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Giving a Minor Obscene Material

The State of Florida has a duty to protect minors from harmful materials and predators. The crime of giving minors obscene material can subject a person to criminal penalties and further investigation into other potential child pornography offenses.

Even the implication of being investigated for child pornography can have serious societal effects on a person's life. If you or someone you know is being charged with giving obscene material to a minor talk to an attorney before speaking to any law enforcement officer.

Attorney for Giving Obscene Material to a Child in Pensacola, Florida

Giving a minor harmful or obscene material is not only a sex crime but it may also be a computer crime, depending on the method used to transmit the material. Each transmission is charged individually rather than as a whole. The sentences for each charge can run concurrently. Having these kinds of charges against you could result in very serious jail time. Talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney who will advocate for your best result and take the time to help you understand your charges.

John Terrezza’s office is located on West Gregory St. in Downtown Pensacola, less than one mile from the Escambia County Courthouse and the Federal Courthouse. He also represents clients in Milton in Santa Rosa County, FL.

Call (850) 764-5291 for to schedule an in-person explanation of child pornography charges in Escambia County, FL.


Elements of Florida Statutes §847.0133 and §847.0138(2)

To prove that a person is guilty of giving obscene material to a minor, the State must prove that the defendant knowingly sold, loaned, rented, gave away, distributed, transmitted, or showed obscene material to a person under 18 years old.

Elements of Florida Statute §847.0138(2)

Florida also provides a criminal jury instruction for transmitting harmful material to minors via electronic device or equipment. To prove the crime, the transmission of harmful material to minors by electronic equipment, then the prosecution must prove the following, beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. the defendant knowingly sent an image, information, or data that he or she knew or believed to be harmful to minors;
  2. the defendant sent the image, information or data to a specific individual who the defendant knew was a minor or believed the individual to be a minor; and
  3. the defendant sent the image, data, or information via electronic mail (e-mail).

Penalties for Giving Obscene Material to Minors

Whether the defendant gave obscene material to a minor in the form of a book or other written material or if the defendant used an electronic device, then the charge is a third-degree felony.

Third-degree felonies are punishable by up to five (5) years in prison and up to $5,000 fines.

Moreover, convictions for giving a minor obscene material may be subject to enhanced penalties.

For Florida Statute § 847.0138(2) violations, an individual may be subject to enhanced penalties if he or she was an authority figure (as defined in Section 775.0862) at a school where the victim was a student.


Useful Definitions

Under both Florida statutes, the definitions that follow have special meaning. To fully understand the elements it is helpful to understand a few key terms.

The phrase "image that is harmful to minors" means any reproduction, imitation, characterization, presentation, representation, description, or exhibition that depicts nudity, sexual excitement or sexual conduct in such a way that it does any of the following:

The term "knowingly" means having the general knowledge of, a reason to know, or a belief or grounds for belief, which warrants further inspection or inquiry of both of the following:

Additional Resources

Federal Child Pornography – Visit the U.S. Department of Justice website, specifically the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (otherwise known as CEO) for more information about child victims and what the procedures that the U.S. government implements to protect children from exploitation. Also, find out more information about the High Technology Investigative Unite (HTIU) and how computer forensics specialists navigate child porn investigations.

Fla. Stat. §847.0138–Visit Online Sunshine the official website of the Florida Legislature for the full statutory language of the traveling to meet a minor offense.


Finding an Attorney for Giving Obscene Material to a Child in Escambia County, FL

Giving a minor obscene or harmful material could have serious federal or state consequences in Escambia County, FL. It may be difficult to find an attorney who is comfortable practicing in federal and state court. Attorney John Terrezza is well versed in different types of child pornography cases. He takes cases in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida in the Pensacola Division.

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Pensacola Division is located in the Winston E. Arnow Federal Building on 100 N. Palafox St.

If you or someone you know has been charged with giving a minor obscene or harmful material or any other child pornography offense in Escambia County in Pensacola or in Santa Rosa County in Milton, then call attorney John Terrezza for more information about how to prepare the best defense.

Call (850) 764-5291

This article was last updated on Wednesday, February 8, 2017.

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