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Displaying Matter Harmful to Juveniles in Youngstown, OH

In Youngstown, OH, there’s a reason you might see magazines covered up at your local grocery store. These plastic covers, which only show the top part of magazines, are there to protect young people from seeing things that aren’t suitable for their age, like explicit or obscene content.

Understanding Ohio’s Stance on Harmful Material

Ohio takes the exposure of juveniles to inappropriate materials seriously. Under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.311, showing pornography or similar obscene content knowingly can lead to charges related to sex crimes.

At the Youngstown Criminal Law Group, dealing with sex crime allegations is something we’re well-versed in. Our approach includes:

  • Thorough Case Examination: Looking into every detail of your situation to craft a solid defense.
  • Negotiation: Working with the prosecution to explore plea deals that might lessen any penalties you face.

Facing Charges?

If you’re accused of displaying harmful materials to minors, the Youngstown Criminal Law Group is here to help. Our goal? To clear your name, avoid fines, and prevent jail time. Contact us at (330) 992-3036 for a free consultation to discuss your options.

Understanding Ohio’s Laws on Harmful Displays to Juveniles

In Ohio, it’s against the law to show certain types of materials to those under 18. These rules are in place to protect young people from content considered inappropriate due to their age. Ohio Revised Code § 2907.311 clearly outlines these regulations, emphasizing that such an act is a major violation.

Daily Violations Count Separately

Each day you’re found breaking this law is treated as a distinct violation. This means, if the law is violated over multiple days, charges could stack up, increasing the potential penalties.

What Businesses Need to Know

Seller and Distributor Responsibilities

Businesses in Youngstown selling content that may be considered obscene have a duty to prevent access to these materials by anyone under 18. This could mean keeping such items behind the counter, sealed in special packaging, or otherwise hidden.

What Is “Harmful Matter”?

Under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.01(E), harmful matter to juveniles is defined as content displaying or describing nudity, sexual acts, pleasure, or abuse that:

  • Attracts the lascivious interest of the younger audience;
  • Is offensive by today’s standards for what minors should view; and
  • Lacks genuine literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

Types of Prohibited Material

A wide range of items could be considered as containing harmful matter, including but not limited to:

  • Any physical items that can excite through sight, sound, or touch, including digital images or texts displayed on screens (computers, TVs, tablets, etc.) or recorded on digital storage devices.
  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Pamphlets
  • Posters
  • Prints
  • Pictures
  • Figures
  • Descriptions
  • Films
  • Records
  • Tapes

Consequences of Displaying Harmful Material

Being caught displaying harmful materials to juveniles is treated as a first-degree misdemeanor. Each infringement can lead to:

  • A jail term of as much as180 days;
  • A fine reaching $1,000.

Should the court classify the content as obscene, the charges escalate to a fifth-degree felony,potentially leading to:

  • Up to one year in prison;
  • A fine of as much as $2,500.

This underscores the importance of understanding and respecting these laws to avoid severe penalties.

Who Might Be Charged?

Business owners can face charges if their establishment is found showing obscene materials to juveniles. Additionally, individuals could be charged for:

  • Posing as a guardian to help a minor access restricted content.
  • Supplying forged IDs or documents to prove a juvenile is 18 or older.

Gathering Evidence

Charges often arise from reports by parents, guardians, or concerned community members. Law enforcement may use various types of evidence in these cases, such as:

  • Images or video of displays lacking protective coverings.
  • Photographic proof of minors accessing prohibited content.
  • Testimonies of juveniles who accessed such materials.
  • Undercover operations by officers posing as juveniles.

Understanding the severe implications of displaying matter harmful to juveniles under Ohio law is crucial for businesses and individuals alike. Safeguards and preventive measures are not just recommended; they’re necessary to comply with the law and protect the community.

What to Do if Arrested on Charges of Displaying Content Harmful to Minors

Being taken into custody for displaying content deemed harmful to minors can be both shocking and stressful. Here’s a three-step guide to protect your rights and begin building your defense from the moment of arrest:

1. Keep Your Cool

  • Stay calm: Reacting with anger or panic only complicates the situation.

2. Exercise Your Right to Silence

  • Stay quiet: Politely decline to discuss anything until you have legal representation.
  • Request a lawyer: Clearly state that you want to contact your Youngstown criminal attorney and refrain from answering questions without them present.

Understanding the Importance of Silence Post-Arrest

At Youngstown Criminal Law Group, we hold a deep respect for the officers who diligently work to safeguard our community in Youngstown around the clock. Despite the challenging nature of their job, it’s crucial for you to understand that even well-meaning officers are performing their duty when they encourage you to speak without a Youngstown OVI lawyer present.

Why Stay Silent?

You have a constitutional safeguard against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment. An officer may imply that seeking legal advice could appear as an admission of guilt. In truth, it demonstrates you’re informed and understand the complexities of our legal system, emphasizing the necessity of having a knowledgeable advocate by your side.

Defending Against Charges of Displaying Harmful Content to Minors

For those accused of such charges, it’s vital to contact a Youngstown OVI attorney experienced in this area. Despite being potentially classified as a misdemeanor, consequences can include jail time up to 180 days or fines reaching $1,000.

Strategic Defenses May Include:

  • Lack of knowledge that the material was accessible to a minor.
  • Unawareness of the material’s visible placement.
  • Being targeted by law enforcement or subjected to entrapment.
  • Not being informed of your Miranda rights.
  • Belief in the material’s value for its literary, artistic, societal, historical, political, or scientific significance.

A Youngstown criminal attorney can tailor a defense strategy to the specifics of your situation.

Resources for Those Accused of Displaying Harmful Matter

Utilize these resources for additional support and knowledge regarding crimes of sexual exploitation and assault.

Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS)

Access a comprehensive database for crime statistics, including reports on state and federal crimes, with a focus on sexual violence.

Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence (OAESV)

This body collaborates closely with law enforcement to enhance responses to sexual crimes, educate the community, and support survivors through criminal processes.

National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE)

NCOSE leads the charge in highlighting the links between all forms of sexual exploitation, working tirelessly to put an end to these abuses.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

For those seeking help with sexual addiction, SAMHSA offers a confidential helpline, offering referral and information services related to mental health treatment.

Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Prevention Program

Supported by the Ohio Department of Health, this program offers vital services for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, including funding for prevention programs and protocols for medical and forensic examinations.

Understanding your rights and the resources available to you is the first step toward navigating the challenges following an arrest for displaying content harmful to minors.

FAQs on Handling Juvenile-Sensitive Content

What constitutes material deemed harmful to juveniles?

Material deemed harmful to juveniles comprises images or text depicting nudity, sexual acts, sexual excitement, or sexual violence.

What course of action should I follow if questioned by the police regarding displaying material harmful to juveniles?

Inform the police that you are exercising your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and request to contact an attorney without delay. Refrain from responding to any inquiries or providing statements until you have legal representation present.

Am I responsible for my employee’s actions if they allowed a 12-year-old to view harmful material while I was on a break?

As the supervisor of the employee, you may be deemed responsible for their actions, irrespective of your awareness. Furthermore, you could potentially encounter civil charges from the child’s parents based on vicarious liability principles.

What consequences are there for exhibiting material harmful to juveniles?

Exhibiting material deemed harmful and shown to an unmarried individual aged 18 or younger constitutes a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of 180 days imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,000. However, if the court determines the material to be obscene rather than harmful, you may face a fifth-degree felony charge, which carries a potential sentence of up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.

What are the consequences if I receive a warning about displaying material harmful to juveniles but do not take appropriate corrective measures?

Every day you are purportedly in violation of Ohio law constitutes a distinct charge. Each misdemeanor charge for displaying material harmful to juveniles carries a potential sentence of up to 180 days in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. As the duration of the alleged offense increases, so does the potential accumulation of jail time and fines.

Entities, particularly in retail, have a mandated responsibility to shield minors from accessing harmful content. Failure to adhere to this responsibility could lead to legal prosecution. In such instances, securing a knowledgeable Youngstown criminal attorney specializing in defending against such charges becomes crucial.

Youngstown Criminal Law Group prides itself on its record of representing clients accused of sexual offenses among other charges, aiming to expedite the process towards clearing their names and restoring their reputations.

For a complimentary case review, do not hesitate to reach out to Youngstown Criminal Law Group at (330) 992-3036.

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