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Engage in Obscene Live Conduct
PC 311.6
Law, Punishment, & Defense

Information on the crime of engaging in obscene live conduct is found at California penal code section 311.6. The following is a brief overview of the law and punishment related to penal code 311.6. For further information, contact our sex crimes criminal defense lawyers today for a free consultation.


PC 311.6 Law


Every person who knowingly engages or participates in, manages, produces, sponsors, presents or exhibits obscene live conduct to or before an assembly or audience consisting of at least one person or spectator in any public place or in any place exposed to public view, or in any place open to the public…, whether or not an admission fee is charged, or whether or not attendance is conditioned upon the presentation of a membership card or other token, is guilty of engaging in obscene live conduct (PC311.6-M Abbrev).

Example: An outdoor public performance of any play or art show that includes full frontal nudity, is likely a violation of penal code 311.6.

PC 311.6 Punishment

Jail Sentence: Engaging in obscene live conduct is classified as a misdemeanor. If found guilty of PC 311.6, the defendant could face up to one hundred eighty (180) days in the county jail (maximum).

Probation Sentence: A probation sentence is a period of supervision, as opposed to incarceration. A probation sentence is allowed in PC 311.6 cases, but it is never guaranteed.

Whether the defendant receives a probation sentence after a conviction for engaging in obscene live conduct depends on many factors, including the egregiousness of the defendant’s conduct (willfully flaunting the law while fully aware of the law), the level of sophistication of the crime, the defendant’s criminal history, the terms of any negotiated plea between the district attorney and the defendant, and more.

Work Release: Work release is a type of manual labor that requires the defendant to clean trash around highways, jail, etc. A work release sentence, as opposed to a jail sentence, is allowed in PC 311.6 cases, but again, it is not guaranteed.


Sex Offender Registration: Sex offender registration is not mandatory in PC 311.6 cases; however, the court is allowed, pursuant to PC 290.006, to order sex offender registration after the conviction of any crime that the court believes was motivated by sexual compulsion, including the crime of engaging in obscene live conduct. For more information, see Sex Offender Registration Requirements.

Diversion: Diversion, or the circumvention of prosecution, is available in some PC 311.6 case. Essentially, diversion is a type of probation sentence that results in the defendant's criminal case being dismissed upon successful completion of the probation sentence (PC 1001.95).


Diversion is different than a probation sentence without diversion, because a probation sentence without diversion results in a misdemeanor criminal record for the defendant, while the diverted sentence, if successfully completed, results in no misdemeanor criminal record for the defendant.


Additional Penalties: In addition to the penalties listed above, if found guilty of engaging in obscene live conduct, the defendant could face any of the following penalties: immigration consequences for non-US citizens, professional licensing consequences for licensed professionals, military service consequences, court fees and fines, loss of a occupational or business license, criminal protective orders, and more.

PC 311.6 Defense

Common defenses to a criminal charge include, but are not limited to, the following: illegal search and seizure of evidence of the alleged crime, First Amendment Free Speech related defense, mistake of fact as to the nature of the obscenity, coerced confessions, entrapment, statute of limitations, lack of time prosecution (other than the statute of limitations), and more.

For more information, including a discussion of the applicable statute of limitations for PC 311.6 crimes, see Defenses to Sex Crimes.

For more information on the crime of engaging in obscene live conduct, or penal code 311.6, contact our sex crimes criminal defense lawyers today. Our experienced and award-winning criminal defense lawyers have successfully handled hundreds of misdemeanor and felony sex crimes in the Inland Empire, including San Bernardino, Riverside, and Los Angeles County. Call today!


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