Exposing Minors to Harmful Media
The media likes to lump people into broad groups or categories instead of looking at the individual person when they are reporting on stories and statistics. This type of practice is exceptionally noticeable when dealing with the criminal justice system. Reporters, pundits, and even politicians refer to people charged with or convicted of crimes as “criminals.” While the term may be technically accurate, there are simply so many crimes, and so many acts that could be interpreted as crime that it is unfair to lump all criminally charged people into a single group. One legal analyst famously noted that with the proliferation of criminal laws in the United States, it is almost impossible to live one’s life without breaking one law or another.
It is unfair to lump all people charged with crime into one category primarily because there are levels and tiers of criminal offenses that determine the seriousness of the offense and the length and harshness of the potential penalties. Nonviolent charges like possession of drugs often see defendants end up with short sentences, probation or even diversion programs. People charged with monetary offenses like fraud or theft might have to repay stolen money or complete community service. However, when crime becomes violent or sexual in nature, the penalties become more severe. And when victims are involved, the input of the victim can worsen the outlook on the case. Finally, when children are the alleged victims, prosecutors will zealously seek severe punishments for the accused. If you’ve been charged with any criminal offense, you should not hesitate to reach out to a skilled St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyer to understand your options.Elements of Exposing a Minor to Harmful Media
One of the criminal offenses that is both sexual in nature and involves child victims is known as exposing minors to harmful motion pictures, or representations under Florida Statute section 847.013. Under the statute a person is prohibited from knowingly exhibiting for pay videos or images of obscenity to a minor. Essentially, this statute is designed to prohibit the purveyors of legitimate and legal adult stores from knowingly catering to children and from exposing them to obscene materials. Obscenity is defined under the statute as any visual depiction of nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, sexual battery, bestiality or sadomasochistic abuse that is harmful to minors.
This statute also punishes minors who try to circumvent the law in order to get their hands on pornography or other materials that they would otherwise not be permitted to obtain. Under the stattue, any person under the age of 18 who makes a false representation regarding his or her age to a legitimate purveyor of adult media with the intention of obtaining copies of the obscene materials, also violates this law. The law is written to ensure that business owners are consistently checking the age and identification of their customers, but also to dissuade minors from attempting to use fake IDs or other means to get around the law. A violation of this law, either as a seller or a buyer is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail. Don’t try to handle such a case on your own. Instead, consult with an experienced and dedicated St. Petersburg criminal lawyer who can help build your defense.Speak to Our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law have years of experience defending the residents of St. Petersburg who have been charged with criminal offenses. They pride themselves on the exceptional results obtained for their clients, and work hard to maintain their stellar reputation in the criminal justice community. Their experience and tenacity means that they will work hard to obtain excellent results for you and your loved ones. If you are facing criminal charges, don’t hesitate to reach out to consult with us today at 727-897-5413.