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Disseminating Matter Harmful to Juveniles

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Disseminating Matter Harmful to Juveniles

Let's say there is an individual named John Doe who is 25 years old and resides in Ohio. John comes across a website that hosts explicit sexual content and decides to download several pornographic videos from the site. These videos contain graphic nudity and explicit sexual acts. Unbeknownst to John, his younger cousin, Jane Doe, who is 13 years old, often uses his computer when she visits his house. One day, Jane uses John’s computer and stumbles upon the downloaded pornographic videos. She becomes distressed and informs her parents about the content she found.

Jane’s parents report the incident to the authorities, who launch an investigation. During the investigation, it is discovered that John knowingly downloaded and stored the explicit videos on his computer. Prosecutors determine that the material is harmful to juveniles, given Jane’s age. Based on these circumstances, John could potentially be charged with Disseminating Material Harmful to Juveniles in Ohio.

Disseminating Matter Harmful to Juveniles Attorney in Willoughby

As with any sexual related offense, especially one involving minors, hiring an attorney is crucial when facing a disseminating accusation. Depending on the severity of the offense and any prior criminal history, this type of conviction carries serious consequences, which could include fines, imprisonment, and the requirement to register as a sex offender. An attorney from Fortress Law Group will provide the legal expertise necessary in navigating the complex laws and procedures specific to your case, all while offering valuable emotional support throughout the legal proceedings.

How Is Disseminating Matter Harmful to Juveniles Defined in Ohio?

In Ohio, Disseminating Material Harmful to Juveniles refers to the act of distributing or transmitting materials that are considered harmful to individuals under the age of 18. The Ohio Revised Code (Section 2907.31) defines and prohibits the distribution of such materials.

According to the law, material harmful to juveniles includes any obscene material or any material that is harmful to juveniles' development, regardless of whether it is obscene. Harmful material may include explicit sexual content, violence, graphic nudity, or other materials that are inappropriate or unsuitable for individuals under the age of 18.

Disseminating Matter Harmful to Juveniles Penalties in Ohio

In Ohio, the penalties for Disseminating Material Harmful to Juveniles can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case, including the nature of the material, the intent of the person disseminating it, and the age of the individuals involved. The severity of the offense can range from a misdemeanor to a felony. Here is a general overview of potential penalties:

  • Misdemeanor Offense: Disseminating material harmful to juveniles can be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor in Ohio. If convicted, potential penalties may include up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
  • Felony Offense: Disseminating material obscene to juveniles can be charged as a fifth-degree felony offense. Penalties may include a prison term of up to 12 months and/or a fine of up to $2,500. If the obscene material was disseminated to a minor under 13 years old, the charge escalates to a fourth-degree felony, with penalties including a prison term of up to 18 months and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

It's important to note that these penalties are general guidelines and can be subject to change. The specific penalties imposed in a particular case will depend on various factors, including the judge's discretion, the defendant's criminal history, and any aggravating or mitigating circumstances involved.

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Why Choose Fortress Law Group?

Extensive Experience – Established in 2009, our firm has represented thousands of clients in various kinds of criminal cases. Our criminal defense attorneys make sure each client is diligently represented and protected throughout the trial.


Professional and Reliable – We value the trust and confidence each client gives us. The criminal justice system is complex, but we are dedicated to guiding you throughout the process to ensure your rights are protected.


Comprehensive Criminal Defense – Our team of attorneys is knowledgeable and up to date with all the relevant case laws and procedural rules in court and will ensure all your bases are covered.


Flexible Consultation Times – Facing a criminal charge is a serious matter. You must communicate with a lawyer as soon as possible. That’s why our communication lines – online and via phone – are available for clients to reach out to us at any time.

Defense Strategies for Disseminating Matter Harmful to Juveniles

Defense strategies for a charge of Disseminating Material Harmful to Juveniles in Ohio can vary depending on the specific details of the case. Here are some common defense strategies that our legal team has applied to previous cases with successful outcomes:

  • First Amendment Rights: The First Amendment protects freedom of speech, including the right to possess and distribute certain types of material. A defense strategy may involve arguing that the material in question is protected speech, such as artistic, educational, or scientific expression, and is not considered harmful to juveniles.
  • Lack of Intent: Demonstrating that you did not have the intent to disseminate harmful material to juveniles can be a valid defense. This defense strategy can involve showing that you did not purposefully distribute the material to individuals you knew or should have known were juveniles.
  • Improper Search and Seizure: If the evidence against you was obtained through an illegal search and seizure, it may be possible to challenge the admissibility of that evidence in court. This defense strategy focuses on violations of your Fourth Amendment rights, such as a lack of probable cause or an improperly executed search warrant.
  • Lack of Harmful Content: Another defense strategy can involve challenging the classification of the material as harmful to juveniles. This may involve arguing that the material does not meet the legal definition of harmful content or presenting expert testimony to dispute its harmful nature.

It's crucial to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can thoroughly evaluate the details of your case and determine the most appropriate defense strategy. They can guide you through the legal process, gather evidence, interview witnesses, and present a strong defense on your behalf.

Hiring An Attorney to Defend You

When it comes to handling your Ohio Disseminating Harmful Material to Juveniles case, Fortress Law Group has your back. With our expertise in Ohio sex crime laws and nuances, and a strong track record of success, Fortress Law Group is well-equipped to navigate the complexities of your case. Our personalized approach ensures that your defense strategy is tailored to your unique circumstances, while Fortress Law Group’s skilled negotiators and trial attorneys work tirelessly to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome. Beyond legal prowess, Fortress Law Group is committed to open and compassionate communication, understanding the emotional toll of sex crime charges. If you're seeking a dedicated and supportive legal team, look no further than Fortress Law Group for trusted representation in your Disseminating Harmful Material to Juveniles case.

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Related FAQs

Sex Offenses

What defense options do I have if accused of a sex offense in Ohio?

A sex crimes attorney with our firm, Fortress Law Group, can review your case and its evidence to determine if you had an alibi when the offense occurred and if the DNA evidence demonstrates that you weren’t present. If the case alleges the involvement of other potential suspects, we can review the likelihood that a known cohort of the other suspects might have been involved.

What are common sex crimes and penalties if convicted in Ohio?

Sex crimes fall under three tiers in Ohio. Tier I is primarily for minor sex crimes, while Tiers II and III are for more serious offenses. Whichever tier a conviction falls under dictates when and how often a sex crimes convict will have to update their sex offender registration.

Common misdemeanor sex crimes include:

  • Sexual imposition
  • Voyeurism (fifth-degree felony if the victim is a minor)
  • Public indecency (can be a felony, depending on circumstances)
  • Procuring prostitution (a felony if the prostitute is underage)
  • Solicitation for prostitution
  • Displaying or disseminating matter harmful to juveniles (a felony in some cases)

Common felony sex crimes include:

  • Rape (first-degree felony)
  • Sexual battery (third-degree felony)
  • Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor (fourth, third, or second-degree felony)
  • Gross sexual imposition (third- or fourth-degree felony)
  • Importuning (fifth, fourth, third, or second-degree felony)
  • Child pornography (fourth, third, or second-degree felony)
  • Compelling or promoting prostitution (fourth, third, second, or first-degree felony)

Can I appeal a sex crime conviction?

You may have your Ohio criminal defense attorney file an appeal after a conviction for a sex offense. If you feel that your defense attorney failed to represent you well in your case, contact us to have experienced sex crimes attorney Matthew C. Bangerter manage your appeal.

Be aware that you only have 30 days to file an appeal or an extension for an appeal to the court.

How do I find an experienced sex crime lawyer to defend me?

If you need a sex offenses attorney to represent you in Northeast Ohio, turn to our experienced team at Fortress Law Group, led by Attorney Matthew C. Bangerter. Since 2009, we’ve represented many people accused of sex offenses. Our strategy is to assess forensic evidence, look for witnesses, and secure an alibi to disprove the prosecution’s accusations. Call our offices in Cleveland Metro at (440) 340-1740 to schedule a case review.

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Matthew C. Bangerter, Esq.

As a former Assistant Prosecutor in Lake County Ohio, Cleveland criminal defense attorney Matthew C. Bangerter, ESQ. has experience with the strategies used by prosecutors to pursue their cases. As a member of the Ohio Bar Association, Lake County Bar Association, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Cuyahoga Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the Board of Directors of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, he takes his profession as a Cleveland criminal defense attorney seriously and ensures that he is up to date with the latest case law and trial strategies.

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Whether you’re charged with a DUI, misdemeanor, or felony, the prospect of facing trial is stressful. Worse, there’s also the possibility of jail time if things don’t go well for you in court. To help you face these legal adversities, you need an attorney who can work on an effective defense strategy and make sure your civil rights are upheld throughout the process. A Willoughby criminal appeals attorney at Fortress Law Group, LLC provides clients with comprehensive legal representation from trial to appeal, if needed.
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