Exposing Minors to Harmful Media Materials
Criminal charges can be split up into dozens of different categories. Crimes can be labeled as violent or nonviolent offenses. They can be categorized as state or Federal in nature. Crimes can also be put into groups based on the nature of the charge, such as sex crimes, economic crimes, or drug crimes. The most important distinction to consider how case will be prosecuted though, is whether the charged offense is a victimless crime or a victim based crime. IN victimless offenses, the prosecution has broad authority to negotiate and resolve the case on their own without any outside input. But when a victim is involved, whether the crime is violent, sexual or economic in nature, the prosecution owes a separate duty to try to follow the victim’s wishes during the prosecution.
Victim based crimes are also treated more seriously. When a victim is physically, emotionally, or mentally harmed by a crime, prosecutors and judges are more likely to seek more serious sentences. This simply reflects society’s general desire to seek justice and even revenge on behalf of the victims of crime. Just like how criminal offenses can be broken up into a myriad of categories, types of victims can be split into categories. And among all victims, child victims are treated with the most attention and the most seriousness. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime involving a child victim, you should not hesitate to consult with a dedicated Sarasota criminal defense lawyer to help you understand the best moves to make on your case.
Child victims are especially protected when it comes to prosecutions for sex offenses. Crimes like sexual battery on a child victim and even possession of child pornography are the types of offenses that often result in lengthy sentences and difficult lifetime restrictions. Prosecutors feel an extra duty to seek justice on behalf of child victims, who are often defenseless on their own. The law intends to protect children from both physical exploitation and from exposure to obscene and harmful materials.Elements of Exposing a Minor to Harmful Material
One of the many criminal charges in Florida involving child victims is exposing minors to harmful materials. The offense is codified by Florida Statute Section 847.013. Under the law, a person is prohibited from knowingly exhibiting or renting or selling any media that depicts harmful materials. The law defines harmful media very broadly. Any visual representation of nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, sexual battery, bestiality, or sadomasochistic abuse can be interpreted as harmful material. A person’s ignorance of the minor’s age, unlike in statutory rape prosecutions, is a potential defense to the crime.
Luckily there are some protections built into the statute that protects purveyors of legitimate businesses from minors who themselves break the law to obtain adult materials. It is also a violation of this statute for a minor to use false representation in order to convince an owner or operator of an adult store that he or she is older than 17. This is the classic offense that punishes minors for using fake IDs. Both the offenses punishing the purveyors and the minors themselves are first degree misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail. If you or your loved one has been charged with any of the offenses described above, you should not hesitate to contact a dedicated Sarasota criminal defense lawyer to understand your options.Speak to Our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law pride themselves on the exceptional results that they achieve for their clients. We believe that we are only as we treat our worst cases. We treat every case, no matter how serious or difficult, with the respect and determination required of a zealous criminal defense lawyer. To find out how we can help you resolve your criminal matter, call us today for a consultation at 941.462.1789.