Disseminating Harmful Material to Minors in Columbia

The mere allegation of disseminating harmful material to minors in Columbia could have negative consequences on your life for years to come. However, the effects of social judgment pale in comparison to the impacts of a criminal conviction.

It is important to take these allegations seriously. If you are facing these charges, the support of a skilled defense attorney could make the difference between being convicted and walking away with a clean record.

Charges for Disseminating Harmful Material to Minors

According to the law, there are two ways in which a person could commit the crime of providing minors with harmful material. The first is by furnishing harmful material to a minor 12 years or younger. It is also possible to be found guilty of this offense if the accused merely allows a minor to review harmful material. The prosecution only needs to prove one of these acts occurred in order to secure a conviction. In either case, the prosecution must also demonstrate the accuser knew the material in question was harmful.

It is worth noting that there is a difference between harmful and obscene material. While obscenity typically describes materials that are pornographic in nature, harmful material is considered to be less offensive, and penalties upon conviction may vary based on this distinction. There is a subjective element to both of these terms, however, making it important to rely on the guidance of a Columbia attorney following an arrest for disseminating harmful materials to minors.

Potential Defenses

There are no absolute defenses to the crime of disseminating harmful material to minors. That means there are no facts that—when proven—automatically absolve an accused person of any criminal liability in these situations. However, affirmative defenses may be available.

The prosecution typically has the burden of proof in criminal trials, but affirmative defenses must be proven by the defendant to be effective. If the defendant can establish an affirmative defense, they may be acquitted at trial. When it comes to charges for disseminating harmful material to minors, there are three forms of affirmative defenses, but our Columbia attorneys could explore all options for building the best possible defense strategy.

Parents

One of the affirmative defenses available in these cases applies when the accused individual is the parent of the minor in question. This defense strategy is only viable in cases where the parent can demonstrate they were not disseminating the material to their child for purposes of either person’s sexual gratification. However, this is not a form of blanket immunity.

Legitimate Function

There is an exception to laws around harmful materials designed to protect schools, churches, colleges, medical clinics, or other institutions. This defense hinges on the material being disseminated as part of a legitimate function by an agent of that institution.

Identification Provided

The third option applies to an accused person who was presented with an identification card by the minor in question that indicated the minor was older than 18. If the ID card was fake, it could provide the accused with an affirmative defense. This exception applies to driver’s licenses, student ID cards, or other official forms of government-provided identification.

Talk to an Attorney About Charges of Disseminating Harmful Materials to Minors

There are serious consequences that come with being found guilty of disseminating harmful material to minors in Columbia. If you have been charged, now is the time to seek out legal counsel who could aggressively fight on behalf of your constitutional rights. Contact an attorney today to discuss your case and find the best legal option for you.