital forensics experts, including Cyfor, who provide efficient advice on the digital forensics aspect of a police investigation into obscene publications offences.

We also have close links with many of the country’s leading criminal defence barristers who handle a wide range of sexual offences, including those related to the Obscene Publications Act.

As a firm, we frequently receive referrals and recommendations from clients who have been satisfied with our legal services, which is testament to our strong focus on client care.

Common questions about obscene publications

What are obscene publications under the Obscene Publications Act?

The Obscene Publications Act 1959 criminalises the publication of an obscene article. It also criminalises anyone who possesses an obscene article for publication for gain (personal gain, or gain for another), to be interpreted in accordance with the provisions of the Obscene Publications Act 1964.

In this context, an article contains or embodies matter to be read or looked at (or both), any sound record, any film or other record of a picture or pictures.

The Act defines something as obscene is its effect is, if taken as a whole, as to “deprave and corrupt” anyone who is likely to read, see or hear the matter contained within it.

This offence covers sending obscene text messages – “Obscene” has a meaning provided for by section 1(1) of the Act. This meaning is different to the ordinary meaning of obscene (“repulsive”, “filthy”, “loathsome” or “lewd”) and it will not suffice for the prosecution to prove that the articles concerned meet that ordinary meaning of obscenity unless they also meet the higher threshold of having a tendency to depravity or corruption:

Click here to read more about a recent case which demonstrates how easily the offence can be committed.

What offences are associated obscene publications?

There are a range of offences which are associated with the publication of obscene articles. Prosecutors may consider the following:

  • Possession of an extreme pornographic image
  • Taking, making or publishing indecent images
  • Disclosing private sexual images without consent (revenge porn)
  • Outraging public decency
  • Sending an article to cause distress or anxiety, or convey a threat
  • Harassment
  • Importing obscene articles
  • Indecent displays
  • Obscene theatre displays

What are the defences for obscene publications?

Section 4 of the Act provides a defence on the grounds of ‘public good’. A defence could be made if it can be demonstrated that it is for public good in the interests of science, literature, art or learning.

The Act also creates defence for a person who is able to prove that they have not examined the article and had not reasonable cause to suspect that it was obscene.

Contact our obscene publication solicitors today

For urgent specialist advice, immediate representation, or to speak to us confidentially about allegations of possessing or publishing obscene publications, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our specialist sexual offence solicitors.

You can contact a member of our dedicated team of grooming offence solicitors in London, Birmingham, and Manchester by telephone on:

Or email: solicitors@jdspicer.co.uk

Alternatively, you can fill out our quick online enquiry form, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

How can we help?

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