Transmission of Harmful Material to a Minor
Some classes of people are protected by the laws of the land to a greater degree than others. This is largely a reaction to our government’s and society’s persecution of those same groups for a great deal of time. Black people, people in the LGBTQ community, and now undocumented immigrants have all suffered hardships both great and small at the hands of the government. As society shifts, laws are instituted to protect those classes from further harm. Hate crime laws increase criminal penalties for cases where victims are members of a protected class. Equal protection and civil rights laws have been passed in order to right the past wrongs done by the government against disenfranchised people.
Some laws have been put in place to protect classes of people who are vulnerable just from the nature of their being, and not related to their past treatment by the government and society. The most glaring example of that type of class is children. While there are certainly people in our society that think that minorities and members of the LGBTQ community should not be treated any differently than anyone else, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who would admit that children should not be treated differently. As a result, crimes involving children and crimes against children in Florida are treated very seriously and carry significantly enhanced penalties for those who are convicted of such offenses. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime involving a child, you should not hesitate to contact a Sarasota criminal defense lawyer to help build your defense.Elements of Transmission Of Harmful Material to a Minor
One of Florida’s criminal offenses that has been instituted to protect minors from exploitation by potential predators is the offense of transmission of harmful material to a minor. When most people see this type of offense charged, they automatically assume that the offense relates to child pornography. In reality, transmission of harmful material to a minor involves a vast array of materials that the government considers “harmful.” In order to prove the offense, the state must prove that the defendant knowingly sold, rented, or lent any image, picture, video, sculpture or visual representation depicting a human body which depicts nudity, sexual conduct, sexual battery, or sexual excitement to a person they knew to be a minor. The state must also prove that the images, in whatever form, were “harmful to minors.” These vague terms and descriptions make it easy for the state to bring charges against people under a variety of circumstances. Don’t become a victim of the state’s criminal justice system, hire a dedicated Sarasota criminal defense attorney to represent you.
The key term in the statute prohibiting transmission harmful to a minor is the term “harmful to a minor.” The statute itself fails to define what that term actually means. This is a problem that is emblematic of the state’s criminal justice system. The hit movie “Titanic” contains depictions of nudity and sexual conduct. The MPAA rated Titanic PG-13 meaning that anyone 13 or up would be allowed to see the film. If someone at a video rental store rented out a copy of Titanic to a minor, would that person be guilty of transmission of harmful material to a minor? You might balk at that and say “absolutely not,” but under the language of the statute, a particularly vindictive prosecutor could argue that the content included in that film fit the wording of the statute. Don’t allow the state to take advantage of the vague wording of the law. Hire a dedicated Sarasota criminal lawyer to advise you.Speak to our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law have years of combined experience that we will put to work in order to ensure the best possible result for your case. Contact us today for a consultation at 941.462.1789.