Dealing in Material Harmful to a Minor
In Utah, it is considered a crime to expose a minor to certain sensitive material. This is applicable even if the alleged offender was unaware of the minor’s age. Utah Code § 76-10-1201 states that it is illegal to expose any sort of nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sadomasochistic abuse to a minor when it is:
- taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest in sex of minors;
- is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole with respect to what is suitable material for minors; and
- taken as a whole, does not have serious value for minors.
Utah defines the phrase “serious value” as not having any sort of educational, artistic, or professional purpose. For instance, showing a famous nude painting to a minor on a school trip would not qualify as dealing harmful material to a minor.
The crime of dealing in material harmful to a minor is a misdemeanor offense is a misdemeanor if the alleged offender is also a minor. Adults convicted with dealing harmful material to a minor will face felony charges that carry mandatory prison terms.
Lawyer for Dealing in Material Harmful to a Minor Arrests in Salt Lake City
Were you recently arrested in Utah for dealing in material harmful to a minor? You will want to contact Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law as soon as possible for help achieving the most favorable possible outcome to your situation.
Susanne Gustin is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Salt Lake City who aggressively defends clients accused of internet sex crimes in communities throughout Weber County and Salt Lake County. You can have our lawyer review your case and answer all of your legal questions when you call (801) 243-2814 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Overview of Dealing in Material Harmful to a Minor in Utah
- When can a person be arrested for this crime?
- How does an alleged offender’s age impact the possible consequences if convicted?
- Where can I find more information about dealing in material harmful to minors in Salt Lake City?
Dealing in Material Harmful to a Minor Charges in Salt Lake County
In Utah, a person commits the criminal offense of knowingly shows material harmful to minors if he or she intentionally:
- distributes or offers to distribute, or exhibits or offers to exhibit, to a minor or a person the actor believes to be a minor, any material harmful to minors;
- produces, performs, or directs any performance, before a minor or a person the actor believes to be a minor, that is harmful to minors; or
- participates in any performance, before a minor or a person the actor believes to be a minor, that is harmful to minors.
There are valid exceptions to dealing harmful material to minors charges. Utah law states this charge does not apply to an internet service provider (ISP), a provider of an electronic communications service, a telecommunications service, information service, or mobile service, including a commercial mobile service, or a cable operator, if:
- the distribution of pornographic material by the Internet service provider occurs only incidentally through the provider’s function of transmitting or routing data from one person to another person, or providing a connection between one person and another person;
- the provider does not intentionally aid or abet in the distribution of the pornographic material; and
- the provider does not knowingly receive from or through a person who distributes the pornographic material a fee greater than the fee generally charged by the provider, as a specific condition for permitting the person to distribute the pornographic material.
Additionally, the statue also does not apply to hosting company, if:
- the distribution of pornographic material by the hosting company occurs only incidentally through the hosting company’s function of providing data storage space or data caching to a person;
- the hosting company does not intentionally engage, aid, or abet in the distribution of the pornographic material; and
- the hosting company does not knowingly receive from or through a person who distributes the pornographic material a fee greater than the fee generally charged by the provider, as a specific condition for permitting the person to distribute, store, or cache the pornographic material.
Dealing in Material Harmful to a Minor Penalties in Utah
The age of the alleged offender determines the severity of the punishments if he or she is convicted. Each separate count in material harmful to a minor offense(s) committed by a person younger than 16 years of age is considered a class B misdemeanor. The maximum penalties for a class B misdemeanor is punishable up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
When an alleged offender is 16 or 17 years of age each offense is determined as a class A misdemeanor. The highest consequences of a class A misdemeanor is up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. If the alleged offender is 18 years of age or older, each offense is a third-degree felony and is punishable by:
- a minimum mandatory fine of not less than $1,000, plus $10 for each article exhibited up to the maximum allowed by law; and
- incarceration, without suspension of sentence, for a term of not less than 14 days.
Utah Code § 76-10-1206(3)(b) establishes that when an repeat alleged offender is younger than 18 years of age, each spate subsequent offense will be considered a third-degree felony. However, if the repeat alleged offender is 18 years of age or older, each subsequent offense becomes a second-degree felony. The penalties for a second-degree felony include:
- a minimum mandatory fine of not less than $5,000, plus $10 for each article exhibited up to the maximum allowed by law; and
- incarceration, without suspension of sentence, for a term of not less than one year.
Utah Dealing in Material Harmful to a Minor Resources
NetSafe Utah — NetSafe Utah provides online videos and resources for kids, teens, parents, educators, and trainers including internet safety information that Utah schools need to meet the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requirements. Information for kids, teens, parents, educators, and trainers includes handouts and quizzes relating to ways to keep safer with technology. You can also learn how to get help and links to websites that are “high quality, safe and great places to encourage your kids and teens to visit.”
Internet Safety | Utah Child Protection Registry | Utah.gov — The Utah Child Protection Registry is a free program provided by the State of Utah that helps people stop adult-oriented solicitations from being targeted at them and their families. View a Utah Child Protection Registry guide for parents and teachers that provides practical tips to keeping kids safe online. Sections of the guide cover age appropriate tips, tips on social media apps, and cell phone carrier family limits.
Find a Dealing in Material Harmful to a Minor Defense Attorney in Salt Lake City, UT
If you were arrested for an alleged dealing in material harmful to a minor crime in Utah, it will be in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law represents individuals all over Salt Lake County and Weber County.
Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer Susanne Gustin has received Martindale-Hubble’s AV Preeminent Rating, the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standard. Susanne Gustin accepts clients for all sorts of sex crimes against children throughout the Salt Lake County and nearby cities including Murray, Riverton, West Jordan, and Mill Creek.
Call (801) 243-2814 or complete an online contact form to have our attorney provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.
This article was last updated on July 30, 2018.